PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Edward” (aka “The Cer Te Sandwich Mastermind”)

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. I’ve been enjoying Cer Te’s sandwiches for over a year now, and with Pizza by Cer Te a few weeks from opening (on 56th btw. Park+Lex) I felt like it was time to meet the guy who comes up with all their crazy sandwich specials.  Fresh off his “Best Sandwich” win in this year’s Midtown Lunch Readers’ Poll, meet Edward the pizza loving, 260 pound Chef/Owner of Cer Te (on 55th btw. 5+6th).

Name: Edward

Age: 39

Occupation: Chef/Owner Cer té

Where in Midtown do you Work?: 55th btw. 5+6th

Favorite Kind of Food: It’s easy to say as a chef I favor exotic cuisines. I especially enjoy Ethiopian because I love to get in to and eat with my hands. I also love their calculated use of spices. As far as favorite I am “in” love with pizza, not just love. I can eat it in the morning out of the refrigerator. I can eat it if it is out of the critical zone (board of health term for proteins left out for more than 2 hours.) and I can eat it right out of a 650 degree oven and worry about the wounds later. I equate it to sex- there is some that are better than others but it’s all good. I don’t have a favorite midtown pizzeria. One of my motivating factors to open Pizza by Cer té was the “lack of” in Midtown.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: This is a hard question for a guy who weights 260 pounds. I guess I would just have to generalize and say highly processed or “factory foods.” I just will never understand how bread could stay fresh for more than 30 days. I would also add cookie cutter food establishments to that. With that said I have included a large amount of midtown establishments.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: What? Besides here… hmmm. Late work night definitely Five Guys Cheeseburger with onions and fresh jalapeños. No fries though, for the calories I’d rather have two burgers. Daisy Mays I love but I don’t know if it’s midtown enough, we park our truck there. It’s on 46th and 11th avenue. BEST BBQ.

“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? Being we are a midtown food operation we can’t really ever get out for lunch, that being said by the time we do get out and the day is done all we want is the Guiness from Cassidy’s Pub (on 55th btw. 5+6th). It is kept just at the right temperature and is always so fresh. In terms of daytime eating-every now and then when our delivery guys need redemption or a quick way to get back in my good graces, they know to bring me something from the Famous 53rd Halal Cart.

Place(s) you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Our marketing director fell in love with the lamb burger at Anthos that you wrote up and in turn became a big fan of the whole “Anthos Upstairs” menu. When you wrote up the Hallo Berlin Cart (on 54th & 5th), I immediately went over there because we park near their store also. It’s become a quick favorite for days when I need an escape.

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? My dream job location is in Mesopotamia, maybe as a goat herder. I’m not kidding… realistically though it would be Brooklyn, doing what I do now. I just believe in Mom & Pop. I love the passion and integrity of the products they put out. I love the generational businesses as well as the young and creative taking a shot at their dreams. I would love to have that passion and drive in midtown to raise the bar.

I’ve got to add this question… Where do you get the inspiration for your insane sandwiches The inspiration comes from visualizing myself eating the sandwich and I love to make sure each sandwich has a salt tone, sweet tone, sour tone, spicy tone and a umami tone. In doing this it basically covers all senses in the mouth either creating layered flavors or a flavor explosion.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Does anybody have any menu suggestions for the pizzeria that they would like to see, keeping in mind our sustainability efforts and use of local products?

Just an FYI chef… Daisy May’s has a cart on 50th btw. 6+7th.  Enjoy!  Got a recommendation for Pizza by Cer Te? Feel free to put it in the comments. And as always, if you would like to be next week’s Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at


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