Meet & Eat: Nathan Lurz, Serious Eats Chicago Intern
Editor's Note: I'm pleased to announce that we have another new intern at Serious Eats Chicago. For the past month, Nathan Lurz has been bringing us sandwich dispatches from the far North Side. But, as you'll learn below, he also has a weakness for Thai curries. In fact, I'll just let him take it from here.
Name: Nathan Lurz
Location: Rogers Park, Chicago
Occupation: Freelance Journalist
Guilty pleasures? Has to be Fettuccine Alfredo. When I was little, it's practically all I ever ordered at restaurants. Then, unfortunately, age and knowledge of the mysterious and awful "calorie" crept into the equation, so now I can't quite binge like I used to. Now I mostly down lots of yogurt and curries, which seem healthier, until you eat them
as much as I do.
Describe your perfect meal. Coming inside to a warm restaurant from the cold and seeing a big group of friends waiting already. Everyone sits around a big table, ordering beer and big savory plates of food. There's lots of sharing, more beer, then pie. What's that, the rest of the table is buying my food because I'm such a great guy? You shouldn't have.
What food won't you eat? Raw vegetables. They're fine enough, I guess, but it's so much harder to choke them down when you know how much yummier they are when cooked.
Favorite food person? Alton Brown. He is the Alice Cooper to my Wayne and Garth. His combination of technique, zaniness, humor, and belief that there is a right way of doing things that people deserve to know about really speaks to me. Plus puns. I love puns. If I'm hoping to cook something, the first thing I do is look to see if he has a recipe for it. I even have his autograph (eeee!).
When did you first realize you were a serious eater? I have eaten seriously for my whole life, as shown in pictures of me that resemble a bowling ball from my youth. But I started really enjoying the process and technique of food once I came to college. Somewhere between watching Good Eats reruns and going with friends to find the best Thai curry around, I fell in love with food as a science, an accomplishment, and as something to be appreciated.
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? They're all about it. I especially enjoy talking with my dad about his occasional food ventures. He doesn't cook super often, but when he does he's very meticulous about it and proud of what he produces. My friends are for it mostly so they can convince me to feed them.
Favorite food sites or blogs? Truthfully, Serious Eats. I became an intern here after really looking around on the website and saw that there was an opportunity. I especially enjoy the Food Lab, and one day will usurp Mr. J. Kenji Lopez's spot producing it (don't tell him, it's a surprise). I love news, so NPR's The Salt is another big one for me. Same reason I follow Alton Brown's blog.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? Really, I like to think of myself as said person in my group of friends. I love spending an hour on Yelp preparing for a dinner days (or weeks) ahead of time. The other person I would likely trust would be my roommate, who is entirely too classy of a person.
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? Brunch, either in my or a friend's kitchen or at M. Henrietta's close to my apartment. Or, I'll do brunch at a small Korean restaurant a few blocks away. Noon Hour Grill + bulgogi bi bim bop = love.
Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I love to cook, though I don't do it as often as I probably should. My favorite dish to whip out for people is curry, because after you get everything chopped, it's really just throwing everything in a pan and let it sit until it finishes cooking. Delicious, nutritious, and impressive without much actual work.