Coffee with Chef Arturo McLeod

Benjamin Steakhouse
610 W Hartsdale Ave, White Plains

Dish I Do Best…Definitely the porterhouse. After so many years of making the same cut, I’ve pretty much got it down to a science. Besides that, I would also say the creamed spinach—it’s a unique recipe because I don’t use any cream but a roux.
Drink of Choice…Southern Comfort, chilled. I put it in the freezer so it gets nice and cold, and then I drink it straight—delicious.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure Food…Rice! But it’s no good for me because I’m diabetic. My next favorite guilty pleasure is mashed potatoes—I love starchy food; though it’s no good for me, I eat it anyway!
If Not a Chef, I’d Be…working in sanitation. I took the test just before my daughter Selena was born. By the time they called me back, though, I was already in love with the kitchen. I probably would’ve been retired by now!
Favorite Place to Dine Out…I like to take my family to South Fin Grill right on the water in Staten Island. Since I always work with steak, I like to go for seafood whenever I dine out. They have a mean blackened swordfish that I love. My wife always goes for the steak, though.  
I Hate It When a Diner at My Restaurant…orders their steak with a ‘plus,’ as in ‘medium-plus.’ Really, what’s a ‘medium-plus?’ You might as well order a medium-well-minus! There’s medium, then there’s medium-well—not really much in between!
Favorite TV Show…Believe it or not, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. Been watching those bad boys for years—it’s how I relax after work!
The Worst Incident That Occurred in the Restaurant Was…The sprinklers! The kitchen got too hot one day and all the sprinklers went off on a Saturday night! Everybody—busboys, kitchen staff, waiters pitched in and cleaned up the kitchen in an hour! We had to throw away everything—steaks, potatoes, spinach. Benjamin [my partner] was upstairs, making sure that customers enjoyed free drinks on us. Drinks flying everywhere!  
Favorite Pain Reliever…a shot of Southern Comfort.
Most Famous Person You Ever Cooked for… Whoopi Goldberg, Gladys Knight, Vin Diesel, Chris Noth, Slash from Guns N’ Roses, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Naomi Campbell, and Mariah Carey. First time I saw her, I couldn’t believe how tall and beautiful she was!

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