Chef Q&A: Crabtree’s Kittle House’s Jay Lippin

Sitting down with the Chappaqua chef

Chef Jay Lippin
Crabtree’s Kittle House
11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua
(914) 666-8044;

 Name Five Items in Your Home Refrigerator…Sriracha, milk, Chimay [Trappist monk Belgian beer], eggs, and roast chicken.

Culinary Hero…Madeleine Kamman. She was the instructor at the Beringer Vineyard School for American Chefs, which I attended in the early ‘90s during my first go-around as executive chef at Kittle House. She challenged me as a chef and as a person.

Last Book Read…The Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell. It’s an eyewitness account of Operation Red Wing and the lost heroes of Seal Team 10. Fascinating and riveting.

I Hate It When You’re Dining at a Restaurant and…you are sitting behind a surgeon on his cellphone and he is talking about someone’s operation while you’re eating. A true story. 

Show I’d Like to Be On…Chopped.  Wait, oh yeah, I was on it—and won!

The Strangest Request from a Diner…Not exactly a diner but the strangest request was when I was at Regine’s back in the ’80s. I had to cook room service for Regine’s dog.

Culinary School Can’t Teach…work ethic. To be really good at something, be it cooking or anything else, you need to be relentless and focused on it.

My Favorite Cookbook…Any of the cookbooks from Rose Gray and Ruth Rodgers of the River Café in London. Their cooking is all about the ingredients.

My Favorite Music Group Is…The Rolling Stones. I got to cook backstage at Shea Stadium [now Citi Field] for them when I was working at Montrachet. It was awesome.

My Favorite Movie Is…I have two: either Cool Hand Luke or Rudy.

Most Famous Person I Ever Cooked For…There have been many. When I was at Montrachet, Robert DeNiro was a regular and he brought a lot of his very famous friends. But getting to cook for the Clintons at the Kittle House certainly ranks way up there.

What Surprised Me Most About Cooking in a Westchester Restaurant Is…how much the dining scene has evolved since I was first here in the ‘90s. There are so many talented chefs and wonderful restaurants now. It’s great to be a part of it.

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