Editor's note: All over the Serious Eats sites, we've been chatting with all our lovely columnists, helping you get to know the folks behind the articles you read every day. Here's Stephanie Klose, who introduces us to small-scall food producers with "Food Artisans."
Name: Stephanie Klose
What do you write about on Serious Eats: New York, and why is that of particular interest? I write the "Food Artisans" column, which means that I talk with people who work incredibly hard at their small food businesses and care deeply about what they make. Then I get to tell a passionate, engaged audience about it.
What are your guilty pleasures, foodwise? Making a batch of Smitten Kitchen's butterscotch sauce and eating it out of the jar with a spoon over the course of a few days. Trader Joe's jalapeno-flavor fake cheetos. Peanut butter m+ms. Salt and vinegar chips strong enough to burn a hole though my tongue.
Describe your perfect meal. I have a serious weakness for fancypants pizza -- Paulie Gee's, Motorino, Keste, Pulino's... anywhere along those lines. Something in the sausage/mushroom vein, a sharp, bitter salad on the side, a couple glasses of wine, and maybe something sweet after if I still have room.
Where in New York are you a "regular"? Why there? Ziad's, the bodega near my office. Moises, the grill man, is at least a genius, if not a magician, and a sweetheart to boot. His egg and cheese sandwiches have actual curative powers.
What food won't you eat? I don't like ketchup or green peppers, I have whatever gene it is that makes papayas taste disgusting, and (to my shame) I'm still pretty squicked out by most offal. Also, I won't have anything to do with warm lettuce (on a burger, say) and I never get excited about cupcakes (there are exceptions -- Robicelli's comes to mind -- but generally, they're just too much frosting on substandard cake). Otherwise, it's all fair game.
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? I love cooking for them, usually have good restaurant suggestions, and, thanks in part to my SE column, always have awesome snacks. I think it's safe to say they probably like it.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? My friends Erin and Brian are great at seeking out places I wouldn't necessarily find on my own: Bangladeshi food in the Bronx or a Sri Lankan restaurant on Staten Island. When it comes to places that are a little closer to home, I tend to take notice when Carey Jones seems especially enthusiastic.
And what's the best recommendation they've given you? I had a great meal at Talde after Carey wrote it up.
Say you're moving out of New York. What would you eat and drink on your last day here? It would end up being a combination of things I haven't gotten around to yet (the mille crepe cake at Lady M, for example), things I'm not sure I'd be able to find easily wherever I'm heading (soup dumplings, the lambajin at Bedouin Tent on Atlantic Ave.), restaurants I love (Prime Meats, Locanda Verde, Home/Made in Red Hook), and nostalgia-driven boozing (happy hour at Boxcar Lounge on Ave. B, one perfect sidecar at Angel's Share). Between meals, I'd get some almond cookie ice cream from the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory and whatever looked good at il Laboratorio del Gelato. And at some point, I'd head uptown and splash out on a box of macarons from Laduree for the car/plane/rocketship/dogsled ride the next day.