Meet & Eat: Carly Gilfoil, Serious Eats Intern


Note: It's time to me one of our all-star fall interns, Carly! She's been rounding-up the food shows on the telly for us and helping out with Thanksgiving taste tests this week. Let's all give a warm welcome to Carly, and get to know her love of bread baskets and Alton Brown, and her smooth MacGyver-style cooking skills. The Mgmt.


Name: Carly Gilfoil
Location: New York City, New York
Occupation: student, intern, fetcher of various food items.

Favorite comfort food? Hands down, mac and cheese. Can't get enough.

Guilty pleasures? Fresh, warm bread. Shame on anyone who says eating from the bread basket spoils the meal!

Describe your perfect meal. My favorite kinds of meals are the ones where people bring you food and you can either nod yes and eat it or turn it down. Of course, how can you turn down delicious food when it's already in front of your face? So—dim sum and Brazilian barbecue. Keep bringing the meat until I say stop!

Yak testicles...not the first thing on my WANT list. Chichi Wang

What food won't you eat? Weird animal parts (sorry, Chichi), and anything that is 100% fat (i.e. lardo). I know that it's guaranteed to be 100% delicious, but I just can't make myself eat it!* (It's the nutrition student in me.)

*This doesn't apply to things that are mostly fat—french fries, hamburgers, cookies, ice cream...

What would you like to try but haven't yet? Well, I haven't yet been to Shopsin's...I've heard it's an...experience.

Favorite food person? Alton Brown, for not "dumbing things down" and instead explaining higher concepts to the public in a fun, simple manner.

When did you first realize you were a serious eater? It might have been the staring at pictures of food for fun. Or spending hours looking for places to eat on various trips. Or the constant looking on Yelp for the best place to eat or get coffee on the way to work or school. Or maybe it's just the fact that every transaction on my bank statement is for food.

Patsy's pizza. Nick Solares

What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? They will never understand why I walked around in East Harlem in torrential rain for an hour searching for the original Patsy's pizza (sadly, I did not find it; no iPhone).

Favorite food sites or blogs? I'm a longtime reader of Smitten Kitchen, but I also really like Good Eater, and frequently check in at Marion Nestle's Food Politics blog.

Everyone has that one person they call when they need a restaurant recommendation. Who do you call? Fellow SE intern (and fellow NYU student!) Tom is always up for two-hour, ride-to-the-end-of-the-subway-line trips to off-the-beaten-path eating establishments, which I love. But I generally trust anyone in the Serious Eats office to give me enough food recommendations for every remaining meal in my life, no matter where I end up.

And what's the best recommendation they've ever given you? Uh, well the last adventure we went on was to a Caribbean restaurant in the Bronx that turned out to be exciting and fun, but not so tasty. But I really enjoyed going to Patacon Pisao in Queens with Hannah.

What is your favorite meal of the day (eg., lunch, dinner), and what's your go-to spot for that meal and what do you usually order? Snacks! When I'm hungry and can't wait to make dinner or lunch I usually end up at Amy's Bread. I get one Chocolate Sourdough twist and one Black Olive Twist.

Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I can cook OK. I can follow a recipe pretty well. I think have some innate skill to MacGyver-up something tasty from random ingredients left in my pantry/fridge that usually ends up better than just the sum of its parts. I'm always up for a challenge!