Meet and Eat: Rebecca Simon, Serious Eats Intern
Name: Rebecca Simon
Occupation: NYU student; SE intern
Guilty pleasures? Watching Man vs. Food. It has plenty of food porn and I love watching Adam Richman try to eat a six-pound burrito.
Describe your perfect meal. A multi-course, multi-hour tasting menu at a world-renowned restaurant. Perfect service, perfect food and one or two serious-eating dining companions to analyze the food with.
What food won't you eat? I'm pretty adventurous so there aren't many things I won't try at least once. But I didn't have a very good experience with chicken livers. The texture grosses me out.
What would you like to try but haven't yet? I would love to travel to eastern Asia and try some of the local dishes, a la Anthony Bourdain. But since that trip's not likely to happen anytime soon, a food crawl through Flushing would also suffice.
When did you first realize you were a serious eater? For spring break my freshman year at NYU, I stayed in the dorms. I had a comprehensive list of restaurants I wanted to eat at and made an eating schedule for each day. I contently occupied myself by walking around the city to bakeries, food markets and restaurants.
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? Most of my friends think my relationship with food is extreme, and I have to be careful to not go on long rants about restaurants when I'm around them. But I got my love of food from my family, so most of our conversations revolve around what we have been cooking and what restaurants we should eat at when they visit New York next. My uncle also has a pretty hilarious blog chronicling every meal he eats.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? Most of my friends go to me for restaurant recommendations. In New York, I rely on the Internet for suggestions. If I'm visiting another city, I like to ask the locals for their favorite spots.
And what's the best recommendation you've received? When I studied abroad in Madrid, my señora recommended a great traditional Spanish restaurant. I got the cocido, which is a huge bowl of broth with a terra cotta pot filled with meat next to it. You start by tasting the broth, and then add the meat to the soup. After that, the waiter comes by with a bowl of cabbage and chickpeas that you add to the remaining broth.
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? Definitely dinner. I cook most of nights so whatever I have prepared that night. I get most of my produce from the Greenmarket and love when I can incorporate exotic ingredients like preserved lemons or hickory smoke powder into my cooking.
What's the best dish you make? I love to cook! I spend most of my free time looking up recipes and planning what I'm going to cook next. I love cooking big pots of things (sauces, soups, meat dishes). I just discovered this awesome chickpea curry that I'm really excited about making when it gets colder.