There he is. The man who started it all, sitting at his desk. Overlord, head honcho, Missionary of the Delicious—whatever you decide to call him, there is no disputing that he is the heart of the site. His spirit and passion for food (and his fellow serious eaters) is absolutely contagious. Whenever someone in the office has a question about bagels, pastrami, pizza, or anything else seriously delicious, he is the man with the answers.
Alaina Browne, SE General Manager
Alaina is like the mother hen of the office. She's been working here from the very beginning and is a key factor in all the behind-the-scenes digital health and overall office happiness. She started blogging back in the late 1990s, and created her own food blogs, including A Full Belly.
Adam Kuban, SE Managing Editor and Slice Founder/Editor
All of the office decor has a story behind it. This wooden pizza peel on the wall was given to the SE'rs by pizzaiolo Mathieu Palombino of Motorino, one of New York's most delicious pizza joints and a favorite here.
This picture will also represent Adam Kuban, the founder of Slice, managing editor of Serious Eats, and community manager (that's usually him behind all the @seriouseats tweets!). He was absent the day I came in to snap these shots (on pizza-related business, naturally). The Kansas City native came to Serious Eats by way of Martha Stewart magazine, where he was a copy editor for many years.
Erin Zimmer, SE Editor
Erin is the site's editor and is responsible for organizing the daily schedule, working with columnists, and putting together taste tests. (I caught her here watching these baby sloth videos.) Her warm, easygoing personality disarms any of the office's new visitors in a heartbeat. She started as the Washington D.C. bureau chief back in 2007 after graduating from Georgetown.
And whatever you do, don't disparage oatmeal in her presence.
Erin Adamo, Ad Sales Director
Erin (yes, 29% of this staff is named Erin!) the most recent addition to Serious Eats, but you'd think she's been here for years. Her ad sales expertise ensures that the site continues to grow as a business, and her extracurricular musical hobbies (she's in a band!) verify her credibility when it's her turn to be the office deejay.
Robyn Lee, AHT Editor and Photo Czarina
Most of the the mouth-watering photographs you see on Serious Eats are the result of Robyn Lee's photographic prowess. There's a small table near the window dubbed the "photography table," where Robyn snaps pictures before the food is then transferred to the larger table across the room (and rapidly devoured).
Nicknamed "Boppy," she started here as an intern after graduating from NYU's Food Studies program. As The Girl Who Ate Everything, she is known for her ability to eat way more than her petite figure may suggest.
Carey Jones, SENY Editor
Carey began as an intern for the site in 2006, before it even launched. With a degree in English literature from Princeton, Carey has always had a passion for food but never expected it'd play such a pivotal role in her life. She has an encyclopedic knowledge for New York restaurants and chefs.
The Tasting Table
This table is part dining room table, part taste-test lab, part contributor and intern desk (and part junk drawer). This particular day, our Nasty Bits and Seriously Asian columnist Chichi Wang was perfecting an article, and shortly thereafter a falafel tasting went down at that very spot.
Plush Toy Posse
These guys hang out on top of the cookbook shelves, or can be found "dining" at the big eating table with the gang. You've got the rainbow ice cream cone inspired by the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck and crocheted by Alicia Kachmar, Ninja Egg (basically just a blob-shaped ninja), and a lemon and lobster. See, they're not always that serious here.
The Ed Zone
Although the office feels entirely communal, each person's desk area is undoubtedly their own. How they choose to decorate it is a telling representation. I refer to Ed's desk as "The Ed Zone" because he is often intensely focused on reading or writing, and his decorations are uniquely Ed. For instance, taped on the wall is a hand-written recipe for a lamb sandwich from Pizzeria Bianco's Chris Bianco, complete with illustrations and hilarious notations. It's right next to a pizza box from Zuppardi's Apizza in West Haven, Connecticut.
Chris Bianco's Lamb Recipe
The aforementioned recipe above Ed's desk. Note the helpful descriptors such as, "Kind of like space food!"
Missionaries of the Delicious
Above the cabinets in the Serious Eats kitchenette are several rows of Heinz ketchup bottles. They literally line an entire wall, making a sea of red condiment. They each say: "Missionaries of the Delicious, seriouseats.com"
They're just decoration. Nobody dares actually eat this ketchup since, well, it's been sitting up there for awhile.
Ah, The Fridge
I have to show the refrigerator. Maybe this stems from all the episodes of MTV Cribs I've seen, but it just seems too relevant to ignore. The fridge takes up most of the space in this closet-sized kitchen. Here, Erin Z. is uncovering the now internet-famous Peepshi lurking in the crisper.
Ed's Helmet-Goggle Headgear
If only you could see Ed arriving to the office in full biking regalia, complete with ridiculously goofy swimming goggles (which have a nifty built-in MP3 player so he can jam while biking) and rubber bands around his pants.
The Serious Eats Book
On top of the daily website duties, the team is also working on The Serious Eats Book: How to Eat, Cook, and Live a Seriously Tasty Life, published by Clarkson Potter. Carey has been taking a lead role on the project. Here, she and Erin are looking over a draft of the breakfast chapter.
White Board of Wonders
Robyn is pointing to the white board that hangs next to her desk. It's full of her first-class doodles, including anthropomorphic ice cream cones and manatees. If you didn't already know, Robyn is quite the manatee enthusiast.
Everyone takes turns playing their music for the room. Erin and Ed are the most frequent and trusted deejays, although Ed would never admit to how hip his music selection is. For instance, if I mentioned the New Pornographers to my father, he would make me wash my mouth out with soap, but Ed told me about the release of their new album before I even knew about it.
Adam is a big enforcer of the "Next" policy, where each office person in the office has the option to "Next" a song. But each person also has the right to deem a song "Un-nextable," but you only get one of those per week. So use it wisely.
That's All Folks
My fellow serious eaters, I hope that the next time you log onto Serious Eats and see one of Robyn's photographs, you remember that she is also a master doodler, and that when you read one of Ed's reviews and acknowledge his food expertise, you also keep in mind that his music library is a force to be reckoned with.
I hope you remember that every single person in the office: Alaina, Adam, the two Erins, Carey, and all the contributors and interns, bring something unique, quirky, and wildly intelligent to the table. The site is the motive, the office is where the magic happens.
Oh, Wait! Here's Adam
Robyn Lee ended up taking this photo after the slideshow was posted and SE'rs asked where he was. If you look closely, he's got SE Talk up on his main screen. On the wall, he's got an oversize fork-and-spoon set, something that's reportedly common in Filipino households and that enjoyed popularity, he says, in 1970s American kitchens and dining rooms.