Name: Linnea Zielinski
Occupation: Grad Student, Food Writer Wannabe
Guilty pleasures? Earl Grey ice cream from Van Leeuwen with fresh whipped cream, black sesame seed chocolate chip cookies, double espressos.
Describe your perfect meal. I have some favorite dishes, but my perfect meal is trying a new place with a lot of people so we can sample just about everything on the menu. Savoring two bites of an array of dishes beats even my guilty pleasure meals any day.
What food won’t you eat? I’m half Swedish, but even I won’t touch lutfisk.
Favorite food person? Marcus Samuelsson. I haven’t gotten my hands on Yes, Chef yet, but I think he’s extremely business savvy. I love that he fully embraces both Swedish and Ethiopian culture, puts care into embodying them in his food, and introduces them to his diners with confidence and pride.
When did you first realize you were a serious eater? Growing up in a Swedish house, I was raised on gravlax, marzipan, triple cream brie, and fresh whipped cream. I never stood a chance. Every time our family made the trip from downstate Illinois to Chicago, we brought a cooler so we could stock up on Swedish pastries from Swedish Bakery in Andersonville.
What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? Everyone I know has been reaping the benefits of my baking experiments for years. I’m pretty sure they’re excited I’ve moved from the oven to the stove and love cooking for a crowd.
Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who’s yours? If I want good sushi I ask my friend, Paige, a food anthropologist. Otherwise it largely depends on what neighborhood I’m looking at going to or type of cuisine I’m craving—everyone has their specialized insider knowledge.
What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? Breakfast, hands down. I’m grumpy without it. If I’m not cooking it for myself, I can usually be found at OatMeals diving into their Balsamic, Fig, and Gorgonzola Cheese Oatmeal or something a little more luxurious from Jack’s Wife Freda when I have the time.
Do you ever cook? What’s the best dish you make? Even though my kitchen is nowhere near the size for it, I love cooking and do so as often as possible. I make a spicy shakshuka and love making extravagant breakfasts like Brie and Balsamic Sautéed Apple French Toast Sandwiches. Some days I only know one or two ingredients I want to use, so I just make the rest up as I go along.