It’s been several months since David Adjey (AKA
The
Opener
) travelled
to Montreal to help novice
restaurateurs Jonathan Nguyen,
Etienne Lacaille and Patrick
Beaudet
open their southern-style smokehouse
restaurant, Le Boucan. When I think about
Montreal poutine, bagels and Montreal smoked
meat instantly come to mind, so I wasn’t sure whether a
Southern-style smokehouse restaurant would
succeed. However, after chatting with Jonathan Nguyen, I
was able to rest assured knowing the restaurant is doing
extremely well and then some.

(Le Boucan)

In less than a year, Le Boucan has
climbed Montreal’s restaurant ranks to become one of the
city’s top dining destinations and they’ve won a number of awards
and recognitions for their deliciously unique smoked menu items.
Through trial and error, Jonathan quickly learned the
ins and outs of working with a smoker and as a
result, he’s become the ultimate smoke master. Le
Boucan has competed in a number of local and international
smokehouse competitions and Jonathan’s signature BBQ sauce and
smoky ribs always garner positive accolades. Needless to say,
the ribs are the restaurant’s top-seller.

I spoke to Jonathan on the phone about his experience on The
Opener,
the restaurant biz and, of course, the Opener himself
— David Adjey.

(5 Napkins Burger)

—————–

FNC: How’s the restaurant doing since Dave first came to
help?

Jonathan: Business has been steady and we’ve been doing great!
During the summer our terrace was consistently packed and our
dining room is always busy. We’ve also received a lot of great
reviews and we were featured on a local TV show, Guide Restos
Voir,
where a number of prominent celebrity guests
commended the ambiance of our restaurant and quality of our
food — I’m really happy about that!

FNC: How instrumental was Dave to the success of your
restaurant?

Jonathan: There were a lot of things that we knew about opening a
restaurant before we met David, but without him we definitely
wouldn’t be where we are now. He really helped us with the
presentation of our dishes and being on the show has helped to
increase our profile. He helped me to think outside of the box with
my cooking and this helped us to be successful.

(Famous Pork Ribs with Coleslaw and Potato Salad)

FNC: What lessons did you learn from Dave about running your
restaurant?

Jonathan: David taught me to work with what I’ve got. I learned how
to manage a small kitchen more efficiently and how to prepare for a
rush of orders. He also taught me about menu preparation and made
me feel confident about it. Working with the smoker was challenging
and David’s support and guidance helped me to improve my technique
to make the best smoked ribs.

 

(Poutine)

FNC: How was the overall experience working with David
Adjey?

Jonathan: It was pretty cool. I thought he was going to be strict
and that it might be hard to work with him, but it was the complete
opposite. He was seriously more like a friend to us. We had fun
with him and the energy was really good. We knew that David Adjey
was truly there for us first and that making the show was
secondary.

 ———————-

If you missed tonight’s episode it’ll be available online in the
video centre tomorrow. And check back next week
to see how El Barrio, the next restaurant to be featured
on The Opener, is doing.

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