We love to help twosomes in their goal to cook better dinners more often by delivering recipes and all the right ingredients to help people make incredible dinners at home.
In doing so, we’ve had our ear to the ground about what really goes on in the kitchen. We’ve heard about pairs who roll sushi together for a romantic evening, twosomes who sit down to a nutritious dinner of cod with caponata after a hectic day, and chefs who serve their partners cocktails while they both cook and clean.
Here, we’re sharing an inside, anthropological look at how couples cook and eat together. Let us know in the comments how you eat with your beloved!
Yoon and Justin from The Very Berrie Life on YouTube, New York
Food lovers Justin and Yoon both like to clean the kitchen as they cook, a habit that should keep them in good standing with each other. But having two go-getters primed to cook and clean with great gusto can lead to its own set of problems. We are both ‘take charge’ kind of people,” said Yoon. “So we have to take turns letting each other hold the reins.”
That policy seems to work out for them, and nearly all their “moments” as a couple have involved food. They had their first date at One if by Land, Two if by Sea, their clam-bake wedding on Martha’s Vineyard, and their go-to date nights at home together in the kitchen, learning how to maneuver around each other as they make beet endive salad, Korean food, or pizza.
“Our life revolves around food!” said Yoon.
Ashley and Joe, Brooklyn
Though they aim to make 95 percent of meals together, Ashley and Joe don’t find that routine squashes the joy of cooking together. Splurging on ingredients together “is strangely romantic for us,” Ashley said.
The two met while working together in a restaurant at the Jersey Shore. Ashley trained Joe when he started on the job, and soon they made a habit of both picking up as many shifts as possible—so long as the other was working too.
That hard work comes across in the way they cook together. Part of the romance for Ashley and Joe is the effort that goes into an amazing dinner.
“I just asked Joe what the most romantic meal I make him is,” Ashley explained. “And he said Chicken Marsala. I asked why, and he said because I work so hard on it.”
Brian and Eric, Boston
In addition to romantic picnic suppers of cheese, bread, lobster, and wine, sushi is the meal that satisfies this duo. It’s been that way from the start.
“On our first date, I’d been pushing to just go out for drinks,” Brian said. “But Eric called me a few days before and asked if I’d be interested in going out for sushi.”
Brian said yes—he was thrilled, since he loves sushi. “Then, on our walk to the restaurant, he revealed that if I had said that I didn’t eat sushi, he was going to call off the date.”
Now, Brian, a food photographer and blogger, does most of the meal planning and preparation except for the 1% of meals that Eric throws on the grill. Still, his partner’s considerate about chipping in, texting daily to see if anything needs to be picked up from the store.
The only remaining sticking point is the dishwasher.
“I can never seem to load it correctly,” said Brian.
Sophia and Ted
For Sophia, the cooking roles changed the longer that she dated her boyfriend Ted, who “was the first one to brave the kitchen and cook a romantic dinner of stirfry vegetables, chicken, and rice.” These days, Ted no longer does the cooking.
But Sophia doesn’t mind. “I enjoy the cooking,” she said. “I think chopping vegetables can be especially soothing, especially celery.”
Ted repays her devotion to dicing by keeping the kitchen clean, a task whose monotony Sophia detests. That creates a balance for the couple and explains how Ted can be at ease while Sophia cooks, creating an insane mess in the kitchen in the process.
“He sits across from me, knowing that the only part of the mess he has to deal with is the predictable part—cleaning.”
Gail, the owner of a thriving pastry business, deals with sugar all day long. In the evening, it’s about efficiency.
“What can I put on the table that won’t stress me out, that’s quick and nutritious and meat free?”
Sometimes the answer is soup, sometimes easy pastas like Spaghetti a la Trapanese, where a sauce made from blended tomatoes, garlic, cheese, olive oil, and toasted almonds coats hot pasta. Sure, they both love simple foods, but Gail can also usually anticipate what J. wants—they’ve been together for 31 years.
She can also anticipate what time J. will be done laying out her clothes, showering, debriefing from the workday, responding to emails, checking out the TV listings, and doing her nails.
“Miraculously, dinner is ready at the moment her nails are dry. Sound crazy? It’s not. It works for us. I love the act of preparing a meal, no matter how simple, while she scurries about. It’s the greatest gift I can give her.”
Maria and Josh, bloggers at Two Peas and Their Pod, Salt Lake City
A couple where both halves adore being in the kitchen would seem to be a couple perpetually sitting down to gourmet meals, which have come together seamlessly. But two cooks can be too many, causing occasional spats.
“We sometimes argue about what to make,” said Maria. “Since we both love to cook, we both have endless ideas of recipes to make. Luckily, there are lots of days to cook dinner, so we usually save the other person’s idea for the next night.”
Luckily, their minds often settle on the same peace-creating dish: pizza.
“Josh makes the best pizza. He loves his BBQ Chicken Deluxe Pizza, but my favorite is our Sweet Potato Kale Pizza.”
And pizza’s division of labor is ideal:
“Josh makes the pizza dough while I work on the sauce and toppings.”
Opposites might attract, but opposite-sized appetites can cause kitchen conflict.
“Erik consumes an inordinate amount of milk each day,” said Jessy. “More than a few confrontations have arisen when I reach into the fridge for a splash of milk and there is none!”
In some places this might be remedied by filling the fridge top to bottom with half gallons of milk, but in New York, where space is at a premium, it means near constant trips to the store.
Yet their most romantic meal revolves around that milk. At breakfast, Jessy “makes” Erik a bowl of cereal and sips her tea while he eats.
“I love sharing the tea with him,” she said.
In the evening, Erik reciprocates with complicated dinners so ambitious they wind up being enjoyed three hours behind schedule.