Meet & Eat: Rick Field, Rick's Picks

"Pickled bacon—yay or nay? Absolutely. If there can be a bacon chocolate candy bar, why not? Let's remember that drying and curing meat, as in beef jerky, is another form of preservation."

20090119-rickspicks.jpgName: Rick Field
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Occupation: Owner and Pickler, Rick's Picks

What was the first thing you ever pickled? Sliced dill pickles and pickled green beans (AKA "dilly beans").

Do you go to pickle conventions? I'd like to think that I go to pickle "unconventions." Seriously, picklers don't really gather in groups that much. We stick to our kitchens. Although, after Slow Food Nation in San Francisco last September, there was talk of a Pickle Guild. Stay tuned!

What's in store for the future of pickling? I think the future is very bright for pickling. In the swirl of our hyper-technological society, making things in a time-honored, handcrafted way has a lot of appeal. The idea of preserving takes on added significance in this economy. At this moment, pickling is very apropos for many reasons.

An unexpected delicious dish that uses pickles? The dilemma of leftover turkey. Make a panini with sharp cheddar, caramelized onions, turkey and our green tomato condiment. Dip it in turkey gravy and you're good to go.

What have you never pickled, but hope to some day? My friend Russell said to me once, "Hey, Rick's Picks. Where's Russell's Brussels?" So look for our limited edition Pickled Brussels Sprouts in the future.

Do your hands always smell like vinegar? My hands don't smell of vinegar so much. My favorite sensation that occurs during home pickling is when you dump out the huge pot of boiling water at the end. The steam gives you a free facial.

Pickled bacon—yay or nay? Absolutely. If there can be a bacon chocolate candy bar, why not? Let's remember that drying and curing meat, as in beef jerky, is another form of preservation.

Favorite comfort food? Soup, soup, soup.

Guilty pleasures? Sour cream and onion potato chips.

Describe your perfect meal. A roast chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and gravy. Lots of gravy!

What food won't you eat? For some reason, I do not like lasagna. Sorry, lasagna.

What would you like to try but haven't yet? Hot and sour soup in China (the country, not the type of crockery).

Favorite food person? My mom, of course.

When did you first realize you were a serious eater? In my mid-20s, when I began to experiment with soups.

Favorite food sites or blogs, other than Serious Eats? The Gurgling Cod and Gotham Gal.

Who do you call when you need a restaurant recommendation? My friend Lauren Z.

And what's the best recommendation they've ever given you? If I tell you, then everyone will know!

What is your favorite meal of the day, what's your go-to spot for that meal, and what do you usually order? It would have to be dinner, when the tumult of the day has subsided. I like to go to an Italian restaurant on Stanton Street called Mangiami. The food is delicious and the host, a warm and friendly fellow. I always start with the fried mozzarella dipped in a spicy marinara sauce. Mangiami: 9 Stanton Street, New York NY 10002 (map); 212-477-7047.

Rick's Picks are available at the Union Square Greenmarket, Whole Foods and, other fine retailers. To find a source near you, call 212-358-0428 or email [email protected]