Robyn Lee Is Leaving Serious Eats a Mere 7 1/2 Years After She Got Here

Niki Achitoff-Gray

Our beloved, multi-talented Robyn Lee is leaving Serious Eats a mere 7 1/2 years after she arrived as our very first intern, right after we launched in January of 2007. A world-class photographer, a lovely writer with a truly original voice, a distinctive illustrator, and an inspiration to everyone she worked with and for, Robyn's legacy and influence at Serious Eats will last forever.

What is so wonderful about Robyn? Where do I start? She is genuinely selfless, modest even, though her prodigious talents have been liberally sprinkled on any post she touched. Robyn is also resolutely cheerful, laughs easily (especially at herself), and the only complaint I have ever heard her utter is that she's tired. That's because she stays up late most nights looking for stuff she finds amusing on the internet and connecting with her many friends all over the world—primarily her boyfriend Kåre, a postman in Bergen, Norway, whom she's been dating long-distance for over three years.

Robyn has always had a thing for doughnut shops. Max Falkowitz

Where is Robyn going after all this time? Initially, to Taipei for nine months to learn Mandarin. After that, who knows? Serious Eats might have our first Bergen, Norway correspondent. So let's raise a glass of milk tea (Robyn hates the taste of alcohol) and toast our beloved Roboppy. She may be leaving us, but the mark she has left on Serious Eats is indelible, so it is safe to say she will never be forgotten.

I asked Robyn to come up with a list of some of her favorite contributions to Serious Eats. Here they are, annotated in her inimitable style.

Robyn's Favorite Serious Eats Posts

I've written over 4,000 posts during my time at Serious Eats. Most of these posts are from SE's early, awkward, untamed years, where I'd write three to eight short posts a day about such groundbreaking topics like humongous buckets of breakfast food, inflatable toast mattresses, and pointless Disney-themed eggs, ranging in length from short to one lonely sentence. So even though I have thousands of posts to choose from for this list, it's not hard to pick my favorites because I can safely ignore 99% of those posts.

Here are six of my favorite posts (not necessarily my best, but the one I most enjoyed writing/experiencing) in chronological order.


Guide to Gelato in Bologna: Keep in mind that I wrote this post in 2007 and if I could rewrite the post today, I'd hopefully do a better, less rambly job. At the time, though, I was quite happy with it. It holds a special place in my heart for bringing back warm-'n-fuzzy memories of one of the best food-filled vacations I've ever been on. Also, it's all about gelato, one of my favorite foods. And one of your favorite foods, too, right? Just nod along. Ok, cool.

Unbelievable! This Is Not Butter!: Gosh, the SE team really let me write about anything I wanted back then. This was one of my first posts that received a good number of comments. We never did do a taste test of fake vs. real butter. Hey, there's still time.


Snapshots from Chile: Hot Dogs and Sandwiches at Rapa Nui: My trip to Chile in 2008 was my first press trip ever. Not just any press trip—a wine-themed trip. As someone who only drinks alcohol when other people "make" me, I was seriously unqualified to go, but I was the only one in the office who had the time to go/wasn't essential for day-to-day operations. I had a fantastic time thanks to welcoming trip mates and a knowledgable, friendly guide who gave in to our off-itinerary requests for mayo-laden hot dogs and sandwiches.

Squishing S'mOreos Forever: I always wanted to do more squishing gifs after this one proved to be a success, but I never did. I'm not sure I could do any better, anyhoo.

A Day in the Life: Robyn Lee, Staff Photographer and Editor, A Hamburger Today: In a massive stroke of good luck, I happened to pick one of the most fun days in the office to document. It had everything: dogs, waffles, weird photo of young Kenji in a dress, terrible dancing, deep fried matzo balls, and then some. Gosh, I miss the office.

Behold French Fry-Stuffed Fat Sandwiches From RU Hungry in New Brunswick, NJ: The less healthy food is, the more fun is it to write about.