Matt McArthur of Cheeky Monkey's Essentials

Five things chef Matt McArthur of Cheeky Monkey can’t live without



Meatloaf. You can dress it up or down; you can serve it cold with crispy lettuce and tomato or hot with bacon and Cheddar cheese like we do at the deli. It has to be a loaf shape. The bread, the egg, the Parmesan cheese, lemon zest, parsley—they all play an important role.

Pantry item

There are so many things that are just as easy to make at home as they are to buy, but they taste better—like pickled vegetables. You can pickle anything, really, like mustard seeds. It only seems fancy-schmancy.


I have a buddy who is obsessed with sriracha. He was worried that there was going to be a shortage so we figured out a way to make his last forever. I used a Silpat mat and dried it out into a powder so he could have vats of it that would last forever in his zombie apocalypse bunker.

Twist on a classic

We make our own in-house Worcestershire sauce with tamarind, horseradish, and jalapeños. There’s also a shepherd’s pie with goat cheese and tomatoes. You can take anything and put it through your own filter. Trust what you like. Play.

Last taste of summer

Sweet corn. Is there anything better? That and heirloom tomatoes.


–As told to Joy Summers