Adam Gourchane

Speedy Romeo
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
The geographical acme of pizza is New York. Sorry deep dish lovers, it’s not Chicago and apologies to California, pizza doesn’t peak at CPK either (though we are huge fans of the BBQ Chicken Pizza). New York has so many treasure chests of pizza that it's ok to not have a favorite. One of our absolute, must go-to’s is Speedy Romeo - the pizza and wings are TO DIE FOR and the cherry on top is their staff feels like a second family. We visited the OG Clinton Hill location and sat down with General Manager Adam Gourchane to talk about all things ‘za - and also chicken fingers.
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Full name, age where are you from?

Adam Gourchane, 29, Mamaroneck NY (A small suburb town just north of NYC).

What was growing up like for you and did you have family meals growing up?

Growing up I played a lot of sports. Soccer was a big one for a while, even got me scholarship to play some D2 ball, but what really got me through most of middle and high school was riding BMX. Through that I actually got to make my way down to Manhattan as a super young kid and spend hours riding in the city all the way until the last train out of grand central. It's still a big part of my life today actually.

As for family meals my mother is a great cook, she cooked us meals pretty much every night and her pizza she made for school functions was talked about all through schooling.

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What meal most reminds you of your childhood?

Oh man, honestly it would have to be chicken fingers! I was that chicken finger kid up until about 15 years old. When I finally moved on to bigger and better things I moved onto the more adult version: Chicken Parm, and boy do I love a good Chicken Parm.

Tell us a bit about your venture. What is your role and how did you get into this industry?

I guess it all started before I actually worked in a restaurant. When I got out of college and needed work my first few jobs were at Pacha NYC and Electric Daisy Carnival. I guess hospitality really was where I was meant to be.

After a few years and a couple metal fabrication and retail jobs, I ended up at a restaurant as a food runner; A year later I was in management there. The restaurant opened a new Brooklyn location and, wanting to get out of Westchester, I made the move. After a few months I left the restaurant and FOH and went to Roberta's in Midtown to learn how to make pizza. Fast forward another 6 months and I'm now making pizza at Speedy Romeo.

After about a year and a half, I became the Chef de Cuisine of the LES location. After that location closed due to COVID, I was moved to the Brooklyn location; I can now proudly say that I am the General Manager of the resturant.

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How has the pandemic affected you?

Well, for starters its actually brought me back to a more active lifestyle. In the warmer months I get out to the skateparks at around 8 AM about 4-5 days out of the week which really gives me an outlet to get all the stress out and have fun. It has also given me more of chance to pivot into fun stuff in the restaurant, like the breakfast program at Speedy. It started as a way to drum up business in the LES and now it's a profitable program with, in my opinion, some of the best sourdough wood fired bagels you'll ever have. Think a crunchy bagel with a focaccia inside.

What do you think working in this industry during this time has taught you?

So much, the ability to turn an idea into a money maker means more than ever now. Between all the pop ups, people creating an item to sell i.e hot sauce, pizza, chili crisp, kimchi; you name it people are selling it. However it unfortunately shows the darker side of things and how a profound business model can crumble in days. The people working can pull together and put the needs of those who need it most before their own.

What's your fave item on your menu?

Great question, it has got to be a tie between our cheese burger and the Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese on a bagel. They're both cooked over wood fire so they get smokey, crispy, and charred. It's great.

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Once it is completely safe to eat out again and socialize, where is the first place you're going out to eat at and what are you ordering?

Lil Frankies with my lady. Hands down some of the best late night outings we have had in a long time. As for our order, garlic bread, the eggplant, chicken parm, lemon spaghetti, a dope bottle of wine or two, and yes all of it will be eaten.

Anything exciting coming up for you?

Yes! As mentioned I am the new acting GM and with that we are redoing the drink menu. We are working more closely with local breweries like Interboro and Wild East to bring you fresh beer that was canned the week that you drink it, along with a mostly natural wine list. In the warmer months, a cocktail menu that we think your all going to love. We are also always doing collabs so if anyone wants to do a collab pizza, bagel, or whatever, DM me!

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