5 Questions With Kristen Kish of truTV’s “Fast Foodies”

Kristen Kish in "Fast Foodies" Anna Maria Lopez

You might know Kristen Kish as the extremely talented winner of Season 10 of Top Chef, but in the years since, she’s made an even bigger name for herself in the food scene, opening the respected restaurant Arlo Grey in Austin, Texas. But she also is one of the three chefs — along with fellow Top Chef winner Jeremy Ford and Iron Chef America winner Justin Sutherland — reinventing fast-food classics on truTV’s series Fast Foodies, which premieres its second season Thursday. We spoke to Kish for our “5 Questions” on her favorite fast-food options, what ingredients she can’t be without and why she’s never been starstruck.

  1. What are some of your fast-food favorites?

My No. 1 go-to, always, growing up was Arby’s because it was a very Michigan thing. … You could have it in the middle of the afternoon, and I’d get chicken tenders and fries and it wouldn’t feel like it was the wrong time of day. McDonald’s was definitely just a classic and a treat; it wasn’t often. Subway, for me, was also really frequent — just because it was coined as healthy, which we all know is kind of not true.

  1. What are some of your favorite food-related destinations?

Here’s the thing with food travel — I feel like every city can be a food destination, so long as you try to find [good places], and you do your research. So you could pick a town in the middle of nowhere that, quite frankly, probably could have the best barbecue that you’ve ever had in your entire life. And so, therefore, it becomes a food destination, even if it’s not a place that’s on a list or written up in every magazine.

  1. What are three things you need to have in your fridge or pantry?

Produce comes and goes, but we always have hot sauce, soy sauce and lemons in the house. … Frank’s and Sriracha are just the classics.

  1. Have you ever been starstruck?

I don’t think so. Not because I am unimpressed, but I get nervous going to a table in my dining room, from Joanne and Brian from Wisconsin coming to dine. It’s the same kind of nervous that I get [from big names], because you want to create a great experience for everybody.

  1. What TV shows have you been watching lately?

We’re currently watching Yellowstone, as they’re releasing one episode at a time per week. The Great British Baking Show, which is a classic. [And] Queer Eye. My wife started watching the show much later than I did, and so then I ended up rewatching the majority of all the seasons again.