With Valentine’s Day approaching, we’re spotlighting real couples who cook together, from our book Two in the Kitchen. Here, they share their tricks, first-hand experience and entertaining know-how gained from time shared in the kitchen.
In 2009, Molly and Brandon opened the restaurant Delancey in Seattle. Brandon is the chef. Molly created Orangette, named the best food blog in the world by the London Times, and her first book was a New York Times bestseller.
We made dinner together on our first date. We cobbled together a salad from produce we picked up at Pike Place Market and ate it with some Mt. Tam cheese and a baguette. We started with gin and tonics, and at some point, Brandon had a dark beer. The details get a little fuzzy at that point.
What’s your approach to entertaining?
As with our cooking, we keep it simple, casual and off the cuff. We like the kind of nights when everyone hangs out in the kitchen, leaning against the counter with a drink in hand. Food-wise, we usually make either pasta — easy and satisfying — or something you can eat with your hands, like a big pile of local crab or prawns. Eating that way puts everyone at ease.
Do you have a favorite special occasion meal?
Two Dungeness crabs and a bottle of something sparkling.
A go-to meal for company?
Prawns in a skillet with sriracha, lemon zest, butter and herbs. A loaf of sourdough. A roll of paper towels. A fruit crumble for dessert.
How do maintain kitchen bliss as a couple?
Divide and conquer. Each time you cook together, divvy up the responsibilities and tasks. That way, you both contribute to getting the job done, but there’s no confusion or tripping over each other. Also: sharing a beer doesn’t hurt.
What’s always on the table at mealtime?
And in the fridge?
Cheddar cheese, vermouth, peanut butter, jam, hot sauce, eggs, hummus.
What’s your a secret culinary weapon?
Vinegar. Just a bit can perk up a dish without you even knowing it’s there.
What are your favorite kitchen tools?
A sharp chef’s knife and an abundance of dishtowels.
Find more advice and recipes for cooking together in our book Two in the Kitchen.