Meet and Eat: Rabi Abonour, Spring Editorial Intern

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[Photograph: Rabi Abonour]

Name: Rabi Abonour
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Freelance photographer
Website/Twitter: rabiabonour.com / @rabonour

Guilty pleasures? Oozing, artificial nacho cheese. The more unnaturally neon, the better.

Describe your perfect meal. To me, the perfect meal is all about company. As much as I care about food and am discerning in what I eat, when I think back to the best meals of my life, what I remember most is the company, whether it be family, friends, or friendly strangers.

What food won't you eat? I'll eat just about anything, but cheap canned olives are tough for me to choke down.

Favorite food person? It's a tie between Alton Brown and Anthony Bourdain. When I was young, watching Good Eats with my father was one of my first introductions to the food world outside my home. Brown's technique-driven cooking style still is the biggest influence on how I cook. Later, Bourdain's books and TV shows were what drove me to food writing; his no-nonsense nonsense voice has always appealed to me.

When did you first realize you were a serious eater? Food has been a huge part of my life as long as I can remember. My parents were always cooking interesting foods. I think I realized I was a little different when I learned most of the other middle school kids in my town weren't eating things like artichokes and lamb chops regularly.

What do your family and your friends think of your food obsessions? My family is accepting. I inherited my love of food from my father—if he didn't want me to be obsessed with food, he shouldn't have started taking me to sushi bars before I was ten. Most of my friends love food enough to get my obsession, but I've shocked my share of roommates with the food I cook.

Favorite food sites or blogs? Besides Serious Eats, which I would say is my daily source for food information even if my bosses weren't reading this, I get recipes from The Kitchn, keep up on general food news with Eater, and turn to Food Porn Daily for food photography inspiration.

Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? I don't really have one go-to for recommendations. When I need to find a place to eat, I ask all my food-loving friends in the area where to go. I'm a very recent New York transplant, so right now I'm asking basically everyone I meet where to eat.

What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? In general, I tend to put the most energy into dinner; I love coming home at the end of the day and barricading myself in the kitchen. On special occasions, however, I think the ideal meal is the long lunch. There's nothing better than a big, indulgent, I-need-a-nap-after-this lunch with good company.

Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I love to cook. Most of my cooking falls into the category of "vaguely Asian," with specialties being sautéed kale and cold noodle salads.

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