Meet & Eat

Interviews with our contributors.

Meet & Eat: Lindsey Becker

Editor's Note: Lindsey has a sweet tooth, which is something you probably already knew thanks to her countdown of peppermint desserts in the city. But even if you didn't get a chance to catch up with that post (which you should) this picture of her hugging a Kitchen Aid should explain a lot. I'll let Lindsey take it from here.

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Name: Lindsey Becker
Location: Chicago, IL
Occupation: Executive Assistant
Website: macmaker

Guilty pleasures? Three Cheese Hamburger Helper, Cinnabon, and The Chew. I watch the latter while I'm working out at the gym on my lunch hour and (help!) even Daphne Oz is growing on me.

Describe your perfect meal. It's early enough on a Saturday or Sunday that the brunch crowds aren't out in full force yet, so everything still feels lazy. I have an entire day ahead of me to just lay around or bake or both. First course is just me and my boyfriend sharing a cup of cheap coffee and a pecan roll at the Ann Sathers near our apartment. Second course is a gigantic omelette or French toast. Third course is a nap on my couch in the sun.

What food won't you eat? Even though I like fish, I have never been able to bring myself to try swordfish. I've just heard one too many chewy horror stories. And although I've tried them, snails because I just feel too guilty after reading about how they're lured out of their shells in The Balthazar Cookbook. I would probably feel this way about all meat if I read about how it was lured in for the kill, though.

Favorite food person? Rick Bayless, even though Restaurant Week will be my first time eating at one of his restaurants, and Mario Batali. They both really enjoy themselves and are passionate without losing the fun of making food. I like Michael Simon too. Coincidence that both Simon and Batali are on The Chew? Probably not.

When did you first realize you were a serious eater? I went to a debutante ball at The Palmer House Hilton with my dad when I was about 13. He had been invited by a colleague, and I guess my parents thought it would be more exciting for me to go than my mother. I can still remember having asparagus for the first time and loving it. Afterward we went over to The Drake for drinks (soda) and jazz. I had never done anything like it and wanted to do it every weekend.

What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? They're encouraging, and I think entertained. My brothers and sisters-in-law all love the Food Network, so it makes sense to them. My parents love it when I drag them along to restaurants they've never heard of. After his first bite of a chalupa on a recent trip to Cemitas Puebla, my dad exclaimed, "I like when you pick lunch."

Favorite food sites or blogs? The Gatekeepers column on Eater Chicago; Joy the Baker reminds me to not be so serious when baking, which is something I struggle with as a perfectionist; I had an unhealthy addition to Photograzing that I had to break cold turkey a few months ago because I was just eating constantly after looking at 72 pictures of cake.

Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? I don't have a go-to person, but I'm currently looking to fill the position. I'm all about extensive Googling, checking LTHForum, and I probably read far too many cynical Yelp reviews for my own good.

What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? I love any meal where I can eat a gigantic bowl of oatmeal. I have been known to eat instant oatmeal for breakfast and then later simmer some steel cut oats for dinner. After my own chocolate soy milk/peanut butter/cinnamon/vanilla steel cut oats, I love the oatmeal at Bakin' & Eggs and the side of oatmeal at Perennial Virant.

Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I bake (cakes, macarons, cookies) much more frequently than I cook, but when I do cook I love to roast everything, or break out my crockpot when I'm lazy and want the apartment to smell good. My favorite home cooked meal is pork chops braised on the stove for hours in two cans of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and some milk. I think my mom found the recipe on the back of a can of soup 25 years ago, and it, along with some mashed potatoes and sweet corn, really can't be beat for Sunday night supper.

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