Jesse Parent is a world-ranked slam poet having made numerous international finals stages, including 2nd at the Individual World Poetry Slam twice and 4th at the National Poetry Slam. Videos of his poems have been watched millions of times worldwide and have been featured on The Huffington Post, The New York Daily News, and The Guardian. In his personal life, Jesse works at a company that provides services for the Deaf and hard of hearing, and has three children and an incredibly patient wife.
Here, he talks about eating breakfast as the sun rises, whatever pairs well with whiskey, and a final meal of foods from home.
On his all-time favorite meal:
I worked at an advertising agency when I first moved to Utah, and because we would work long hours they would often order food for us for dinner. I would always make sure to work late on the nights they ordered from Ferrantelli Restaurant in Trolley Square and order their signature Chicken Ferrantelli. It was this moist chicken on a bed of thin pasta with a rich sauce. My mouth is watering just remembering it. Because of that incentive, I would often work extra hours, teach myself new technologies, and it made me a more well-rounded software engineer. One of the saddest moments of my adult life was when my wife offered to take me Ferrantelli’s for my birthday and arriving at Trolley Square only to find out they had closed forever. I have never been able to find an equivalent chicken dish, and I miss it to this day.
On what the light looks like during his favorite meal of the day:
I tend to eat on the run, a lot. My favorite time is when I can eat my breakfast at my cubicle at work, and the early morning sun is just cresting over the mountains, when the only light is the thin yellow sun winking through my window.
On snacking while writing:
Is whiskey a snack? If so, it’s whiskey. Something from the Buffalo Trace distillery and occasionally something salty like cashews.
On his go-to late-night snack:
I really love a thick cut of bacon, preferably with a maple glaze on it. It cooks up quick on a cast iron skillet and pairs well with whiskey.
On his food quirks:
When I was a kid, I remember watching a Minute Maid commercial with a jingle that sang “It’s your first taste of the day.” I would obsessively insist on having orange juice first thing every morning. I don’t drink orange juice as much now as an adult, but when I do I sing that song.
On his final meal request:
I am a big fan of the regional foods I grew up eating in southeastern Massachusetts. There are things I can’t easily get. So for my last meal, I would want a stuffed quahog, a small bowl of full fried clams, some chourico mini sandwiches, and a Coney Island hot dog from Dirty Nick’s in Fall River. Maybe some Fall River style chow mein as an option (no veggies). All washed down with a Winter Warmer from Harpoon or a Grey Lady from Cisco Brewers. I’d want to eat it with my dad and listen to some off color stories from his childhood, so I could go out both laughing and horrified.