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Couples in the Kitchen

Couples in the Kitchen

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It’s one thing to run a restaurant with a business partner, but it’s another thing entirely to run a restaurant with your significant other. More and more couples these days are opening restaurants together, though, and in a lot of ways it makes perfect sense. They get to spend a lot of time together, can communicate on a different wavelength than other business partners, and can share in each other’s successes.

Click Here for the Couples in the Kitchen Slideshow

It’s not always a walk in the park, though. The hours are long, the job is stressful, and sometimes the line between personal and professional lives can be blurred. In the end, though, one thing is for certain: running a restaurant with your significant other is ultimately incredibly rewarding.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we spoke with six couples who run restaurants together: Karen and Quinn Hatfield of Los Angeles’ Hatfield’s, Mary Catherine and Donald Mikula from New York’s Salinas, Tiffany MacIsaac and Kyle Bailey from Washington D.C’s Birch & Barley, Brookville Restaurant in Charlottesville, Va.’s Jennifer and Harrison Keevil, Lindsay and Jesse Schenker from New York’s Recette, and Jenn Louis and David Welch from Portland, Ore.'s Lincoln Restaurant.

They all had unique stories to tell and individual challenges, but there were a couple overriding secret to success: the power of good communication, knowing each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and having trust in one another. And while there are plenty of challenges, nobody we spoke with had any regrets.

Do you run a restaurant with your significant other, or do you know of any who do? Let us know in the comments so we can include them down the road!

Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.

Couples in the Kitchen: The Big Easy 8.17.19

Tired of the same old date night? Why not surprise your sweetheart with a cooking class. In this month’s Couples in the Kitchen class we’re heading to the Big Easy - New Orleans for a menu that is packed with southern flavor and style!

Bananas Foster with Vanilla Ice Cream

Optional wine and/or beer pairings are available for each course at just $15/person. Non-alcoholic beverages are also provided.

Format: Demonstration


Ages 16 and Older Please note: Students under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult. Class price is per person.

What to Expect:

Classes are 2 to 2 1/2 hours, unless otherwise noted above

Enjoy a leisurely evening as you watch our professional chefs walk you through the preparation of each of the recipes in the menu

Couples in the Kitchen: Molly Wizenberg & Brandon Pettit

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.

What was your first home-cooked meal as a couple?

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?

Maldon salt, a pepper grinder, coasters sewn by our friend Hannah, and some linen napkins that we got as a wedding present.

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 .


John: And thank you for joining us today as a listener. Well, have a great weekend with your family and uh, your church community, and then come back on Monday for an insightful conversation about fatherhood. We&rsquoll have Rob Stennett here describing that first-time dad feeling, perfectly.

Rob Stennett: &hellipAnd these two things kind of hit simultaneously. But the first one is fear. Like, it&rsquos just this overwhelming, like, oh, my gosh, I have this &ldquowow&rdquo sense of responsibility all of a sudden. I have to provide. I have to take care of someone. I have, like, such a thing there. And it&rsquos also joy&hellip

Couples in the Kitchen: Speakeasy

Journey back to the roaring 20s when Prohibition was the order of the day - that is, unless you knew the secret password to get into the backroom bar where illicit cocktails, fabulous food, and a roaring good time could be found!

Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin au Jus

Optional wine and/or beer pairings are available for each course at just $25/person. Non-alcoholic beverages are also provided.

Format: Demonstration


Ages 21 and Older. Class price is per person.

What to Expect:

Classes are 2 to 2 1/2 hours, unless otherwise noted above

Enjoy a leisurely evening as you watch our professional chefs walk you through the preparation of each of the recipes in the menu

Your Instructor

Food activist and childhood nutrition advocate Tamzin Cochrane helps the busiest of people to cook up something healthy and delicious, even after a long day. She also helps companies and schools educate around—and create a culture and environment that truly supports—healthy eating. A caterer by trade, she has worked in the food and hospitality industries for years, and now she’s happy to be sharing her love of cooking with the world through speaking, consulting, and video coaching.

These days, Tamzin is changing the conversation around food and nutrition by helping people to love the kitchen and in turn, love themselves. She is passionate about bringing back the lost art of families and friends cooking together, and she loves seeing people enjoy the amazing tastes and textures of their communal effort. She shares this message through virtual coaching and video courses, by speaking at corporations, schools, and events.

Travel Guide for Couples: Easy Meals to Cook While on Honeymoon

The word “cooking” and “honeymoon” vacation don’t fit together. Right? Most people prefer to dine in some fancy restaurant and enjoy the romantic candlelight dinner. But hey, just because you’re enjoying quality time with the love of your life, that doesn’t mean you can’t cook.

Take your romance to the kitchen and cook your first meal together as a couple. You can cook, fire up some candles, and have a candlelight dinner in your room. There are different travel guides for couples available on the internet, and you can get ideas on how to decorate your room.

In these travel guides for couples, we’ll tell you three easy meals that you can cook while on your honeymoon. So, without further ado, let’s begin!

1) Foil Pack Hobo Dinner

Foil pack hobo dinner is one of the easy meals to cook while on honeymoon. The ingredients in hobo dinner can vary. We recommend you find a farmer’s market nearby to purchase the stuff required to prepare a hobo dinner.

Things You’ll Need Aluminum foil, baking sheet, oven, and a knife.


  • Vegetables – Carrots, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, and squash (You can use vegetables of your choice that you and your partner love to eat)
  • Meat – You can use beef, chicken, mutton, fish, or shrimps.
  • Olive oil

Follow the steps below to cook a delicious and nutrient-rich dinner:

1. You’ll need a baking oven and preheat it to 400 degrees.
2. Take aluminum foil and cut two pieces of 17-inches long. One aluminum foil piece for one person.
3. Wash and slice the vegetables of your choice. Marinate the vegetables with olive oil and season them with salt and black pepper.
4. Divide vegetables equally into two parts and place them in the center of the foil.
5. Take the meat of your choice and brush it with olive oil and season it with black pepper and salt. Again, divide meat equally into two parts and place it with the vegetables in the foil.
6. Once you’ve packed your foil with veggies and meat. Create a seal by folding the sides of aluminum foil. Put the foil packs into the baking sheet and place it in the oven. Bake the vegetables for 25 – 30 minutes.
7. Take out the foil packets after the given time, and your delicious food is ready to be served.
Enjoy your delicious hobo dinner with a bottle of red wine.

2) Spicy Thai Basil Chicken

Spicy Thai basil chicken is easy to cook for both lunch and dinner. This delicious dish is at number two in our travel guides for couples.

Things You’ll Need Frying pan, grinder, chopsticks, spoons, and a knife.


  • Eggs – 2
  • Cooking Spray
  • Cooked white rice – 1 ½ cups
  • Thai Chile peppers – 2 (or more as per your taste)
  • Peeled garlic cloves – 2 (or more as per your taste)
  • Chicken breast – Half (cut it into small size pieces)
  • Soy sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • Oyster sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • White sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Thai basil – 14 leaves

Follow the steps below to prepare delicious Cajun chicken pasta:

1. Use cooking spray to coat the frying pan. Place it on the stove with medium heat and cook scrambled eggs.
2. Take cooked rice and divide it into two bowls and add scrambled eggs into the rice.
3. Use a grinder to grind the garlic cloves and Thai Chile peppers.
4. Take the frying pan and coat it with the cooking the spray. Cook the mixture of garlic and Thai Chile peppers on medium heat until the garlic turns brown. Add chicken into the mixture and cook about 3 minutes or until its halfway-cooked.
5. Take oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Mix these ingredients into the chicken and keep stirring until the chicken is fully cooked. Finally, add basil and cook for 10 more seconds. Remove the frying pan from the stove and keep stirring the mixture until basil wilts.
Spicy Thai Basil Chicken is ready to be served. Spoon over rice and egg and enjoy the delicious dinner with your love.

3) Lemon Rosemary Salmon

Lemon rosemary salmon is an ideal romantic dinner if you serve it with salad, white rice, Oregon pinot noir, and crusty bread.

Things You’ll Need Baking oven, baking dish, fork, and a knife.


  • Lemon – 1 (sliced thinly)
  • Fresh Rosemary – 4
  • Salmon fillets – 2 (without bones and skin removed)
  • Salt – as per taste
  • Olive oil – as needed

Follow the steps below to cook tasty and delicious lemon rosemary salmon.

1. You’ll need an oven, and you should preheat to 400 degrees F.
2. Take a baking dish and arrange sliced lemons in a layer. Put 2 fresh rosemary over the layer of lemons and put salmon fillets over the rosemary.
3. Sprinkle salt over the salmon fillets as per your requirements. Put rosemary over the fillets and lemon slices over the rosemary. Drizzle olive oil over the fillets.
4. Put the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes, take out the baking dish, and lemon rosemary salmon is ready to be served.
Serve the dish with wild rice and fresh salad. Enjoy the romantic dinner with the bottle of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs champagne.

All the recipes mentioned above are delicious and easy to cook. They’ll take an average time of 40 minutes. Enjoy your honeymoon with your partner, and try to cook these easy meals together.
Have fun, and enjoy your honeymoon!

Chocolate Pots de Crème

These silky smooth chocolate custards are baked in two small ceramic ramekins, making them the perfect choice to end a romantic dinner for two.

Chocolate Pots de Crème

1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) whole milk

6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) heavy cream

1 1⁄2 oz. (45 g) best-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus more for optional garnish

2 1⁄2 Tbs. (1 1⁄2 oz./45 g) sugar

Whipped cream for serving (optional)

Preheat an oven to 300°F (150°C).

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and cream and heat until small bubbles appear along the sides of the pan. Add the chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula just until the chocolate is melted. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.

In a bowl, gently stir together the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly pour the warm (not hot) chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring pitcher. Spoon off any foam from the surface.

Arrange two 1⁄2-cup (4–fl. oz./125-ml) ramekins, custard cups or other ovenproof dishes in a deep
baking dish. Divide the chocolate mixture evenly between the ramekins. Pour hot water into the dish to reach about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the baking dish loosely with foil to prevent a skin from forming on the custards. Bake until the custards are just firm at the edges but still tremble in the center when the ramekins are shaken gently, about 30 minutes.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and carefully remove the ramekins from the water. Allow to cool completely before covering and refrigerating for at least 2 hours or up to overnight to set.

Serve the custards chilled. If desired, spoon a dollop of whipped cream on each custard and grate a
dusting of chocolate over the top. Serves 2

Find more fun recipes for couples in the kitchen—and everyone else who enjoys making great food—in our Two in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Newlyweds , by Christie Dufault and Jordan Mackay

Are You in a Pandemic Relationship Rut?

Wedding vows say &lsquofor better, for worse,&rsquo but there&rsquos no marital motto for maintaining marriage amid a pandemic &mdash let alone any semblance of a sex life. It&rsquos no surprise that couples are suffering: Secluded and lonesome, we&rsquore simultaneously smothered sans physical space from our spouses. And when the sensation of &ldquomissing&rdquo your partner is a relic of times bygone for many couples, it starts to feel like romance is too.

If this sounds like your situation, you&rsquore far from alone. Countless couples &mdash my husband and myself included &mdash have found themselves in love ruts in lockdown. &ldquoCouples are having difficulty connecting because it’s almost too much time together,&rdquo Dr. Diana Wiley , marriage and sex therapist and author of Love in the Time of Corona , tells me over the phone. &ldquoAnd there’s so much depression and anxiety that it’s hard for people to even think about being physically intimate.&rdquo

That said, the pandemic is not a romance death sentence. Intimacy can and will be alive and well in the time of Covid &mdash it just takes some work to revive. Here&rsquos how the experts say to resurrect romance in lockdown.

Focus on yourself first

Remember we&rsquore going through a global pandemic, and no one is feeling 100 percent &mdash or even 50, for that matter. Cut yourself some slack! Applying extra pressure to be or feel perfect is not just hurting you, but potentially your relationship, too.

&ldquoThe added stress of COVID-19 is a factor in couple conflict,&rdquo Sara Lamb , relationship therapist, says. &ldquoPeople are not at their best: More anxious, more worried about finances or losing their job&hellip[This] can be very hard on your relationship.&rdquo Dr. Jacqui Gabb, professor of Sociology and Intimacy and chief relationships officer at Paired , agrees: &ldquoIt&rsquos widely accepted that we&rsquove all experienced at least low-level stress at some point this year. Arguments are likely to flare up because we&rsquore feeling ill-at-ease with ourselves.&rdquo

In short: If you’re not prospering as a person, you&rsquore likely not thriving in relationships. Your mental and emotional well-being directly impact your performance as a partner. That&rsquos why, prior to repairing a relationship, you should prioritize your health first &mdash like how airlines advise putting on and securing your own oxygen mask before helping others.

&ldquoAs individuals, it’s incredibly important to maintain your own physical and mental health, develop outlets for stress and ways to continue finding meaning,&rdquo Lamb says. &ldquoMaybe through work or volunteerism or connections with close others.&rdquo Amira Johnson , therapist and relationship expert, agrees, noting the importance of couples remembering &ldquothat they are individuals first and need solicitude and time to recharge.&rdquo Johnson suggests practicing &lsquosolo self care&rsquo by doing things that bring you joy on your own, like going for walks, practicing yoga, meditating, listening to music in headphones or reading a book.

Be honest about how you feel

According to a KFF Tracking Poll , more than half of adults have cited pandemic-related stresses as having negatively impacted on their mental health &mdash one in four of whom have reported a &lsquomajor&rsquo negative impact. According to the experts with whom I spoke however, many struggle to honestly share these feelings with loved ones &mdash among other emotional obstacles. &ldquoCouples may be fighting more as a result of not being able to truly express what they are experiencing,&rdquo Johnson explains. &ldquoThere are couples that don&rsquot know how to tell one another &lsquoI feel like I&rsquom losing myself right now&rsquo or &lsquoI need balance between connecting with you and having time to myself.&rsquo&rdquo

Johnson suggests promoting open and honest communication by &ldquoletting each other know their goals&rdquo prior to having important conversations, as well as &ldquosetting boundaries, creating safe words, and informing one another that they are in a safe place.&rdquo This way, &ldquoboth individuals may feel more open to express how they are truly feeling because the fear of judgment or being wrong may no longer be in their space.&rdquo This will not only help your relationship, but can help you feel better in general as well. Plus, as Lamb points out, &ldquopartners can be incredibly soothing to each other’s fears and sadness if they can find a way to talk and share their feelings about this unprecedented situation.&rdquo

Practice deep listening

&ldquoOne of the best sex tips in the world is to listen to each other,&rdquo Wiley says. &ldquoBut so many people don&rsquot really listen.&rdquo So many in fact she included a deep listening exercise in her book Love in the Time of Corona (which yes, I read in its entirety for this article) to help remedy that. Deep listening isn’t just hearing words then nodding your head and saying &ldquoI understand,&rdquo though: It&rsquos actually the opposite. According to Wiley, listening to respond &mdash or having a conversation &mdash can actually hinder the ability to empathize because instead of hearing , we&rsquore formulating responses or assuming what our partner is likely to say next.

To avoid mental distraction during important discussions, Wiley suggests the following: Choose one subject of conversation and commit to completely staying on topic. Decide on a &ldquotalking object,&rdquo which can be anything &mdash a pen, scarf, pillow, cat &mdash as long as you can hold and pass it to your partner without trouble (so maybe not the cat). Appoint someone to go first and speak sans interruption (only when holding the talking object!), and when finished, pass the object to the second speaker who will then explain what they heard and understood from the first speaker. The first assesses whether the second heard them correctly, and the exercise goes on as such &mdash each sharing, then responding, then assessing, and so on &mdash only speaking while holding the object.

&ldquoOne of the key benefits of this method is that it may help you feel that you have been heard and understood,&rdquo Wiley explains. &ldquoIt slows down your communication into discrete steps so that each of you can focus on really listening to your partner.&rdquo

Schedule date nights

While it doesn&rsquot sound particularly sexy, according to Wiley, scheduling date nights &mdash and even sex &mdash can be revolutionary for relationships. &ldquoThe best way for making sex happen is to get it on the calendar,&rdquo she insists. &ldquoIt&rsquos a Hollywood myth that passion will just suddenly hit you, and you’re going to go running into the other person’s arms &mdash especially these days with COVID and all of the anxiety and stressors.&rdquo That said, you don&rsquot need to have intercourse on every date night &mdash not only does intimacy mean something different for everyone (not everyone likes sex!), but it can simply be refreshing to dress up for a nice meal.

Plus, everyone defines ‘date night’ differently. My husband and I enjoy cooking and having a candlelit dinner in dress clothes. Others might prefer playing board games or reading poetry aloud, while some may opt to take a bath together, or give each other back rubs after the kids have gone to bed. Whatever your tastes, be sure to indulge in what brings you both pleasure and &ldquopay extra attention to setting the scene for a romantic time together.&rdquo Wiley suggests cleaning the house, taking a shower, and putting on clean clothes &mdash not &ldquodirty pajamas you have been wearing for days.&rdquo

And if you’re not feeling particularly glamorous, that&rsquos okay: &lsquoDate nights’ don&rsquot have to be a full on affair. Sometimes just planning time together, however trivial the activity seems, is plenty. As Lamb points out, couples can simply &ldquo meet up at some point, maybe for lunch in the kitchen, a workout, or a cuddle on the couch at the end of the day.&rdquo

Get experimental in the bedroom

Having been confined to the same four walls for what feels like forever, time has lost all meaning and so have routines &mdash especially when it comes to nurturing our relationships, and even the possibility to do so. &ldquoOften we bring a sense of excitement and freshness to the relationship by being in new environments, sharing new ideas, and vacationing together in exotic locations,&rdquo Lamb points out. &ldquoFor most of us this is impossible now, so we may have to get more inventive or rethink what makes our sex lives work.&rdquo But it can feel impossible to revamp your sex life when we&rsquore barely staying afloat as is &mdash or perhaps not impossible, but unimportant given everything else going on. That said, science finds sex (however you define it) to be crucial for a thriving relationship. According to Dr. Wiley, studies show that &ldquocouples having regular sex have fewer arguments and get over [arguments] much faster.&rdquo Research has also found that frequent sex &mdash meaning at least once a week &mdash improves overall health and well-being. &ldquoSex is the glue of a relationship,&rdquo she adds. &ldquoAnd it&rsquos far harder and much more painful to be a sexless couple than it is to do the work.&rdquo

If a standalone date night doesn&rsquot do the trick, try something different: Wiley suggests a &lsquosex menu&rsquo exercise in which you and your partner each fill out a long chart of sexual activities based on your interest in giving and/or receiving said exercise (&lsquomaybe&rsquo is an option), like spanking, role play, or using restraints. When finished, compare results: Examine what you&rsquore both willing to try, or how you can compromise to fulfill each other&rsquos needs comfortably. Keep the menus handy for date nights and alone time and treat yourself to X tapas from the menu (or should I say XXX). Alternatively, you can simply keep note in the back of your mind. Either way, you’ll always have something new to try for when the time feels right.

And if you don&rsquot want to order a la carte, that&rsquos a-okay. Simply discussing your desires is a great place to start &mdash whether that&rsquos sex, cuddling, or something else entirely.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you&rsquoll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

Before you go, check out our sex position bucket list to help inspire you and your partner:

(20 votes, average: 3.95 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1 x


On a busy weeknight, taco recipes to the rescue! These spiced chickpea tacos are vegetarian and vegan, and featuring an avocado cream drizzle.


For the chickpeas

  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas ( 3 cups cooked)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Fresh ground pepper

For the avocado cream (for for vegan, substitute Cilantro Drizzle)