What Kristina Cho Orders When She Cannot Even

Tinted sunscreen, Indian takeout, a power drill — and more of the award-winning cookbook author’s last-minute orders.

5 min read

Welcome to The Save, where we ask interesting people what they order when they’re in a pinch.

Kristina Cho, a cookbook author working on her second manuscript and a recipe developer for various national media outlets, knows busy. From a throw-together a trifle for dessert at a friend’s house to Supergoop tinted sunscreen before a last minute shoot, here’s what she’s adding to cart in a pinch. Scroll on for Cho’s favorite “save” orders. 

What do you order when…

…you’re swamped on a deadline? 

“The manuscript of my next cookbook is due soon and I actually just ordered some Sweetgreen, because I truly can’t cook right now.” 

…you just finished the draft of your cookbook and you want to treat yourself? 

“I would definitely order a feast of Indian food — always naan, and my favorite dish is  malai kofta. If I can’t get Indian food, I’d order myself a sushi boat.”

…you just had a massive day of recipe developing and you need something easy? 

“I would order ingredients to make a really good warm sandwich, meaning an eggplant parm or some kind of sub with melted cheese. I’d grab a baguette or a hoagie roll, cheese, mortadella, and a jar of olives to eat on the side.”

…you just won your third James Beard Award? 

“The first thing that came to mind was Wendy’s. I’d get myself a big Wendy’s cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, French fries, and a frosty.”

…you have a completely empty kitchen and friends are coming over for happy hour? 

“I’d order a lot of cheese — I usually like sharp cheddar, gouda, or manchego — a bunch of cured meats and tinned fish, crackers, pickle-flavored potato chips, and some fun probiotic sodas. Then I would have other people bring alcohol.” 

…you’re about to cook on live television but you forgot your makeup bag?

“I’d grab Supergoop tinted sunscreen. If I have that as a base, then I feel like, okay, the show can go on. Maybe I’d get a little bit of concealer, and I’m really into a multi stick that you can use for lips, cheeks, and eyes.”

…your parents are coming for their birthdays but you forgot to buy them gifts?

“For my dad, I would get something chocolate-based. I would either order a brownie from a bakery or look for Malteasers, which he grew up eating in Hong Kong. My mom is a real DIY-er, so I would probably get her a small power tool — maybe a drill or something — that she would love and actually use.”

…your bar cart is looking a bit meh?

“I can cook complicated things but I don’t know how to make cocktails very well. So I would probably order a fun rum of some sort, because then you can make a daiquiri pretty easily.”

…you’re headed to dinner at a friend’s but you dropped the ball on dessert?

“I literally did this the other week. In these scenarios I’ll usually order croissants or palmier cookies — some type of already cooked, flaky pastry. I’ll grab labneh or crème fraiche — something creamy. And then a really interesting honey and whatever fruit is in season. I’d chop up the fruit, crush up the croissants, and make a trifle situation.” 

…you’re headed to the beach and you want something fresh to sip on?

“I’d make myself a mango-mint syrup and cut it with ice and sparkling water when I get to the beach.” 

…you realize you’re an ingredient household but you really want to be a snacking household? 

“I really like Pirate’s Booty. I would also order Oreos, Chex Mix, and probably sour gummy worms. Maybe a little cake or brownies, too.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy of Kristina Cho