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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Serious Eating

On a recent trip to New York City, I was privileged to be invited to lunch by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, one of my favorite online writers, the mastermind behind Serious Eats The Food Lab. And with that came an opportunity to see the behind the scenes activity at Serious Eats. And the term serious is only partly tongue in cheek.

Computing workstations are not unexpected of an operation that is a rapidly evolving online magazine. The writers of Serious Eats (pictured here is Max Falkowitz) are prolific and have prodigious writing goals.

But not often are these workstations positioned around a working kitchen. A beautifully appointed working kitchen of this size very rare to find in Manhattan no less. 
Lunch consisted of a comparison of Italian subs from all over lower Manhattan. These were procured by 3 different missions before congregating in the Serious Eats headquarters. 

Sandwiches were rapidly unwrapped and photographed in various iterations, before being put on handy cutting boards. Notice the small yellow sticky notes that serve to highlight the source of each particular sandwich.

We bolstered lunch with some pizzas. On the right is a potato with truffle honey pizza. It wasn't that good. 

Wash the hands...

The knives come out...

And now we eat. Everyone takes small slivers of each sandwich and pizza, tastes them, makes comments. The banter is at once intense and lighthearted - it is a lunch, after all, but a working lunch. Comments make for inspiration to writing. And just like that, lunch is over.
Yes, it's a dog friendly place to work.
I bade the crew a good by as the Kenji tackled the next project (I spotted a lobster).  Lunch cannot, after all, be too big or too long at a place where eating itself is the job.  
This was one of the most unique meals I had in New York City, which is saying a lot for the diversity of dining in that place. I thank the crew of Serious Eats for letting me intrude in their day, and letting me catch a brief glimpse of the fast paced operation of a professional food blog production joint.

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