Quebec Restaurants To Serve Beaver, Muskrat, Other Wild Game

Beginning in fall 2014, a select group of Montreal chefs will be allowed to serve wild game from the autumn hunting season. Ten restaurants, including Au Pied de Cochon, Toqué, and Joe Beef will be able to offer selections like wild deer, beaver, muskrat, and hare, in a tightly supervised pilot program. Previously, the sale of wild game to consumers was prohibited.

According to Yves-François Blanchet, Quebec's wildlife minister, local chefs have waited a long time to be able to serve wild game.

 "The hunt is intimately linked with our history and our food heritage and has been since the days of New France," Blanchet said during a press conference at Toqué.

With an eye toward sustainability, Toqué's chef and owner, Norman Laprise, told the Montreal Gazette that the new initiative would reduce waste and that he looked forward to using the wild game "from muzzle to shank."

Chef Martin Picard, the owner of Au Pied de Cochon and the author of the 2012 cookbook Sugar Shack — in which the chef created 'squirrel sushi' as a way of getting even for all the rodents that have damaged his Pied de Cochon sugar shack — told the Gazette that he looked forward to using the new resources with the right amount of restraint.

"I'm not queasy at all about using all parts of the animal, but I don't want to be sensationalist either," he added.

Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.