Brenna Kischuk is a writer and editor with a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was also a Teaching Fellow. She is the founder and editor of pioneertown literary journal and executive editor of The Angle Magazine. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in NOÖ Journal, theEEEL (from tNY Press), Queen Mob’s Teahouse, HTMLGIANT, Chicago Arts Journal, Matchbook Literary Magazine, and elsewhere.
We talked about being a bona fide cheese lover, moaning while eating, and hydration as a tactic for meeting your soulmate.
On her all-time favorite meal:
Any one of the many dinners and lunches I’ve had at a friend’s restaurant in San Demetrio ne’Vestini, Italy. They make their own wine and liqueurs, use ingredients from their garden, and have access to amazing local ingredients like saffron, black truffles, and wild boar. There’s a beautiful terrace overlooking the mountains and valley, and meals easily turn into at least a three-hour affair. I’m lucky enough to make it there a couple times a year, and it’s the best food experience I’ve ever had, hands down.
Coffee in the mornings, coffee with lunch, coffee in the afternoons. Somewhere between four and five o’clock I switch over to wine, and after midnight writing comes with whiskey. Of course that’s all accompanied by a massive amount of water. Hydration is a hobby of mine, and more than one stranger has commented on my ability to chug a liter of water without coming up for air. It’s actually turned out to be a pretty decent way to meet men. Last month in the Denpasar airport a guy approached me after I downed a full water bottle in seconds just before secondary security screening. He whispered, “I see that you can swallow” and then handed me his business card. Soulmates?
On her favorite meal of the day:
Dinner. I love to cook, love the creativity, intuition, and experimentation involved. I start thinking about what I’ll make for dinner as soon as I wake up in the morning, and go to the store or farmers market in the afternoon to buy what I need for the meal. Daily trips to the market are a habit I picked up living in Europe, and it’s stuck with me.
Goat, gouda, jack, pecorino, blue, burrata—you name it and I want it. I didn’t used to like moldy or well-aged cheeses but one of my ex-boyfriends said I couldn’t call myself a true cheese lover unless I liked moldy cheese. I took his comment as a challenge, ate every kind of blue I could find, and can now claim bona fide cheese lover status.
On her go-to late-night snack:
Always cheese. And sometimes toast. (TOAST!) I’m pretty enthusiastic about toast. And then of course there’s toast with cheese. Swoon.
On her food quirks:
At one of my many random jobs, I worked in a small office with three other women. I’d been there just over six months when one of my coworkers finally told me I moan when I eat. What can I say? Food is a sensual thing, and when it’s good it’s oh. so. good. I also love sitting in a hot car after I eat—I could stay in the sleepy, sunbaked haze for hours (don’t worry, I crack a window).
On her final meal request:
I’d keep it classic—oysters, filet mignon, leafy greens, baked potato, and a nice bottle-or-five of red wine. And hopefully I’d be anywhere but in prison, although, my dad (incorrectly) assumes I’ve already spent a couple nights in the slammer. So maybe I’ll do something to land myself there and make his dream a reality.