Eaters Among Us: An Ex-Pat Foodie, Bringing America to Small-Town Scotland

Rachel Berkman

A notoriously good cook and healthy eater, Rachel Berkman is a third-year at the University of St. Andrews, originally hailing from the Big Apple. Rachel’s flat at 4 Hope Street is a destination for stressed and time-crunched friends looking for cookies to help power through an IR study session or a healthful meal to combat the fish and chips that make up the majority of their diet.

Hayley Daen: What was the last thing you ate?

Rachel Berkman: “Pie sampling” at Serious Eats. Talk about a sugar crash….

HD: What is your favorite food location?

RB: Hands down, home in NYC – anything I want, whenever I want it.  Borough Market in London is great, too.  Frankly, you’ll eat well wherever you are by visiting food markets; it’s my favorite part of travelling.

HD: Close your eyes. What do you want to eat RIGHT NOW?

RB:Whatever Pam and Marilyn have on the menu today at The Mountain School in Vershire, VT. Farm fresh… plus butter.

HD: What would you order for your last meal?

RB: My mother’s tomato sauce.  I like to stand over the pot she leaves on the stove, dipping clumps of leftover spaghetti.

HD: What’s your guilty pleasure food?

RB: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with chocolate milk, pizza, grilled cheese, milkshakes, burgers… the modern American diet.

HD: What is your dining hall go-to?

RB: Don’t go.

HD: What’s the best dinner party you’ve ever hosted?

RB: Thanksgiving for 30 homesick ex-pats (and some curious foreigners).  I had boxes of root vegetables and three (!!!) turkeys delivered from local Scottish farms.  My roommates and I left the door unlocked all weekend … hungry friends dropped by for leftovers!

HD: It’s late night, and you’re leaving the bar. What are you craving?

RB: Salty, sweet, and water.  Last night, I alternated between spicy pickles and chocolate. Got the job done.

HD: Did you ever steal your roommates’ food from the fridge?

RB: No … I love grocery shopping too much.

HD: Best hangover cure?

RB: Get up and start your day.

HD: Favorite cookbook?

RBBarefoot Contessa Parties! taught me how to prepare a meal.

HD: What are your favorite sites you visit often?

RB: Food52, Grubstreet, NY Times Sunday Style, NY Times Travel, Zagat, Baking the Book…and BGSK, of course!

HD: How about a favorite dessert?

RB: Fruit crumble (whatever’s in season) and vanilla ice cream – never gets old.

HD: Do you have a signature dish?

RB: Signature dish … tricky question, since I’m a “pinch of this, pinch of that” kind of cook.  I use whatever is on hand – leafy green veggies, quinoa, lentils, fresh ginger, coarsely ground black pepper, sea salt, cilantro, red pepper flakes, almond extract, peanut butter, and olive oil.

HD: Last one. What’s your biggest early kitchen disaster?

RB: In highschool, I tried to make Bellinis for a family reunion.  Teenagers shouldn’t bartend.

Hayley Daen is a sophomore at the University of St Andrews, where she lives in a dinky apartment right across from Tesco, which makes throwing impromptu tea parties a snap.

Originally posted on Thursday, August 4th, 2011

2 Responses to “Eaters Among Us: An Ex-Pat Foodie, Bringing America to Small-Town Scotland”

  1. Charlotte J

    August 8th, 2011

    This chick knows what’s up. I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest at 4 Hope St. and can tell you that the “pinch of this pinch of that” holds true. She wouldn’t allow me to simply cook her a curry dish without getting those artisanal fingers in my pot! I’m sure this foodie is one to keep a look out for in the future!

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    September 5th, 2011

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