Laurent Chapdelaine


A week ago I attended the Funeral Mass for a great man on the Winnipeg restaurant scene.  He had silver hair and was dashingly handsome with a witty sense of humour and an unforgettable laugh.  He drove a truck and no, he was not a delivery person for a food-service company.  He was one of those astonishing men who kept the home fires burning while his wife was a successful restaurant owner and hands on manager.  His wife Joan was one of the first restaurant owner/operators on the Winnipeg scene and in the Keg Restaurant system.  I started at the Garry St. Keg just a short time before her.  I watched her rise through the ranks with her amazing attention to detail, hard work and perseverance.  She could not have done this without a special man at home.

Back in the old Keg days it was like we were family and many of us were-five families in particular: the Chapdelaines, the Furlans, the Reschs, the Grisims and my own.  Many of us worked side by side with our siblings and even our Moms (or in my case my future mother-in-law).  We didn’t all end up in the restaurant business but we learned many fundamentals for business success like loving the hard work, enjoying the celebrations and time to play, all the while keeping an eye on the bottom line.

Last Friday there were three generations of Grisims to mourn alongside three generations of Chapdelaines.  D and I have ignited the hospitality fire in our kids and now J1 is a stellar dining room server at The Keg working for one of Joan and Laurent’s children.  You see two of their five children are the General Managers of the Winnipeg Kegs.  Did I forget to mention this? While Joan was spending all those hours in the hospitality business, she and Laurent raised five children!  At one time or another, all the kids and even one of their grandchildren, all worked in the restaurants.

I am quite sure that you love food and restaurants, otherwise why would you be reading these musings?  So next time you are toasting a restaurant or Chef’s success, remember that behind every Joan there is a Laurent.  Perhaps not so big a person as this man was, with such a booming laugh and such a keen wit but someone to keep it all together at home, none the less.

Kath’s quote: “A married couple who enjoy the pleasures of the table have, at least once a day, a pleasant opportunity to be together.”-Jean-Antheleme Brillat-Savarin

Love-that is all.

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4 Comments to

“Laurent Chapdelaine”

  1. Avatar September 17th, 2012 at 10:12 pm Griff Tripp Says:


    That was beautiful and so very true.
    I am so sorry I did not know of Laurent’s passing.
    I will forward it to George Tidball.

  2. Avatar September 18th, 2012 at 6:53 am Kathryne Says:

    Hey Griff, I had no idea that you were a reader. Love to you and Pat and yes, I would love for you to pass this along to George.

  3. Avatar September 23rd, 2012 at 6:19 pm Stephen Tidgball Says:

    Sorry to hear of Laurent’s passing. My sympathies.
    Stephen Tidball

  4. Avatar September 24th, 2012 at 7:01 am Kathryne Says:

    I will use your message as my excuse to call Joan to see how she is doing. Thanks Stephen. Hope you and your family are well.

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