Coffee With Chef Bobby Manzi

The River City Grille chef talks about the dish he makes best.

 

 

 

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Chef Bobby Manzi
River City Grille
6 S Broadway, Irvington
(914-591-2033; rivercitygrille.com

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Dish I Do Best…Sunday gravy. I grew up watching my father make it, so it comes naturally.

Favorite Guilty Pleasure Food…‘Food’ and ‘guilt’ do not belong in the same sentence. 

Favorite Kitchen Utensil…Tongs. They are an extension of my hands. 

I Never Eat…hard-boiled eggs. I can’t take the smell. 

Last Book Read…The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

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I Never Cook with…peanut oil. We have so many customers with allergies that I choose not to have it at the restaurant.

Favorite TV Show…Top Chef 

The Most I’ve Paid for a Meal…was at Per Se. The check was $1,400 for two couples. We got a tour of the kitchen, and there is a closed-circuit TV there where Chef Keller can watch in real time what is going on at The French Laundry in California. It was worth it!

Favorite Late-Night Snack…A trip to Chinatown for duck wonton soup.

Culinary School Can’t Teach You…the desire to make people happy. It’s either in you or it’s not. 

My Favorite Cookbook…The Flavor Bible. I use it to stir creativity. 

Food Trend I Hate the Most…I don’t care for molecular gastronomy. I think it dehumanizes the art of cooking.

My Favorite Movie Is…Big Night. It shows the ups and downs of the restaurant business, and how, in the end, it’s your family that’s the most important thing.

Five Items in My Home Refrigerator…Good cheese, some type of leafy green vegetable, fresh garlic, bacon, and, lately, almond milk.

The Toughest or Craziest Part of My Job Is…creating a consistent dining experience week in, week out.

I Hate It When a Diner in My Restaurant…behaves in a manner that disturbs other guests, such as speaking loudly at the table or on a cellphone at the table or, worse yet, has a loud argument with their companion.

Favorite Form of Exercise…Yoga, but I don’t get there as often as I would like.

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