Q&A with Chef Sterling Smith of Neméa Greek Taverna in Mamaroneck

Neméa Greek Taverna
599 E Boston Post Rd, Mamaroneck
(914) 698-6600; nemeataverna.com

Dish I Do Best…Lobster borscht. It’s an elegant and sophisticated twist on a classic.
If Not a Chef, I’d Be…I can’t imagine myself as anything but a chef. I was probably the only twelve-year-old boy who was the teacher’s pet in Home Ec.
Last Book Read…The Devil in the Kitchen by Marco Pierre White
I Never Eat…jellied cranberry sauce.
Favorite Place to Dine Out…Eleven Madison Park
I Hate It When a Diner at My Restaurant...says, ‘You’re not Greek. How can you cook Greek food?’
I Never Cook with…my wife. She burns water! I also never cook with MSG.
I Hate It When I’m Dining at a Restaurant and…the waiter reads twenty specials. I’m all for specials, but who remembers twenty?
The Worst Incident That Occurred in Your Previous Restaurant… A customer planted a piece of plastic in my dish looking for a free meal. I would have preferred that they just ask me for the free meal—at least I would have respected them more.
The Most I’d Pay for a Meal…However much my credit card could bear, if the restaurant was inspiring. I once paid more than twelve hundred dollars for a forty-eight course tasting menu for two at a New York City restaurant that is now closed. It wasn’t great.
Favorite Late-Night Snack…Jack and Coke
Favorite Pain Reliever…See above.
My Favorite CookbookNOMA by René Redzepi. The food is fantastic and Copenhagen, Denmark, is not known for its cuisine.
My Favorite Website…WTSO (WinesTilSoldOut)
My Favorite Music Group Is…Pantera
Most Famous Person I Ever Cooked For…Kirk Douglas, for his 70th birthday party
What Westchester Diners Most Want…A seven pm reservation

Photo by LJ Studios

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