The Gannet Q&A

Korsha Wilson

7th June 2018

Interview: James Hansen

Born and raised in Maryland and now living in New Jersey, Korsha Wilson is a food writer and podcaster. She hosts A Hungry Society on Heritage Radio Network, which aims to foster a more diverse and inclusive approach to food media. Her writing has featured in EaterSaveurThe Boston GlobeThrillist and Munchies, and she recently appeared as a panellist on food writing workshop Food Write Work.

If you could revisit one meal in your life, which would it be?

This is hard. I revisit a lot of meals as part of my job as a food writer and I’ve had a lot of memorable food experiences. I can’t pick one so I’ll give two that popped into my head:

Eating seafood with my husband at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Genoa, Italy, after we wandered around town for a while. We had lots of white wine, squid ink pasta, salted cod fritters and an amazing digestif made from basil that I’ve never seen anywhere else.

Eating crabs with my family at my mom’s house in Maryland a couple of years ago. I bought two bushels of Maryland blue crabs steamed with lots of Old Bay and invited my family over around 5pm on a Saturday in September. We ate and drank beers and listened to music until about midnight and my mom, myself, my husband and her boyfriend stayed up until 3am and ate ice cream and talked. I would revisit that if I could.

What’s your most food-splattered cookbook?

For a long time I was anti-cookbook, which, I know, sounds funny coming from a food writer. I thought they were written as manuals and meant to be followed precisely. I now know that cookbooks are guides and I use them as inspiration, flipping through their pages before I close them and start cooking. The ones I’ve been looking through a lot lately are The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen and Tartine All Day.

What’s your biggest food or drink aversion?

OH BOY. I’m going to get a lot of hate mail for this but I absolutely HATE peanut butter – specifically the smooth, Jiffy kind. I think it’s a texture and flavor thing. A lot of cookies and desserts use peanut butter and it’s all you can taste in your mouth after you’ve eaten it. It’s overpowering. The crazy thing is that I absolute LOVE peanuts. I just want peanuts in their natural form, I guess.

Describe your perfect breakfast.

My husband makes perfect, soft scrambled eggs with salt and herbs, which we have with a light salad most mornings, so I’d say that. Oh, and good coffee and orange juice.

Of all the restaurants in the world, which makes you happiest, and why?

That’s hard because I believe restaurants are different because they’re meant to fulfil different diner needs. My go-to restaurant that I’ve probably spent the most amount of time in is Eastern Standard in Boston. The drinks and food are great, the service is warm and it’s got something for everyone. It’s where I would take people who were visiting from out of town, where I would go with friends and where my husband and I first hung out. I would say it makes me the happiest because it has so many good memories.

What do you listen to when you’re cooking?

Music is a MUST for me when cooking. I usually choose something based on how I’m feeling that day. It varies but I always end up coming back to Kendrick Lamar, The Fugees, Beyoncé, Frank Ocean, Anderson.Paak and Stevie Wonder.

Tell us about a dish you make when you’re short on time.

Lately I’ve been trying to eat healthier and incorporate more vegetarian/vegan meals into my diet. I love making soup from summer squash. It’s really easy: saute cut squash with onions, garlic and herbs until everything is nice and soft and then add water or stock and let it simmer for 20 min. Then pull out the herbs and puree using an immersion blender. That’s it. I love it because it tastes creamy and hearty but it’s completely vegan if you use water.

If you could only drink one thing, aside from water, what would it be?

Champagne or ginger beer.

What’s your greatest talent in the kitchen?

Staying calm. I can’t remember who said it but a chef I worked with once said, “it’s just dinner.”

What’s the best thing you cooked at home in the last month?

I made a Jamaican pork stew with ginger, garlic, allspice, scotch bonnets and homemade chicken stock that came out really good. The pork pieces were skin-on so it added a nice richness to the sauce. I served it with rice and a fresh salad.

Describe a kitchen object you can’t live without.

My Masahiro 10’ chef’s knife. I bought it when I was in culinary school at JB Prince in New York and I’ve had it ever since. It used to live in my knife roll when I worked in restaurants and now it lives in my knife block in my kitchen.

What’s your favourite food scene in the movies?

The diner scene in Moonlight always chokes me up a bit. It’s not a flashy scene with lots of dialogue or anything, just two people coming together and one of them making a meal for the other person. It really highlights the intimacy of dining and cooking. It’s also a pivotal movement for Chiron, the main character.

Follow Korsha: Twitter | Instagram

Posted 7th June 2018

In The Gannet Q&A

 

Interview: James Hansen

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