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Montreal chef Normand Laprise wins James Beard Award for new cookbook

Normand Laprise and Cheryl Johnson, then-sous chef at Toqué!, with french fries in Montreal on May 21, 2010.

John Morstad/The Globe and Mail

A book by a well-known Quebec chef has won a prestigious James Beard Foundation award.

Normand Laprise, co-owner and chef of Toqué! restaurant in Montreal, won for his cookbook Toqué!: Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy (Les Editions du Passage), published in November.

The 444-page book, which celebrates 20 years of the restaurant's existence in recipes and stories, won in the category cooking from a professional point of view.

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The book includes signature recipes from the Zagat-rated restaurant owned by Laprise and his associate, Christine Lamarche, as well as simpler dishes.

Laprise is a also member of the Grands Chefs Relais & Chateaux and in 2009 was named a knight of the National Order of Quebec. In the fall, Macleans magazine ranked him chef of the year.

The James Beard Awards handed out Friday honoured winners in media and publishing; a separate ceremony on Monday will be held for chefs and restaurants.

The foundation's awards honour those who follow in the footsteps of Beard, a television chef and food writer who was considered the dean of American cooking when he died in 1985. The ceremony was held in New York, where the Beard Foundation is based.

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