Kristen Kish

Kristen Kish.
Courtesy of The LINE Austin.

The LINE Austin.

Arlo Grey.
Photo by Chase Daniel.
Courtesy of The LINE Austin.

The LINE Austin.

Arlo Grey.
Photo by Chase Daniel.
Courtesy of The LINE Austin.

View Gallery - 3 images
New York

Checking In: Kristen Kish Keeps it Real in Isolation

Yesterday on, we hosted an Instagram Live chat with Chef Kristen Kish. From her apartment in New York, she updated us on life in isolation amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Like most other establishments in the United States, her restaurant, Arlo Grey in Austin, TX, is closed. Kish spoke about how supporting the establishments and organizations you love keeps them afloat—whether that’s by donating money or raising awareness.

On Instagram, you can see her support an array of organizations and causes—like Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR) and the Sydell Group Employee Relief Fund—with posts and videos, involving other friends in the culinary industry.

Whitewall spoke with Kish to hear more about how she’s staying inspired and paying it forward.

WHITEWALL: How are you doing?

KRISTEN KISH: Such a big question now with so many different layers. Overall, I am doing well. My fiancée and I are safe and healthy, the biggest wish we all have for one another. We are enjoying our home together, a rarity for much of our relationship. I recognize the privilege it is to even say those words and I am very much empathetic towards everyone in their specific situations.

I do what I can to help in a bigger picture level. We all need to remain patient and understanding, simply on a human to human level. Pay it forward, call your loved ones, and get creative.

WW: What are you listening to, reading, watch?

KK: I appreciate quiet and the time to read new cookbooks and have uninterrupted conversations with people I love. I don’t watch a ton of TV (because I really do love quiet) but we just started watching the Great British Baking Show—so innocent and fun all while being inspiring. I need to binge the final season of Schitts Creek (that’s high on my list) and we just watched Inside Bill’s Brain. Fascinating.

Music-wise, we are doing high energy workout music for our at home workouts every day and there’s nothing like a little Stevie Wonder playing with our windows open and the cold NYC not-so-spring air! Fresh air, sweatpants, and music amidst NYC quarantine can really fill the soul.

WW: What are you cooking?

KK: EVERYTHING! We eat fairly healthy at home-which I never used to be home aka never healthy-but apparently now is my moment to make up for all that lost time!

WW: How are you staying connected?

KK: FaceTime/WhatsApp convos. Several group texts. I call my mom and dad every day to check in and we’ll get my brother on that family group video call regularly, too. My fiancee’s family is in Australia so we chat with them nearly every day, as well. LOTS of checking in!

WW: How are you staying creative? Are you able to make work at this time?

KK: I am working from home. Outside of the restaurant and the travel part of my job, I have other commitments I can keep up at from home with just a computer. I am cooking, which always makes me feel good, but there are some days where I just don’t want to. In those moments, documentaries (like Inside Bill’s Mind) working out, writing, or learning how to meditate (I’m not good at it…yet LOL) help keep my mind moving or slow it down.

WW: Where are you finding hope/inspiration?

KK: Hope and inspiration are everywhere…We have to choose to see it sometimes and if we take a moment from all the news (which is important to not spiral into that hole), we look up and read/watch/see humans doing nice things for one another. It inspires our own selves to find ways to help and inspire in our own ways, continuously paying it forward. It’s a scary time, uncharted territory but the generosity, kindness, appreciation, and care for people all over the world is something special.




Go inside the the worlds of art, fashion, design, and lifestyle.