When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
We've both loved cooking for as long as we can remember. Bay grew up on an avocado farm and took to baking first (cupcakes, cakes, lemon bars - anything really). Nick grew up in an Italian-American family and was always creating pastas and sauces. The very first thing we ever made together, on our second day of hanging out in San Francisco, was a shrimp pasta dish.
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
We live in an industrial studio in downtown Portland so our kitchen is on the cozy side, but completely functional. The good thing about having a small space is that it forces you to downsize and as a result, you end up with only the necessities. We go for older artsy and eclectic places with a lot of charm and although our brick building is from the early 1900's, the interiors have been refurbished - so our kitchen is sleek and clean with stainless steel appliances, white counters, and black cabinets. It seemed plain at first, but now it's home to our cookbook collection which brings a whole lot of soul to it! To keep organized when cooking, we like to have a clean space to begin. We use a lot of parchment paper on our surfaces and measure our ingredients out beforehand (when we feel like measuring, which isn't often). We try to clean as we go, but if we're really having fun, we tend to forget this. Sometimes the happiest cooks have the messiest kitchens :)
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Get creative and don't be afraid to fail. We see people all the time who are so insistent upon following the recipe to every exact measurement, that the experience and the therapeutic nature of cooking becomes lost to them. Taste your ingredients and learn as you go. Become familiar with spices. Turn on yours tunes, pour a glass of wine, and cook with people who make you excited to experiment. Like Julia Child said, "No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing."
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
Ina Garten and her husband Jeffrey. We think that given their true superstardom and talent, it would have to be more of a collaborative cooking event. We imagine Ina would make her chocolate cake, we'd make a few homemade pizzas and Jeffrey would pour the Ina-Tinis. Then, when the real rip-roaring party ensued, Elton John and Oprah would make their appearances.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
We're both writers and photographers and big fans of nature hikes and explorations. Bay's been working on her first novel, an adaptation of her graduate school thesis, for the last few years and Nick has done a lot of work in the film industry through acting, writing, and producing. Food is just one of our many loves, but it always seem to make its way into our other creative endeavors. It's that thing that beautiful thing that binds and brings us all together.
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
White on Rice Couple Blog