Friday, March 5, 2010

Fabulously Fierce Friends, Kristin

CQ writes: Kristin and I first met in Luxembourg in August of 2009.  She has a passion for Belgian beers, and is a fantastic piano player.  She maintains a private studio in Chicago of about 40 students at Northwestern.  She performs as part of the Arneis Ensemble has just finished a tour of the Midwest with the group performing work for clarinet, viola, and piano in three states.

cq: 1. Who are your role models - food related or otherwise?

kristin: My piano teacher, Sylvia Wang. She's tough but caring, blunt but generous, has unlimited energy, and never gives up. And she plays SO beautifully.

 cq: 2. What is your drink of choice?

kristin: Fall: Red wine (variety tbd by whatever happens to be in our wine rack at the time...)
Winter: Oatmeal Stout
Spring: Belgian Ale, or sweet white wine
Summer: Mojito, made with home grown mint, or Gin and Tonic, made with North Shore Gin

cq: 3. What is your favorite cookbook or other food related book?

kristin: The Man Who Ate Everything, by Jeffrey Steingarten

cq: 4. What was your most memorable meal and why?

kristin: A few winters ago, I went to see Golijov's Ainadamar at the Chicago Symphony with 10 friends (oh, the days of student tickets!) It was a spectacular, sensual piece, and afterward - still buzzing from the energy of the concert, we escaped the cold dark streets of Chicago at Russian Tea Time, right around the corner. We feasted on opulent comfort food: potato pancakes, mushroom dumplings, borscht with sour cream, Moldavian meatballs - topped off with double-shots of horseradish vodka, served with dark rye bread and pickles. The restaurant is all old-world luxury, with red velvet, plush carpet, dark wood, and gold accents - maybe a cliche, but it felt so good! And the vodka felt even better!! I know I've had better food in other places, but taken as a whole, this night and this meal were perfect.

cq: 5. What is your favorite kitchen gadget or tool?

kristin: My KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker. Someday, I'll have a big enough freezer to actually use it more than once a year...

cq: 6. If you had to make dinner with ingredients at your home right now, what would you make?

kristin: Soup. Or Curry. Or Stirfry. Or anything else that requires one pot, no planning, random ingredients, and spices. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to devote to cooking right now.

cq: 7. What kind of music do you like to listen to while you cook?

kristin: I usually sing to myself.

cq: 8. What is your philosophy on cooking and eating?

kristin: Every meal is an opportunity for greatness!

cq: 9. Are there any foods you can not stand to eat?

kristin: Those pastel colored Indian desserts. Jello salad. Tater tot casserole. Any vegetable or fruit from a can. Fat free cottage cheese. Grilled chicken breast. The huge slab-o-fish sushi. Mysterious sea creatures in Vietnamese restaurants. (No, I don't mean octopus. I mean MYSTERIOUS.) Marshmallow Peeps. Whole wheat pasta.

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