Élyse Marquis talks about her relationship with her daughter Alice

When we first saw each other, it was at drama school. She was 17 and I was 19. It was like meeting my soul mate for the first time in my life. Since that day we have never left each other. We lived together, traveled together, sang the entire repertoire of Mario Pelchat, Martine St-Clair and Whitney Houston, worked together but most of all we went through our personal storms and our immense moments of happiness together. I speak with Élyse today and even after all these years I still feel privileged to spend time with her. Meeting with a loving, sincere and sensitive woman.

• Read also: Élyse Marquis’ daughter plays in musical

Elyse, you radiate happiness. What makes you happy today?
I would tell you right away that I managed to shoot The chiefs! this year has been a huge success despite the covid. It looks like the whole team competed in both a sprint and a marathon. Instead of spreading the shooting days over a few months, we managed to deliver all the shows in just a few weeks.

Photo: © Felix Renaud

Élyse surrounded by the judges of the new season of Les Chefs!, Normand Laprise, Isabelle Deschamps-Plante, Pasquale Vari and Jean-Luc Boulay, and mentor Colombe St-Pierre.

So you must be exhausted?
Not at all. In fact, I’d like to tell you that it was the season when I had the most fun shooting. I was swept away by this wave of happiness that came from the whole team, both in front of and behind the camera, who were so happy to be redoing this wonderful project.

Did skipping a year on the air make this shoot even more valuable?
Absolute! We all realized how lucky we were to be able to do this job. In life, when you get sick and your health recovers, that’s often the moment when you realize how precious it is. That’s what happened, sort of. After 10 seasons, I thought maybe it was a little too obvious that I was shooting this reality show every spring. But skipping a season made that shoot even more valuable. In addition, the best aspiring chefs from the past two years were able to come together for this season.

On the set of the show.

Photo: © M.-A. Stone

On the set of the show.

• Read also:
All about the 11th season premiere of Les Chefs!

What exactly can we expect?
The content that people have worked even harder on the so-called twists and turns† The candidates started to know the show well, so we wanted to surprise them and destabilize them a little more than usual.

What does hosting this show mean to you?
I love everything about this show! I like reality TV, competition and cooking. In this adventure I am surrounded by young people who are competitive. I completely understand and admire them. Plus, I never get over it, every year with Normand Laprise, Jean-Luc Boulay and Pasquale Vari, all great chefs with international reputations. It really is a bubble of happiness!

You have won several Gemini for hosting this show. How do you receive these awards?
With great humility! This honor goes to an entire team, to be honest. I am thinking of Carl Dubuc, among others, who I hear in my headset. He is my accomplice; he thinks of everything and so he improves each of my interventions, which has the effect of making me better. It’s like the two of us are in the animation.

Your daughter, Alice, is now 18. Has your role as a mother changed since she came of age?
Clearly my role as a mother is changing. I would like to tell you that my role as a mother these days is limited to doing the taxi. (laughs) She is currently working a lot. She’s going to play in the musical Anne and she also participates in several dubbing series. That said, I love going for a ride with her as that’s where I have quality time with her and where we chat. I used to be close to her all the time; now i’m just next to her. When she needs advice she asks me and she knows she can count on me.

Photo: Patrick Seguin

“With Alice, I had the child that allowed me to be the mother I wanted to be.”

• Read also: Élyse Marquis’ daughter pays a beautiful tribute to her mother for her birthday

How would you describe your relationship with her?
When Alice was very little, I remember reading a book that said we should add a part of friendship to the relationship with our child. So in that sense I guided her to make her own choices and recognize the consequences. So I was never a strict mother, but it must be said that Alice has always been a very docile child. I had the child that allowed me to be the mother I wanted to be.

Would you say you raised your daughter the way your parents were raised?
All the way! Everything I loved about my parents I did again and it allows me to realize, even today, how loving and benevolent they were.

What are you most proud of as a mother when you see Alice go through life?
His kindness… It makes me so proud! Even if I foresaw it might play tricks on him. She will have to think of herself, because of this quality of soul. I remember when she was very young, to those who asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up, she replied, “I want to comfort people.” She has kept this value in her and that is what characterizes her as a young adult now. She is very empathetic.

Is it insecure to see that your daughter wants to do the same job as you?
Very! Every day I have to talk to myself to remind myself that Alice will find her way and that if she encounters difficulties, she will know how to deal with them. And when I see her so passionate, I tell myself that that’s the most important thing in life: finding your passion.

You are the creator and host of the podcast Inhale before you exhale† Why did you want to make it?
It comes from a huge need. I found the pandemic difficult in many ways. So I started taking a walk to get active and get more in touch with this joy that I was losing. To help me, I wanted to listen to inspiring podcasts and realized that many were in English, but the French market had yet to be developed. The next day I wrote to OHdio’s officials at Radio-Canada and the next day I had an appointment with them. A few weeks later, Inhale before you exhale was born.

Is this your first time completing a project of your own?
Yes! And I’d say that’s why it’s the achievement I’m most proud of in my career so far!

Do you get feedback from listeners?
I receive many and it warms my heart so much! This podcast isn’t going to change anyone’s life, but when everything feels heavy and it’s hard to feel good, I think it can help. A frequently heard comment is that listening to these interviews offers enormous comfort.

• Read also: Élyse Marquis reveals what makes her most proud of the show “Les Chefs!”

What do you remember about all these wellness celebrity interviews?
That we are all human and that suffering is present at one point or another in our daily lives. We don’t all experience the same thing at the same time, but when we suffer, we often have the impression that we are alone in experiencing this pain. All people, without exception, seek happiness in their own way. This project has helped me to have more compassion for others and myself.

Élyse, I can’t ignore our friendship. I wanted you to know that being able to be 100% myself in our relationship is precious to me.
I think exactly the same as you, Joel; you gave me permission to be as i am. It’s hard to be true to who we are because we often want to please at all costs. And when I talk to you or when we are together, I know that I can be myself, with my good and bad sides.

Joël and Élyse have known each other for 35 years.  Here in 1989, at the Théâtre La Marjolaine.

Photo: Courtesy

Joël and Élyse have known each other for 35 years. Here in 1989, at the Théâtre La Marjolaine.

When we left, I walked a long way, because the weather was mild and the meeting had been just as good. During my ride, one word from our interview came to mind: kindness. This is how Élyse describes her daughter Alice. Come to think of it, that’s the exact same word I would use to describe Élyse. After all these years of being together, laughing and crying together, I have always felt this kindness, this magnanimity that emanates from her. Like the apple never falls far from the tree. This interview with you, Élyse, was very special because I learned more about you. I hope you as readers have had access to the wonderful person who is my best friend, Élyse Marquis.

The chiefs!Monday 8 p.m. on Radio Canada.
The podcast
Inhale before you exhale is offered on the OHdio platform.

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