It’s funny how inspiration strikes. Sitting in my ad agency cubicle recently, musing on cheap eats while staring into the abyss of a blank Word doc, I happened to glance over at one of our interns, Alison, who sat smiling into her laptop with the life-affirming glee of someone who’s only spent six months in advertising. Eureka!

And so without further ado, I present the first installment of Eat Like An Intern. Direct from her unbelievably tiny kitchen in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn: Alison’s Random Chicken Marinade! Note: Alison’s commentary appears throughout in italic; my dialogue with her in bold.

My Mom refused to eat anything I cook, until I randomly threw these ingredients together. First, I read a couple of different recipes and pulled out ingredients I thought looked good.

You mean from totally unconnected recipes?

Yeah, I just took stuff I liked and then threw them together.

Huh. I didn’t know you could do that.

I guess so.


  • Fancy mustard

College students and interns will know what “fancy” means. I usually go for something grainy or Grey Poupon.

Because it’s French?

No, I just like its reputation.

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Capers

I put capers on everything.

I haven’t really gotten into capers.

They’re great.

  • Horseradish

Like, in a jar. Or freshly grated?

In a jar. Pre-grated.

The Jewish kind.


  • Chopped Onions
  • Chicken

Boneless chicken?

Yes. I spent, like, 4 hours trying to cut all the fat out.


  • Throw everything in a bowl

Don’t measure anything. Just dump some in.

  • Place in fridge

How long do you let it marinate?

Until my homework’s done. Or as long as I’m at the laundromat.* (*edit note: this is questionable advice; read our marinating basics courtesy of grilling expert Adam Perry Lang)

  • Coat pan with olive oil
  • Plop everything in
  • Cook until it’s done

Sounds easy. Do you serve it with anything?

I made a salad of chopped tomato, onion, cucumbers and more capers. Oh, lemon juice, too. I put lemon on everything.

You can afford to cook this on class credit?

Almost. But they pay me a little.

Yeah. Me, too.

[I can say in all honesty that not only have I never made a marinade from scratch, but back when I was Alison’s age I’m not sure I even owned a bowl. I really like her ad hoc cooking style and the refreshing way she mixes and matches ingredients and recipes. On the rare occasions I attempt to cook something, I tend to feel intimidated while attempting to follow a recipe. Are they written in a scolding tone, or is that my imagination?]

Any other cooking tips?

Get a fancy jar of anything with pretty packaging and dump it on anything.

I like it.


Give Alison’s recipe a try, and let us know what you think. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s delish. Now, I wonder what all the other interns are eating…

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