Missy Rayder, currently featured in Gap’s khaki ads, isn’t sweating the whole “skinny models” thing: She grew up in Wisconsin eating McDonald’s and microwaveable cheese-filled hot dogs. Her tastes were refined after she moved to New York City at the age of 16: “I switched a long time ago from my days of drugs to food.” Of course, that doesn’t mean she’s staying home cooking. “My stove doesn’t even work. I don’t think I’d be a very good wife.” Nevertheless we let her seduce us with tales of superlative brisket (fed to her while Terry Richardson photographed her for Uniqlo) and the best French fries in the city.
Thursday, March 8
I went to Murray’s Bagels and got a bagel with a little bit of butter and a coffee. I won’t go just anywhere to get a bagel.
Wednesday, March 7
I went to Integral Yoga and got the immune booster. It’s really disgusting, but I was starting to get sick and whenever you drink this you don’t get sick. It’s like taking a shot: Garlic, ginger, carrots, lemon, echinachea, and then they put this powder in it. It’s weird to drink something with garlic in it.
For lunch I went to Kelly & Ping on Greene Street. I always get the Malaysian curry noodles. My agency’s down there, and I love Thai food.
I went to Japonica for dinner. My friends get sick of the fact that I always want to go there, but the people there are really funny and cool, and the sushi is so fresh. They have really great salad called the kaiso salad; it’s all seaweed. And I always get the saketuri crunch — it’s a salmon roll with tempura flakes with teriyaki sauce.
Tuesday, March 6
For lunch I went to Angelica Kitchen. I’m not a vegetarian, but it’s really good — they have these “dragon bowls” of steamed vegetables, brown rice, beans, seaweed, and tofu. And you get dressing for it. They always have a soup of the day. [Sometimes] I’ll just get a miso soup. It’s priced so well — you get a lot.
Dinner: I went to Little Havana. The owner, Lydia, is an older Cuban woman. She cooks everything herself. It takes a long time, but it’s so authentic. I got the picadilla — it’s ground beef with beans, rice, and tamales. And she makes the most incredible sweet plantains. I was eating with my agent, Louie, and my boyfriend, Jason. It’s fun when you go out to eat with guys who love to eat.
Monday, March 5
I had lunch at Elephant & Castle. I just got the Mexican omelette with guacamole.
I went to Bar Pitti; I always get an order of the spinach and the organic chicken. It’s the thin chicken with sun-dried tomatoes on top and fennel. It’s like pasta. I don’t really eat a lot of pasta — I usually try to be a little bit good. The dessert [to get] is panna cotta; it’s the best ever.
Sunday, March 4
I went to Bar 6. I don’t know what they do, but no one’s French fries can compare to theirs. They’re long, thin, and they’re really greasy and super-crispy. I always get the turkey burger there. It’s a great neighborhood place to have — it’s easy and they’re open really late if you get hungry at midnight.
Saturday, March 3
I went to City Crab. You can’t really find good lobster rolls in New York, but I highly suggest going there for them. They’re super-fresh.
For dinner I went to Omen. They have the best house salad with scallops. Then I got the black cod with rice. And I had green-tea ice cream. I also like to go to Cold Stone Creamery for the ice cream with Heath Bar. The Wisconsin that’s still in me loves candy — white-trash candy like Snickers bars. My favorite thing growing up was Butterfinger blizzards.
Friday, March 2
Friday I was in the studio. I was working with Terry Richardson for Uniqlo. They had a caterer who had the best brisket ever. After 9/11, I lived way down in Tribeca and these guys from Texas set up these huge grills and made brisket for the workers. I’d always walk by, and they’d always give me brisket. It was the best I’ve ever had: so soft it’s almost like it just melts.
For dinner I went to Mogador. I got the tomato-ginger soup and the vegetable couscous and an order of hummus. I love that kind of food. I’m the least picky eater that you’ll ever meet — I’ll eat anything. Although, I won’t eat fast food, ever! All we have to look at is the whole rat thing that just happened. I’m not going to put stuff like that inside of me. — As told to Daniel Maurer