Bon Appétit

Alanna food dearm

Hello, world of The Essex Reporter! My name is Alanna Gilbert and I’m the new intern round these parts. I am originally a flat-lander from Connecticut, but I’ve been up here at the University of Vermont for the past four and a half years. I graduated in December with a double major in history and english, and a French minor.

I have a passion for writing, but after years of theoretical, analytical and historical essays, I lack and would love to learn that clean, direct journalistic style that focuses on relaying information and getting to the truth. That’s why I’m ecstatic to observe and work alongside the journalists here at The Reporter.

I should also mention that I have a potentially unhealthy relationship with food, by which I mean I am head-over-heels infatuated with the stuff. I spent my junior year of college studying abroad in Rennes, France (hence the late graduation— so worth it), and that only fed my obsession. If you don’t know the region, it’s home to crepes, galettes saucisses, salted butter caramel, the best hard cider you’ve ever tasted, calvados (a strong apple brandy) and one of the biggest local markets in France — economical enough for weekly grocery trips. Add to this the cured meats, heart-breakingly delicious unpasteurized cheeses, mammoth selection of wines, and fairly priced baguettes, and you’ve got a veritable food lover’s paradise. Is your mouth watering yet? Because mine is…

I also can’t get through a day without a snacking on popcorn (home-popped, of course). Thank goodness this office is popcorn-friendly — daily crunching can be heard from Kelly March’s and my desks. My two favorite toppings are melted butter and slightly browned garlic (adds huge flavor to the butter), and a butter-oil-Sriracha concoction. Salt (preferably gritty sea salt) and pepper are obviously always on the menu.

Needless to say, I’m interested in food. I’ll eat anything (edible) put in front of me, and love going on food adventures — trying creative and exciting combinations, artfully detailed dishes, etc. Besides learning about journalism, my goal here is to revamp The Essex Reporter’s food page in order to get readers as excited as I am about food and the local culinary scene. Keep your eyes peeled over the next couple months for cool recipes, advice for local food exploration, and an Instagram to inspire you with the best employee lunches, popcorn, Wendy’s world-famous cupcakes and more!