When The Husband said he was going to New Jersey for a business trip, the first thing that tumbled out of my mouth was “ICANGOTONEWYORKANDVISITTHESERIOUSEATSOFFICE! Squuuueeeeeeeeee!!!”
“So you know someone from there? Will they even allow you in?”
With raised eyebrows, he asked “So you’ve met her in person?”
But today, I can actually say that YES I have met Robyn and the rest of the Serious Eats gang in person.
Are they my friends?
Ermmmmmm, maybe not the kind of friends I’d have my personal existential conversations with over cups of coffee or tall glasses of bubble tea or bottles of ice cold beer…at least not yet (Creepo alert!). But they are the kind of friends I can lean on when it comes to FOOD. Serious Eats has held my hand through thick (i.e. whenever I add poundage to my petite body) and thin (i.e. whenever I am forced to decrease my actual food intake and increase my digital food intake to compensate), through painful belly flop recipe failures and kitchen experiments, through evaluating cookware and through validating cooking techniques and tricks, through searching for the best restaurants to try. I’ve been a loyal reader in the Philippines, in Dubai and now in the USA. I’ve tried reading other food websites, but nothing comes close to Serious Eats. They’ve stuck to me like maple syrup that sticks to your fingers and you can’t stop licking or a gloopy bowl of oatmeal that sticks to your ribs, which you can’t seem to shake off even after cup after cup of hot coffee / tea.
And so when I climbed up the staircase of the Serious Eats HQ, my hands were shaking in disbelief. Pinch me, am I dreaming? I couldn’t believe I was there. I couldn’t believe that I exchanged emails with Robyn and Kenji. I couldn’t believe I am entering the door where all the magic happens. This was a Serious Eats super fan dream come true.
The cozy Serious Eats HQ was unusually quiet when I squeezed through the office entrance. I got a front row seat into the how-Serious-Eats-is-run peep show. Everybody was hunched over their computers, deep into their work in leading the world to better places to eat at (hole-in-the-walls, high brow haute cuisine, fast food chains…the whole spectrum!) and better products (produce, processed food, services, books, etc) to nomz.
“Ummm…this is it.” Robyn waved, showcasing the center kitchen counter where Kenji and Daniel (who was fairly new to the SE team and whose comprehensive piece on soaking grains I’ve read a day before my visit) were working on a General Tso’s chicken recipe and the office desks covered with piles of paper work and personal knick knacks (except maybe for Max‘s desk which was just void of regular office mess – I guess his desk was already spring cleaned? What a feat!) “We’re pretty boring people…most of the time” Robyn shrugged, still dazed and jetlagged from her Taiwan vacation, but now back at work.
“NOOOOO! Not at all. I think this is just uh-maaaaaaayyyyyyyyyzing” I quipped as my eyes went in and over my head, left to right, zippy with Serious Eats fan glee, soaking in the fabulousness of the moment.
I snapped some photos of the guys and the office. They snapped some photos with me.
They printed out a map of the best places to eat in Chinatown and Little Italy with personal scribbles on which are top, top places to visit and try since I only had wee space in my single stomach (There are days when I do wish I had two or three stomachs. Seriously.) Robyn shared a suncake, a Taiwanese flaky sweet, which I packed for a snack for my walk through the city (Oh, I think I still see a lonely crumb on the sweater I wore that day. The suncake was crumbly, flaky good.). They signed my copy of the Serious Eats book.
I was even introduced Ed Levine, THE Serious Eats Overlord, who I actually just caught on TV, judging on the “Beat Bobby Flay” show on the Food Network a few days before my super fan visit. Oh, the tiny thoughtful gestures, only food people would understand and adore.
I wanted to have plopped myself on a bean bag (or maybe Yuba‘s or Hambone‘s doggy bed) or parked myself at an office desk to help out the guys and just see how the magic happens in a day (Creepo alert #2) – Or maybe I should’ve applied as their internship program, but I don’t live in NYC (Boo! Or maybe I could move…Hmmmm.) – , but seeing how everyone was deep into the work, I knew was blip in this well-oiled machine. I guess this is how it is to work in The Big City. There is some manic in producing more Serious Eats content for hungry readers like me. I said my goodbyes and thank you very muches and let everyone get back to making the world a seriously more delicious place to be in.
To this day, two weeks have past, I still am giddy from my visit. Oh, and did I mention I made it to This Week at Serious Eats World HQ post? Now I have my picture up in the website! If you remember in 2012, I made it, but it was just the Serious Eats wall of awesome that I made 🙂 (Creepo alert #3).
Le sigh. I love, love, love, LOOOOOOOOOOOVEEEEEEEE Serious Eats! Squeeeeeeeeeee!!! *tiny jumps*
To the Serious Eats staff, thank you so much from the bottom of my almost bottomless stomach! I am eternally grateful for making my 1st NYC trip truly AWESOME!
Serious Eats Book
Serious Eats magazine
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$1.99 for a monthly issue