Meet and Eat: Lauren McInnes, Serious Eats Summer Intern
Editor's note: It's time to meet another one of our stellar interns. Say hey-llo to Lauren!
Name: Lauren McInnes
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Website/Twitter: The Daily Berlunch
Guilty pleasures? I don't usually even like snack foods, but I've had this weird obsession with Popcorners (basically a hybrid of popcorn and chips) ever since I tried them on a plane. I really do think they are the best innovation in snacks in the past decade. I like them so much that I sometimes comment on their Facebook page. Also, Haribo gummy bears.
Describe your perfect meal. It might be at this place right near my hometown in Massachusetts called The Market. It's a tiny restaurant right on the ocean where all food is local and the menu changes daily. It'd be some sort of beautiful salad, oysters, fresh fish caught that morning, and housemade pasta, with a cheese platter for dessert.
What food won't you eat? Mayonnaise and overcooked pasta.
Favorite food person? Ruth Reichl is a goddess among women. When I was younger my mom gave me two of her books, Tender at the Boneand Garlic and Sapphires, which really made an impact on me.
When did you first realize you were a serious eater? I have a vivid memory of going over to my great Aunt Alba's house when I around 7 years old to make gnocchi with my Italian grandmother and aunts. We spent all day in her tiny kitchen gathered around a wooden board piled high with potatoes and turned them into the most incredible little pillows. I couldn't get over it. That's the first time I remember being completely in awe of an eating experience.
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? I was raised to be food-obsessed, growing up in a family that tends to skip the sight seeing when we go on vacation in order to eat out 3-4 times per day. My friends roll their eyes when I feel the need to take a picture/instagram of everything I eat at restaurants, but they definitely enjoy eating my concoctions.
Favorite food sites or blogs? For restaurant recommendations in New York I trust the site Immaculate Infatuation unconditionally. For recipes, I check out Smitten Kitchen or Steamy Kitchen, and for food porn Gojee is very cool visually.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? I'd like to think that I'm that person for most of my friends, but the truth is when I really need a good recommendation I go to my friend Christine, who is basically a born and bred New Yorker and always seems to know the perfect place to bring your picky grandparents or that friend who has a gluten allergy and wants to eat on an outdoor patio.
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? I've always been a huge fan of lunch, which I think is one of the least appreciated meals. I'm a sandwich fanatic, but one of my favorite (non-sandwich) lunch spots in New York is Pho Bang, where you can get a giant bowl of perfect pho for 5 bucks.
Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I cook all the time. One of my favorite things to make is risotto. Some people think it's tedious to make, but I find the stirring process kind of therapeutic.