Meet & Eat: Hannah Smith-Drelich, Serious Eats Intern
Note: It's time to meet one of our all-star interns, Hannah Smith-Drelich. Since she started at headquarters earlier this fall, she's been hunting for the best sandwiches in New York, helping us with root beer taste tests, and eating pie for our Thanksgiving coverage. So much pie. Let's get to know Hannah better! —The Mgmt.
Name: Hannah Smith-DrelichLocation: Brooklyn, New York
Favorite comfort food? Ghiradelli chocolate chips and dried fruit (but not at the same time). Current dried fruit obsession: pears. They look a bit like shriveled ears but taste a whole lot better.
Guilty pleasures? I love McDonald's fries, dipped in a vanilla milkshake. Which is pretty shameful to own up to these days.
Describe your perfect meal. There are endless perfect meals. Everything depends on who you're with, where you are, what you've been doing. In a vacuum, maybe something like plump sea scallops seared in butter, new asparagus with lemon and garlic, red fruit crumble done French style with ground almonds. But then again, the best taste in the world is arguably a kosher hot dog smoked over a campfire, when it's really cold and you've been hiking all day.
What food won't you eat? Well, my sister's in Tanzania right now, and she had to drink blood out of the stomach of a just-killed goat.
What would you like to try but haven't yet? After working in an entirely Mexican restaurant kitchen, I learned the right way to rip a tortilla and how to open a bottle of Jarritos (between your knees, if you're weak like me). As someone new to the city and to Mexican food (I come from Appalachian Maryland), I'd love to find a really good Mexican restaurant. Actually, as someone new to the city I would like to try basically everything.
Favorite food person? MFK Fisher. I pretty much want to be her. I even wrote part of my senior thesis on her, much to the concern of the English Department.
When did you first realize you were a serious eater? Looking back on all my favorite picture books from childhood, my favorites all involved food. You know, Each Peach Pear Plum with the plum pie at the end, In the Night Kitchen with Mickey and his milk pitcher, Heckedy Peg where the children get turned into different foods. That was pretty cool.
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? They're split into two camps: the ones who think I'm some sort of expert and who ask my opinion about everything, and the ones who think the whole business is silly and that I should go back to school or join the Peace Corps.
Favorite food sites or blogs? There's this site called Serious Eats I hear is pretty good.
Everyone has that one person they call when they need a restaurant recommendation. Who do you call? I do my own research. That way, I can take full responsibility for the existence of any good restaurant. That's how it works, right?
What is your favorite meal of the day? Dinner, because nothing beats looking forward to it all day. Lunch is better to do at restaurants, but then you have a food coma and a long afternoon in front of you.
Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I make a mean grilled eggplant parmesan, and when I'm in a good mood I can pull off chocolate soufflé. I'm still working on certain skills: one summer after reading Julia Child's very detailed instructions on how to make an omelet, I made a lot of scrambled eggs. I'm blaming it on the pans.