Chef and co-host of TruTV’s “Fast Foodies” Kristen Kish has been passionate about food ever since she was a little girl. Kish tells Yahoo Life that she started watching cooking shows at 5 years old. “It was the one thing that could really hold my attention when I was a kid,” she shares.
Kish, who won Season 10 of “Top Chef” in 2013, says that the show opened “so many opportunities and doors.” In 2018, Kish became chef at her new restaurant, Arlo Grey in Austin, Texas. She shares that it’s been “very challenging and really interesting to navigate” her business over the past year because of the coronavirus pandemic — something many business owners can relate to — but adds: “I certainly live in a state of gratitude every day.”
Most recently, Kish became one of three chefs on TruTV's cooking competition show “Fast Foodies,” where celebrities share their favorite fast food dish and the chefs first try to duplicate the food exactly and then reimagine it as haute-cuisine.
Kish says her favorite dish that she’s made on the show is a remix of the popular KFC family bucket sides of mashed potatoes and corn: a crispy croquette. “It’s golden and it’s gorgeous,” Kish says. She likes to finish it off with a pinch of salt and freshly chopped chives, along with a dollop of crémé fraiche drizzled with honey for a touch of sweetness. The good news? You can easily make this delicious dish at home.
Watch the video above and follow along to try the recipe at home!
Video produced by Kat Vasquez.
KRISTEN KISH: I started watching cooking shows at five years old. Honestly, it was like the one thing that could really hold my attention when I was a kid. And so "Top Chef" just opens up so many opportunities and doors. I certainly live in a state of gratitude, every day. Because very quickly, my life just flipped.
The restaurant industry, over the past year plus, has been very challenging and really interesting to navigate. It's a lot of sleepless nights. It's a lot of hard work. It's a lot of crying. It's a lot of screaming and getting angry. But it's a lot of moments of pride and appreciation.
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Food is something that we can venture into without feeling so polarized and political. I'd never view myself as, like, a quote "activist." I'm openly gay. I'm an adopted kid. I'm part of the Asian community. I'm a woman in a very male-dominated industry. If I'm able to live my truth, openly and publicly, and share that with people, hopefully that does leave an impact.
Being on "Fast Foodies" meant something that I feel like I needed in my professional career. Like, it was time to just have a good time and let loose. And feel less like you're a chef, and I have to do everything perfect. It was like hey, have a shot of whiskey and go cook. Have a good time. Like, that's awesome.
Being on "Fast Foodies," my favorite thing that I cooked-- I'd have to say my remix of the KFC family bucket with mashed potatoes and corn. So I use fresh mashed potatoes, and instant mashed potato is totally fine. Listen, no one's going to judge you. All-purpose flour, caramelized onions, fresh corn that's shucked off the cob-- frozen corn works great-- mozzarella, and sharp cheddar. Lots of fresh herbs. And then onion powder and garlic powder. So a lot of the things that you would find in a roast chicken. Salt. A little bit of cracked black pepper.
I like to use my hands. And you start to mix it together. So now you have your mix, that we're going to make these little pucks. The three-step breading process. It's always a flour, egg, and then some form of crumb. I'm going to deep fry them.
Once I start to see it kind of really going, like, this gorgeous golden color, I'm going to turn off my heat. And I'm going to let it kind of keep finishing in there. So with our potato cake that's freshly out of the fryer, and it's golden and it's gorgeous. I'm going to hit it with a little bit of salt, fresh chopped chives. And then on the show I did caviar. If you've never had it, I highly, highly recommend it. And then I do creme fraiche. We're going to add a touch of honey, because food needs a little bit of sweetness.
There it is. That's the money shot. [AUDIBLE CRUNCHING] Mmm. I mean, if I don't know better I would think that I'm a chef or something. Because it is amazing! It doesn't get old. Honestly, you have got to try it tonight.