This Valentine’s Day, we’re spotlighting a few of our favorite dynamic duos in the food community to learn how real-life couples celebrate the most romantic of holidays. See them all here!
Also known as the White On Rice Couple, Todd Porter and Diane Cu are professional photographers and filmmakers known for their stunning, inspiring portrayals of food and lifestyle. In addition to working together, they’ve also been a couple for 17 years, supporting one another both in their personal lives and in their careers. They share stories of food, travel and community on their blog, and last fall they published a cookbook, Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden. Here, we ask Todd and Diane all about their ideal Valentine’s Day, how they balance work and life, and their favorite meals to cook together.
How did you celebrate your first Valentine’s Day together?
We actually met the day after Valentine’s Day in 1996, so Valentine’s Day has a special significance to us.
Do you have any memorable meals, gestures or gifts from over the years that you can share?
Going on 17 years together, we’ve grown and changed so much. In the beginning, we loved gifting kitchen gadgets because we were starting out new together and had very little between us. It was fun and romantic, to receive a new saucepan or stock pot. Now, we focus a lot on spending time in the garden together, with the pups, and cooking for smaller groups rather than huge parties like we did in the past. It feels as if we’ve moved more to small, intimate meals rather than big meals that had us cooking for weeks prior to the dinner. We’ve simplified our lives quite a bit.
Do you have any Valentine’s Day traditions? Do you stay home or eat out?
We never eat out on Valentine’s Day. So many of our friends work in the restaurant industry, so we’d rather not add to their burden and stress. Ha! 🙂 We love cooking together on Valentine’s Day and making a special dinner at home. That is what makes it truly special for us.
What does your ideal Valentine’s Day meal look like?
Our meals have varied over the years, depending on what we haven’t made before. We try to mix it up with a new recipe or technique.
How will you be celebrating this year?
This year, we’re hoping to bake some thing special and maybe do some nice seafood. Grill a whole fish, perhaps? Yes!
Tell us about how you work together in the kitchen. Who does what?
We both love to cook and be in the kitchen equally, so it’s always a shared experience. We’ll split up what we want to do, or if each of us have a recipe in mind then we just cook what we want and have fun together in the kitchen.
How do you balance the professional and personal aspects of your relationship?
In terms of time, we work very hard to balance professional and personal life. We always make time to release ourselves from work assignments and photo shoots. Even when it comes to blogging, we’re very good at unplugging from social media and making sure we take the time to just unwind. But what we do professionally and personally kinda meshes together. During our personal time, we love cooking and being in the kitchen, kind of like what we do professionally anyways. But how it’s different is that for personal time, we do it for ourselves rather than for clients.
What’s your favorite dish the other person makes?
Diane loves Todd’s homemade cookies and anything he grills or smokes on the smoker. Todd loves Diane’s homemade crusty bread and her morning frittata.