Patrick Roy: Dictated by the earth
Art and Culture
Already well accomplished in the gastronomy domain, Patrick Roy has been working over the last few years to attain the same level of excellence in pottery.
People tend to employ the word passion indiscriminately, incorrectly and at times trivially, to the extent there should be a moratorium on its use. But you can certainly make an exception in relation to Patrick Roy. No, he isn’t the turbulent, volcanic-eruption type of person, but when you watch him at work, you can’t help but liken him to a constantly smouldering fire. Similar to what you would find in his cooking oven or a kiln for his pottery.
First and foremost, Patrick Roy is the maestro of Carrément bon, a Cowansville restaurant specializing in game meat, a dining establishment whose reputation extends beyond the MRC limits. Refinement and elegance are not only on the food plates, they permeate the entire place. From floor to ceiling here, everything conveys Patrick Roy’s aesthetic commitment and his love of the art. In fact, a section of the restaurant is devoted to the works of artists from the area, including those of Patrick himself, who’s a self-taught painter and wood sculptor.
But four years ago, Patrick had an introduction to pottery, under the guidance of renowned potter Robin Badger. He eagerly took to the craft and was quickly turning out hand-made pottery; before long, he was selling a significant amount of his pottery works, mainly in his restaurant, at the Christmas Market. The pieces were decorative, but they were very useful, too, in the kitchen, of course: plates, oil and vinegar cruets, etc. He uses many of his pottery pieces in his restaurant – a double delight, he says. Patrick has also made a model that can serve a dual purpose, as a tea light and fruit bowl.
“Spending three hours scraping the earth after I’m finished working gives me the chance to unwind,” explains Patrick. “You can do anything with clay. I let the earth guide me, dictate what I’m going to do. What I like doing are vases in bas-relief shapes; it’s a bit like wood working.” And the artist notes that every piece is unique. “I could make 100 bowls and not one of them would be identical,” he states.
Patrick Roy puts the same love and freedom of expression into his pottery as the does into his cooking. But he acknowledges that to attain the same degree of achievement, he still has to learn how to use glazes better to enhance his pottery pieces. His aim is to have his pottery become an “extension of his cooking know-how.”
“A lot of my plates are used in my restaurant,” he adds. “It’s fun serving the food in my hand-crafted plates!”
From now on
Nowadays, Patrick Roy is looking at devoting most of his energies to pottery, although he doesn’t plan to totally forsake the restaurant business. With Carrément bon, he has set high culinary standards and that sometimes weighs heavily on him. He’s seriously considering going back to the basics, cooking that is more rudimentary and convivial. “I would really like to find an old barn, a house, to turn into a picturesque bistro, where I would make meals cooked with local products and serve the food in my pottery plates.”
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