Besides our very own Chuck Hughes, David Adjey is probably the world’s biggest celebrity chef to visit Montreal since Gordon Ramsey came here more than a year ago for his short-lived experiment as partner in the Laurier BBQ operation.
Adjey, dubbed “the most unconventional chef on television” for his tough-love approach to cooking and his “tell it like it is” attitude to culinary management, is perhaps best known as one of the hosts of Food NetworkCanada’s Restaurant Makeover and a new show called The Opener.
A native of Toronto, he graduated at the top of his class from the Culinary Institute of America in New York and has worked in kitchens across the globe. On October 24, Rib ‘N Reef Steakhouse & Cigar Lounge on Decarie was supposed to host its second annual fundraising endeavor with proceeds benefiting the Traumatic Brain Injury Program/Concussion Clinic of the Montreal Children’s Hospital and The Head Trauma Unit of Sainte-JustineUniversity Hospital Center. It has now been cancelled and will reportedly be rescheduled next spring.
I sat down with Adjey and Katsoudas last week, when the event was still set to take place.
Here is my video interview:
Any chance Adjey will open his own restaurant in Montreal? “This might be my audition,” he quipped.
|Katsoudas and Adjey.|
Adjey said he was last in Montreal to film an episode of The Opener.
One of Adjey’s most interesting projects of late is his fast-food chicken franchise in the making called The Chickery on Spadina Avenue in Toronto. “We already have a Tim Hortons of chicken in Swiss Chalet,” he says. “I just think there’s room for us to be the Starbucks of chicken.”
It is a simple concept, with two options: roast chicken and chicken fingers. “The roasted chicken is brined, given a rub containing 15 spices such as smoked paprika, brown sugar, and dried mustard and then spit-roasted,” he explains. “We soak the chicken fingers in a buttermilk batter for 24 hours, seasoned, dredged, and fried. Our side dishes include mac and cheese, collard greens, squash, and an Asian slaw of nappa cabbage, bok choy, cilantro, and purple cabbage.”
Kasoudas visited the establishment recently and was impressed. Can a Montreal franchise be in our future? “I think it has the possibility to succeed here,” he hints.
Adjey is also the author of the acclaimed cookbook, Deconstructing the Dish, and was actor Dan Aykroyd’s former personal chef. He is one of the most unconventional culinary personalities in North America, renowned for his rough and tough exterior, his witty personality, and his burning passion for food, reflected in the ultimate simplicity and elegance of his sensational dishes.