R5 Chef Q&A: Cedar Street Grill’s Matt Kay

Matt Kay 
Cedar Street Grill 
23 Cedar St, Dobbs Ferry
(914-674-0706; cedarstreetgrillny.com)

Five Items in my Home Refrigerator…Good cheese, multi-grain bread, an assortment of cold cuts, whole-grain mustard, and a bottle of wine. 

Favorite Cuisine…Mexican. The flavors are clean and the techniques are still authentic. Plus, any cuisine that uses hot peppers gets my vote.

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Last Book Read…Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. The book says a lot about proper hospitality functions and customer-service techniques. 

Favorite Place to Dine Out (other than the restaurant I’m at)…Sam’s Italian Restaurant in Dobbs Ferry. I’m not only guaranteed a great meal but I owe them my start. Sam’s was my first restaurant job when I was 15 years old. 

I Never Cook With…my brother Joe. He is my business partner and I trust him completely with the front-of-house operations, but we should never be in the same room with knives. 

Favorite TV Show…I’m a sucker for food reality TV, so it would be a toss-up between Bar Rescue and Kitchen Nightmares. I’m always amazed at how neglectful people can be about important aspects of the restaurant business. 

I Hate It When You’re Dining at a Restaurant and…your table is constantly interrupted by a server or manager. There are ways to check on a table without being disruptive to the meal. 

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What Waiters Should Never Do…Grab a glass by the rim. The golden rule in my restaurant is to always hold a glass by the stem

My Eating Disorder Is…I don’t deny myself food. Ever. 

The Most I’ve Paid for a Meal…I paid almost $60 for a Kobe burger with foie gras at Café Boulud. It truly was worth every penny. 

Most Famous Person I Ever Cooked for…New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte. 

My Biggest Superstition Is…Opening an umbrella inside—I’m convinced it’s really bad luck, especially when it happens in the restaurant!               

Our CEOs & Business Leaders Golf Outing is August 5!

Our Best of Westchester Party is July 24!

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

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