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Lindsey Becker

Lindsey Becker

Contributor to Behind the Sweets and Sugar Rush

Like Serious Eats, I started exploring my interest in food in NYC and later moved (home) to Chicago.

I've always been a writer, but it took me way too long to realize that food writing is where it's at (poetry and short stories are certainly not where it's at, as it turns out). In September 2011, I started Macmaker, a blog where I waxed poetic about opening a French macaron stand in a farmers market, reviewed macarons around Chicago, tried making them myself exactly 11 times, and ultimately gave up in favor of the less-volatile and equally delicious whoopie pie. While researching macarons, I remained a faithful devotee of Serious Eats and became a contributor to the Chicago site soon after it launched, a fact I am still dumbfounded by.


Columns

  • Website
  • Location: Chicago
  • Favorite foods: Cookies, Pie, Oatmeal, Pastries, Ice Cream, Doughnuts, Custard, and any combination of the above. Basically if it includes butter and sugar, I'm probably all over it. Bonus points if it's fried.
  • Last bite on earth: A biscuit fresh out of the oven from Bang Bang Pie with any and all of their house-made butters.

11 Caramels We Love in Chicago

I set out to find some smaller producers of that simple, delicate balance between sweet and burnt sugar known as the caramel. Unsurprisingly, I found no fewer than 11 great caramels ranging from the classic sweet and chewy to passion fruit-mango, and even one flavored with bergamot, an herb with surprising notes of black pepper. More

We Chat With Marc Schulman, President of Eli's Cheesecake

I was recently invited out to Eli's Cheesecake World in Chicago's Dunning neighborhood by Eli's son, Marc Schulman, who has been president of the company since 1984. After spending some time with him and executive pastry chef Laurel Boger in the factory/store, I walked away truly impressed by the company's history of innovation as well as their dedication to quality ingredients. More

Behind the Sweets: Katherine Duncan Hand Dips Molé Truffles at Katherine Anne Confections

In the world of small artisan food-makers, Katherine is a little unusual. Instead of a passion for one specific item born out of years of professional culinary experience, she has years of experience on the business side of the restaurant industry. Click through the slideshow to gain a little chocolate knowledge or reserve a spot at one of KAC's monthly Truffle Parties where you can create your own uniquely flavored truffle. More

Behind the Sweets: Kymberli DeLost Constructs a Playground of Chocolate at Storefront Company

As part of the Chicago Chocolate Festival taking place at Navy Pier this weekend, Chicago Chocolate Week has gathered restaurants across the city in a celebration of chocolate that started yesterday and runs through Sunday, November 18th. If you're overwhelmed with all of the options, Storefront Company is a great place to kick off your week of chocolate madness. More

Lunch in the Loop: Noodles by Takashi Yagihashi

Yep, I have to confirm the surprising and unfortunate omnipresence of grease in most of the food we had at Noodles. I enjoyed the ramen a little more than Dennis though if that counts for anything...could've also been because I was craving salty noodles...which is how we found ourselves at Noodles...am I giving too much away about how these things happen?

Behind the Scenes of Slurping Turtle's Housemade Ramen Noodles in Chicago

That huge roll of dough is amazing!

A Sandwich a Day: The Pine at Reno

My goal in life is to someday be compared to a delicious fried chicken thigh.

Lunch in the Loop: Naf Naf Grill

It's a shame that beef bowl isn't as delicious as the picture of it is beautiful.

Bar Eats: Hopleaf, the Johnny Depp of Belgian Pubs

Josh, you are the master of food metaphors and similes. Seminar-teaching aioli? Rillette=chainless bicycle?! I am amazed every time I read one of your posts.

Nick's Favorite New Chicago Restaurants of 2012

"Bang Bang Pie Company only serves three things—pie, biscuits, and coffee—yet each one is astonishing."
This is the truest thing that has ever been said.

7 Surprises from One Year of Lunch in the Loop

Happy belated bday, LitL! You are always the highlight of my Tuesday. The Chicken Planet post is definitely in my Top 3 favorite SE posts of all time. Best use of "post-apocochickenlypse" in the history of the (chicken) planet.

Scenes From the 3rd Annual Chicago Food Film Festival

I'd be willing to do some pretty questionable things for a taste of that Sweet Potato Cobbler from Hoosier Mama.

10 Can't-Miss Autumn Sweets in NYC

That Pumpkin Trifle at SSS may be my favorite dessert of all time.

Are These the 50 Best Sandwiches in Chicago?

Yeah, I thought that "spongy grease bomb" comment was not only untrue, but also almost blasphemy coming from a magazine named after the city where the sandwich was created.

Standing Room Only: Sprinkles

@akay1 - I'm glad someone said it.

DIY Homemade Greek Yogurt

Do you leave it out while it's straining or put it in the fridge? Does it matter?

First Look: BellyQ, Bill Kim's Epic West Loop Asian Barbecue Project

That is one of the most beautiful cocktails I have ever seen.

Sugar Rush: Galaktoboureko from Artopolis

@meechiko - this looks like a pretty promising recipe.

@duncan1205 - I would guess that this is the same dessert. Though it was
dripping in syrup, it was amazingly not super-sweet.

Obsessed With: OatMeals, the World's First All-Oatmeal Bar

I have never been dying to visit a place more. Please open a Chicago location soon! I promise I will be your best customer.

Sugar Rush: Pain Perdu from Nellcôte

@Christopher - I did not get the sensation I was eating pure fat at all. In fact it was remarkably light in taste and texture, and I think it takes no small amount of skill to pull that off.

@Dennis - $18 gets you a small plate of charcuterie, cheese, jams, bread etc. plus an entree. I don't think you can get anything on their brunch menu a-la-carte, and I don't think I'd want to. I thought the quality of all of the food you get for $18 was more than satisfactory. Plus I sat outside and felt like I was on vacation. Always a plus.

We Attempt to Eat the World's Largest Terrapin Sundae at Margie's Candies

Now that I'm on the other side of the challenge, I still stand by my classification of this activity as "fun." It was like an unfilmed episode of Man vs. Food but with a 6-person team and no cheering fans or pressure to finish.

A Sandwich a Day: BBQ Chicken Sandwich at Indie Burger

@squidgy - didn't mean to offend or make fun. You're absolutely right about celebrating cruelty-free animal farming. I appreciate IB's dedication to their philosophy.

The Vegetarian Option: Native Foods Café

That there meatball sub is my favorite. I have to second the watermelon ague fresco too. But I like mine mixed with the lavender lemonade.

The Best Macarons in Chicago

@chanjying and Stacey1216 - I can understand some disappointment over the tiny feet on Sugar Fixe's macs, but I'll take the absolute epitome of macaron texture and spot-on flavors (EVERY flavor) over perfect feet any day. I'm way more disappointed when I bite into a beautifully-footed tasteless mac with an air pocket.

The Best Places to Eat Near Wrigley Field

I'm a big fan of the burgers at Rocks. And tater tots. You just can't go wrong with tater tots. Well...ok, so lunch ladies often do wrong by tater tots, but Rocks doesnt'!

8 Asparagus Dishes We Love in Chicago

Just went to Ada St. on Sat night and although I didn't try it, the asparagus dish (with an egg!) looked great. Judging by how delicious everything else I had was, I'd say there are pretty good odds it is great.

Knockout Noodles: Urbanbelly

I actually went to Urbanbelly last night just because of this post and can attest to the mindblowing awesomeness of the udon special. I can't remember the last time I could not stop eating something the way I couldn't with that bowl full of heaven.

The Six Best Dishes at Portillo's in Chicago

I have to add to the rumblings about the fries and add in a side order of that molten hot, bright orange cheese. Those two things would be involved in my last meal on earth.

Chicago: Tony Mantuano Gets Serious About Pizza at Bar Toma

I just had a very serious soul searching moment when I read the line, "most pepperoni sucks." I've never met a pepperoni I didn't like. Guess I must have some undeveloped taste in pepperoni that I will happily start to develop!

First Look: Cocktails at Billy Sunday, Chicago

Much like at Yusho, Alex Bachman's deep commitment to crafting drinks is evident simply by reading the ingredients in Billy Sunday's cocktails. He's known to develop his own bitters, syrups and tinctures, and the highest cabinets of the back bar are loaded with jars of exotic botanicals. But for all the custom housemade potions he concocts, "Tradition is the core of it all," Bachman said. More

Chocolate Oatmeal Pie

This recipe is my attempt to re-create the original version of this pie from the Brooklyn pie shop, Four and Twenty Blackbirds. It comes pretty darn close to replicating the original, which features a flaky all-butter crust, a layer of rich ganache, and a layer of gooey oatmeal that gets all caramelized and crisp on top. More

Food52's Warm Custard Spoon Bread

In my family, we have a Christmas morning tradition of feasting on French toast casserole, bacon, and generous pours of maple syrup. Sometimes there are a few grapefruits tucked into plates, but it is mostly a sweet, decadent affair. After making LocalSavour's Warm Custard Spoon Bread from the new Food52 Cookbook, I may make a case for changing up the main course. This spoon bread won the "Best Holiday Breakfast" contest, and with very good reason--this bread is magic. Somehow, the process of whisking together a loose cornbread batter, pouring it into a hot pan, and topping it off with a generous pour of heavy cream yields a three layer masterpiece made of custard, cake, and cornbread. Surely there must be some baking science behind it, but I'm content to leave that to the experts. Magic spoon bread is just fine by me. More

Peanut Butter Cup Pie

This pie is every peanut butter and chocolate lover's dream. A crumbly, chocolate cookie crust cradles smooth and dense peanut butter filling, which is covered with a generous layer of dark chocolate ganache. It's an adult version of the candy classic, and big enough to treat lots of friends. More

Cook the Book: Paula Deen's Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes

This is the only Paula Deen recipe I've ever made and every year I do, I think, really? Two sticks of butter? And a whole box of powdered sugar? And four eggs? And a brick of cream cheese? Yes, just go for it all. They're pretty decadent but only relatively speaking for Paula (there's no mayo or deep-frying involved). One little square is powerful—definitely more intense than pumpkin pie. And when you get tired of the pumpkin, just sub in another form of gooey. More

Pumpkin Bread Stuffed with Cookie Dough

While pumpkin bread is wonderful in its simplicity, it is possible to heighten your seasonal eating by adding a healthy helping of chocolate chip cookie dough to the batter. It gives the bread a decadently gooey center, and the spiciness of the pumpkin bread works beautifully with the brown sugar and chocolate in the cookies. Feel like gilding the lily? Go ahead, serve it with ice cream. More

We Tried Pizza Hut's Cone-Crust Creation in the Middle East

The Cone Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut Middle East is the daredevil design of the season, vying with the Cheeseburger Crown Crust for freakshow pizza supremacy. Our dedicated correspondent in Dubai didn't cower in the face of this cream cheese and chicken-stuffed beast, but dove right in to take you inside and deliver the scoop on the stunt pizza of the moment! More

DIY Garlic Powder

Garlic powder can inspire a striking level of animosity. Once ground and sifted into a small jar, just popping the lid off this DIY version of the seasoning sealed the deal for me. More