Meet the owner

Jean-Benoît Courcoul is the head chef at Bistro Laurentien La Coupole, which is located in L’Hôtel Le Crystal in downtown Montreal. The bistro's menu is inspired by the Quebec cuisine of old, and offers the wild ingredients of Native American heritage as well as local and seasonal products.

Jean-Benoît trained in the Grand Ouest of France, in addition to his advanced studies in Japan. When he returned to Europe, he began working in the hospitality industry, where he held various management positions. "I came here on vacation and I fell in love with Quebec," says the chef, who has worked in several great restaurants in Montreal including Auberge Le Vieux St Gabriel, The Intercontinental and the Mount Stephen Club, in addition to teaching supply management at the Institute de tourisme d'hôtellerie du Québec. He also participated in the opening of the Bell Centre. "I accepted the challenge here at L’Hôtel Le Crystal to take charge of what was offered on the menu."

Fabien Novert, the restaurant's manager, has been working in the field since the age of 14. "I quickly found my profession," he says proudly. After completing his hospitality studies in Lille, France, he worked for a time in his hometown. His dream, however, was to broaden his horizons and work on cruise ships, an adventure he was able to experience after perfecting his English. "After that, I was accepted, which is what allowed me to travel around the world." Fabien was especially drawn to North America after his visit to Disney World. "I wanted to return to the United States, but it was more complicated, so I applied for Quebec," says Fabien, who has worked at Restaurant Chez Georges at the Loews Hotel Vogue and at Toqué. "I really liked it, so I stayed in the restaurant business."

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