Meet & Eat

Interviews with our contributors.

Meet & Eat: Kate Bernot, 'Sugar Rush'

Editor's Note: As you've probably noticed, Kate Bernot is our resident sweets expert. She picked her favorites cups of hot chocolate, and has also found the perfect dessert on Devon. She also has a weakness for coffee, but we'll let her take it from here.

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Name: Kate Bernot
Location: Chicago, IL
Occupation: Food journalist/editor
Website/Twitter: @kbernot

Guilty pleasures? This is a tame answer, but coffee. I consume it in near-appalling quantities, and I can't settle for the crappy stuff anymore. I'm worried I'll be snorting espresso powder by the end of the year.

Describe your perfect meal. It would have to be al fresco. Maybe it's just because the ground is covered in snow, but I'm dreaming of summer picnics right now. A simple spread of amazing cheeses and crusty bread is tough to beat.

What food won't you eat? It's not that I won't eat it, but I'm really not a fan of eggplant. Though she's an excellent cook, when my mother makes eggplant parmigiana, I have to go to a friend's house for dinner.

Favorite food person? Is it cliche to say Julia Child? She was a real woman who wasn't afraid to admit that she wasn't perfect. Today's food celebrities are so polished; Julia showed the world that it was okay to make mistakes.

When did you first realize you were a serious eater? I realized early in high school how much I loved baking. I would drive my family crazy by making complicated multi-layer cakes and brownies from scratch, using nearly every piece of cooking equipment in the kitchen. We had one rule: As long as I cleaned it up and made enough for everyone, they let me have free reign.

What do your family and friends think of your food obsessions? They love it, as long as I leave them some leftovers. Also, they treat me like their own personal Yelp.

Favorite food sites or blogs? I like reading chefs' blogs; for better or worse, they're always interesting. NPR has thoughtful food coverage, as does GOOD. I like food stories that are about more than what's on the plate. I want the economic, cultural, and social components as well.

Everyone has a go-to person they call for restaurant recommendations. Who's yours? You mean when I'm not consulting Gwenyth Paltrow's guide to Chicago? I tend to call up other writers like Carly Fisher, Chicagoist's Anthony Todd, and, when it comes to dessert, my pal Matt Kiruoac.

What is your favorite meal of the day and where do you get it? I love breakfast, but it usually consists of a cup of coffee during the week. Lunch is a salad or sandwich eaten frantically while I'm doing work, so I prefer a leisurely dinner and glass of wine with friends. I like potluck dinners a lot. It gives me a chance to learn about other peoples' tastes and recipes. Plus, when you cook while drinking, you get creative.

Do you ever cook? What's the best dish you make? I love cooking, but I've only recently been able to confess that I'm not as great at it as I would like to be. (Look at me! Admitting this to the whole Internet!) I do have some family recipes that my friends love, including my Oma's spaetzle and goulash recipe that's perfect on these sub-zero winter nights.

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