Juan Carlos Arboleya

After finishing his BSc degree in Chemistry, he started his scientific career at the Institute of Food Research (Norwich, United Kingdom), focused on the physico-chemical properties. He studied the fundamental mechanisms that control texture in food in order to develop strategies for improving sensory and nutritional properties of foodstuffs. He got his PhD in physical-biochemistry in 2004 by the University of East Anglia, UK. Part of his scientific knowledge was applied to the design of new dishes in haute cuisine by means of the collaboration with different prestigious restaurants. He is currently head of Science Department at the Basque Culinary Center (University of Mondragon, Spain), programme director of the Master (MSc) and PhD programme in Gastronomic Sciences. He is Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, published by Elsevier.

Daniel Vézina

Daniel Vézina opened his restaurant Laurie Raphaël in Quebec City in 1991 with Suzanne Gagnon, his associate and life partner. Since then, he has used his Laurie Raphaël Restaurant as a podium to showcase Quebec artisans, offering their products for his customers to discover. After 28 years in operation, his restaurant has won several awards while proudly serving a committed gastronomy. In the spring of 2016, he decided to invest in an extreme transformation of his restaurant to offer a renewed culinary experience colored by his proud successors: Raphael and Laurie-Alex Vézina, his two children who are gradually taking the restaurant reins, to his great delight. Since 1996, in addition to publishing six (6) cookbooks, Daniel Vézina has also carved out a place of choice in the hearts of Quebeckers, sharing his culinary values and his belonging to Quebec’s “terroir” in several radio and television shows, including the very popular show "Les Chefs!" on Radio-Canada. Daniel Vézina is considered one of the spokeperson of thoughtful, lean cuisine. To this day, he has received several awards, including the following: in 2012, he is inducted into the International Order of Disciples of Auguste Escoffier in Paris. Elected Chef of the Year in 2006 at the ITHQ Gala, he received the Renaud Cyr Award in 2001 for the National Merit of Food and Nutrition. He was also elected by his peers "Chef Prestige of the Year 2000" at the 11th Gala de la restauration in Quebec City.

Jordan LeBel

Jordan LeBel is an associate professor in the marketing department at Concordia University's John Molson School of Business where he teaches food marketing. A graduate of the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec and the Cornell University Hotel School, he began his career in high-end restaurants where he held several positions including chef and restaurant inspector. He completed his Ph.D. at McGill University where he studied the quest for pleasure and its role in consumer decisions by using chocolate as a research topic.

Jordan has taught catering management and marketing in Norway, Switzerland and the United States. His areas of teaching and research focus on design and marketing experiences, retail, consumer education strategies and new product marketing issues. He has won several awards for the quality of his teaching and leadership in education including the 3M award for the best university professors in Canada.

Jordan is very involved in the Quebec agri-food sector and is a member of the Scientific Committee on the Prevention of Obesity of the Institut national de santé publique du Québec. Curious and committed, he is an affiliate member of the Concordia Center for Sensory Studies, of the PERFORM Center and is a certified corporate director. His knowledge led him to give several conferences with companies and professional organizations in Quebec, Canada, and the United States. He has been a columnist for Salut Bonjour !, for Commerce and Le Must magazines, and for the show Homerun on CBC. His fields of expertise and his wide perspective on the world of food make him a commentator often requested by the media.

Sandra Gauthier

With college studies in Tourism and university studies in Animation and Cultural Research, in Tourism Management, and more recently in Sustainable Development, Sandra Gauthier first started working in tourism and marketing, in Montreal and Europe.

Back in her native Gaspésie in 2004, she took over the Explorama Interpretation Center, a center dedicated to the wonders of Gaspésie, and set up a major reconceptualization project. This project allowed Explorama to become Exploramer, a scientific museum dedicated to the oceanography and marine biodiversity of the St. Lawrence river. Following this reorientation, Exploramer went from 7,000 to 27,000 visitors and became one of the jewels of Quebec's scientific museology.

In 2008, Sandra Gauthier created Smarter Seafood (Fourchette Bleue), an eco-guide dedicated to fish and seafood from sustainable and responsible fisheries of the St. Lawrence. Bringing together the fishing industry and the scientific community around the principles of sustainable development, Smarter Seafood is the only program devoted to the St. Lawrence.

Exploramer and Smarter Seafood have won numerous awards including the Sustainable Tourism Award of the Quebec Tourism Awards, the Corporate Citizenship Award from L'Actualité magazine, a Phoenix of the environment and, most recently, a Laurier of gastronomy in the Business-Initiative of the Year category.

Jean-François Archambault

Jean-François Archambault is the Founder and Managing Director of La Tablée des Chefs. Soon after his studies in Hotel Management at ITHQ, Jean-François became a manager in the hospitality industry for Fairmont and Marriott, where he worked for 10 years. His main passion is his social business, La Tablée des Chefs, created in 2002. With it, Jean-François socially mobilizes chefs and cooks, believing in their incredible ability to intervene on the issue of hunger and to address its many challenges. Every year, La Tablée des Chefs feeds over 600,000 Canadians in need through food recovery, and educates over 3,000 youths in over 100 high schools across Quebec to develop their culinary skills. The organization now involves over 400 chefs and cooks. La Tablée des Chefs, also present in France and Mexico, is now extending its Kitchen Brigades Program offered in high-schools, to the rest of Canada.

In 2015, Jean-François Archambault received the Meritorious Service Cross from the Governor General of Canada. In 2018, he received the Quebec Lieutenant Governor’s Medal for Exceptional Merit and the Tribute Award from the Foundation of the Association Restauration Québec (ARQ).

Thibault Renouf

Photo credit: Jordan Massé


Co-founder of the Arrivage platform and co-initiator of the NPO La Transformerie, Thibault Renouf defines himself as a militant entrepreneur. At a very young age, he tried to understand what lies behind his plate and to propose concrete solutions to social and environmental issues related to our diet.

His heartfelt dream is to find products from small local and craft farms at every street corner, at the grocery store and at the restaurant. To do this, together with his partner Félix-Étienne Trépanier, he imagined Arrivage : networking platform offering farmers and artisans an opportunity to sell to professionals locally and without intermediaries.

Concerned about adding more diversity on the market, Thibault and his team are developing the Gardiens de Semences operation. Through it, chefs, grocery stores and food transformers can choose to sponsor an artisanal seed that will be grown by a partner market gardener during the year. Together, seed custodians promote heritage, rare or endangered varieties and showcase them in the fields and on the plates. More than 50 varieties have been sponsored in 2019 throughout Quebec.

Panel moderator

Catherine Lefebvre

Photo credit: Cindy Boyce


Catherine Lefebvre is a nutritionist, speaker and author. She wrote the book Sucre, vérités et consequences, on the history of sugar and its consequence on the environment and global health. She is a food and travel columnist for the newpaper Le Devoir, in which she writes on local and global sustainable food challenges, and boreal cuisine, so that to illustrate the richness of our unique terroir.