R5 Coffee with the Chef: Q&A with Javier Sabedra

La Bella Havana
35 Main St, Yonkers
(914-920-9777; labellahavana.com)

Drink of Choice…I don’t drink often, but I sometimes indulge in a Jack Daniel’s with Coke.
Favorite Cuisine…I love my native cuisine, comida Mexicana.
Culinary Hero… My mother. A strong, loving, and passionate woman who puts energy into every dish she makes!
If Not a Chef, I’d Be a…dance instructor. I was once an instructor for salsa, merengue, cumbia, and bachata. I fell in love with the art ever since.
Last Book Read…Cafe Mima Cuban Cookbook Cocina Cubana by Yoly Perez  
Favorite Place to Dine Out…Harvest on Hudson in Hastings. My favorite dish is the porterhouse steak with garlic fries.
I Hate It When a Diner at My Restaurant… sends food back saying they are disappointed with the seasoning. It is disheartening.
Show I’d Like to Be On…Dancing with the Stars.
What Waiters Should Never Do…Rush the chef!   
The Strangest Request From a Diner…eggs on top of cereal. Very strange!
The Worst Restaurant Incident…When I first started cooking fifteen years ago, I was preparing a recipe that called for two and a half tablespoons of pepper and I misread and accidentally put twenty one tablespoons. Not one of the finer moments in my career.
Favorite Late-Night Snack…Yogurt or fruits like strawberries or watermelon.
My Favorite Cookbook… Memories of a Cuban Kitchen by Mary Urrutia Randelman
Food Trend I Hate the Most… Tofu.
My Favorite Music Group Is…Downtown Yonkers Bruce, two guitarists who play Thursdays at La Bella Havana.
When Cooking, Chefs Tend to Use Too Much…salt. I personally have fallen victim to this habit and have had to retrain myself to break it.

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