From fine art to craft

 

In the summer of 2000, Robert was already preparing for the Du Maurier Open that was to take place in September at the prestigious Royal Ottawa Golf Club in Aylmer. He spent the whole sunny season searching for and selecting suppliers, designing the menu and managing logistics. The entire team would be staying under the same roof! That was a tour de force in itself, but the most memorable part of this massive undertaking was that 10,000 meals were served in four days, under the watchful eye of the incomparable Chef Philippe Buelens. The team outdid itself yet again, this time with the help of a 13-year-old Alexis who, at the wheel of his electric cart, was supplying the tents with beverages.

Robert barely had a moment to catch his breath. In August 2001, he acquired Pâtisserie Gaumond and its catering service, Images et Saveurs. He’d come a long way since the 35-seat space in front of Télé-Québec. Robert was now at the helm of a large organization, as well as a factory that ran non-stop 18 hours a day to supply shops and supermarket displays with cakes, pastries, chocolates, charcuterie, frozen dishes and vacuum-sealed meals.

With Pâtisserie Gaumond’s operations, his booming catering business and his three restaurants, Robert was firing on all cylinders, but the time had come to make compromises. With a heavy heart, he sold his bistro, L’Entre Miche, as well as Café Rock Détente. Four years later and a tad tired, he parted with the rest, except for Robert Alexis Traiteur and the facilities on Wellington street. He still needed somewhere to work.

Even though he reduced the scope of his business, he still dreamed big. From 2008 to 2011, he delighted the crowds at the Uniprix stadium (now the Stade IGA) as the official caterer of the Rogers Cup. Food counters, VIP lounge, restaurants under the tents… From lobster risotto hot dogs to gourmet fries, Robert Alexis changed the game and put on a show. As always, Chef Philippe Buelens and his team met the challenge brilliantly.

Now, as the head of a workable family business, Robert can focus on distinction and refinement. More importantly, he has time for fishing expeditions at the Pourvoirie du Lac Matonipi. Today, he indulges in his grandiose fantasies in the heart of the taiga. “When a caribou, chased by wolves, crosses the lake a few feet away from your boat while a huge trout is hanging at the end of your line, you realize that Quebec is truly majestic!”