Meet & Eat: Hayley Daen, Serious Eats Intern

Meet and Eat

Getting to know the folks behind the food and drinks you love.

It's time to meet another new SE intern, Hayley! Originally from South Carolina but studying in Scotland, Hayley will be with us all summer at the office. She's already helped us alphabetize our cookbook library (phew), organize taste tests, and shared tasty snapshots from her travels. You'll be seeing many more posts from Hayley, but in the meantime, learn more about her, check out her blog, and say hello! —The Mgmt.


Name: Hayley Daen
Location: NYC this summer
Occupation: Student at St. Andrews

Guilty pleasures? Dry cereal straight out of the box and pork scratchings.

Describe your perfect meal. Hmm, can't really say I've had a perfect meal, but the meal I'd most like to recreate was one I had while in Dubrovnik, Croatia. After my brother and I finished kayaking in the Adriatic Sea, our tour guides served up freshly caught fish, grilled and drizzled with fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a bit of pepper. Alongside the deliciously fresh fish, they gave us miniature potatoes, cut into wedges and tossed in butter, a few tiny tomatoes cut in half topped with a sprinkle of sea salt, and a shot glass full of homemade limoncello.

What food won't you eat? As trite as it sounds, there isn't anything I would point-blank refuse to eat; however, cherries and avocado are unlikely to appear on my plate.

What would you like to try but haven't yet? I would love to have a real, authentic bowl of ramen, in Japan, of course.

Favorite food person? That's tough. I love Donna Hay's books, but Nathalie Dupree is a blast to work with.

When did you first realize you were a serious eater? Probably when I was in Oaxaca around age 10; I noticed that the other members of my family weren't quite as happy to munch on fried grasshoppers as I was.

What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? They are thrilled. They get to benefit from all of my kitchen experiments! Though I'm sure some of them would complain of my contributions to their waistlines.

Favorite food sites or blogs (besides SE, of course)? Is it wrong to say my own? (only because I enjoy writing and baking so much). I also frequently drool over the recipes and photos on Tartelette and A Chow Life.

Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? It really depends where I am. In New York, I always ask my friend Lizzy, but I often get recommendations from blogs and guidebooks.

And what's the best recommendation she's ever given you? My favorite place Lizzy recommended is Kittichai—amazing Thai food and a wonderful atmosphere.


Hayley's caramelized onion tart! Get the recipe »

What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? High tea! That's a meal, right? The best place for it is The Old Course Hotel in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I'm always cooking. I would say my best is this caramelized onion tart. Always tasty, and you can even make it with store-bought pastry crust if you're short on time. (No one will ever know.)