On The Hot Plate with Chef Kristyne Starling

The Food Is Out There is on a mission: interrogating chefs we know about food inquiries we’re ruminating upon ourselves. Fellow passengers in food are all around us and we’re so lucky they’re willing to let us pick their brains. And when their brain terrain seems so much to resemble our own, we hurl these ten questions at them as fast as we can so that they can’t get away – just like we did here with Messhall Kitchen’s consulting pastry chef Kristyne Starling. We shared a raucous patio evening with Kristyne and knew we’d like each other as soon as we heard her laughing as loud as us.

Kristyne Starling • Consulting Pastry Chef / Teacher / Author • Messhall Kitchen • Los Angeles, California

Busy bee, we caught Kristyne in the middle of testing a hot menu item: fried chicken and waffles with housemade maple butter. Yes plz.

1. If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Popcorn!

2. What was the #1 meal you requested most often as a child?

Homemade macaroni and cheese, with the cut-up hot dogs in it.

3. Describe a meal you might prepare for a stranger whom you were trying to impress.

Oh, that would depend on the season, what was in the market, who they were… probably a really nice crudo, like an Amberjack crudo. Or a carpaccio or tartare. I’m really crazy obsessed right now for this wild arugula they grow at Maggie’s Farms, I eat it every day. So with some wild arugula or frisee. Or if it were crab season; is there anything better than sitting down at a dining table covered with newspaper, with a great pot of crabs? I’d make a great loaf of sourdough bread, a great salad, sit there for hours, a bottle of wine. Isn’t there something great about getting a little messy?

4. Which food intimidates you the most to prepare?

I’d have to say that I am intimidated by molecular gastronomy – I’m not that girl. But I haven’t really tried to learn it, and I definitely applaud those who have.

5. In the event of preparing a food time capsule, which food would you send into the future as a reflection of 21st century humanity?

Bacon butter! I love me some bacon butter! They have to know this is the kind of thing we were getting ourselves into.

6. If you were to become famous for one dish, what would it be?

People have suggested that I package my granola. But I wouldn’t do it because I don’t like to eat granola! If I came up with the perfect croissant I would gladly put my face on it. Or a bag of cookies.

7. If participating in an eating contest, which food would you want to compete with?

Bacon toffee. Homemade.

8. At the end of the grocery store check-out line, which candy makes it to your shopping cart as an impulse?

Peanut M&M’s. When they want to make me happy, they bring me Peanut M&M’s!

9. Which movie title describes your cooking style most accurately?

Bring It On!

10. What’s your most hated food and what would it take for you to eat it?

I’m pretty open-minded, but I lie and say I’m allergic to mushrooms. I don’t want them in my food, I don’t want them touching my food. But if Jeremy Fox, Charlie Parker or Thomas Keller cooks them, I will eat them.

We’d be happy if we’d ordered this.

Messhall Kitchen LA
4500 Los Feliz Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
[Weekend Brunch] Sat-Sun 11:30-3pm
[Lunch] Mon-Fri 11:30-3pm
[Dinner] Mon-Wed 5-12am Thurs-Sat 5-1am Sun 4-12am

Freddy Smalls
11520 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Maggie’s Farm
Agoura Hills, CA

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