CULINARY ADVENTURES WITH HUSBANDS THAT COOK
If marriage is like a box of chocolates (“You never know what you’re going to get”), then a gay marriage is like a book of chocolate dessert recipes (“You never know what you’re going to get, but it will surely be creative, elaborate, and decadent”). Think chocolate and peanut butter cookie dough cupcakes with toasted marshmallow, bourbon chocolate mint shake, triple chocolate peppermint parfaits, or chocolate avocado pudding.
And that’s only one path through the wonderland of breakfasts, dinners, cocktails, and side dishes curated by husbands Adam and Ryan of the award winning blog Husbands That Cook.
The culinary couple don’t limit their recipe blogs to the home kitchen. They take us along with them on outdoor adventures, travelling to food and drink meccas and pairing recipes with each voyage, such as this Garlic Toast & Goat Cheese while sailing in the British Virgin Isles, this Cream Cocktail inspired by a retreat in Kentucky Bourbon country, these Kauai Paradise Triple Coconut Cookies, and this Blue Glacier Cocktail derived from an Alaskan Trek.
When Adam and Ryan met, they didn’t know what they were going to get out of their relationship. They may have known that they were going to fall in love quickly, but they couldn’t have known that five years into their relationship they would become husbands, even before it was legal in the state of California. They couldn’t have known how their passion for preparing delectable dishes and sharing with amicable friends would turn into much more than a food blog.
Ryan and Adam’s story speaks to the unknown adventures that a loving marriage can uncover. When the two first met, Ryan was a musician at the University of Southern California and Adam was a sound engineer, so they instantly shared their love of music. (That musical passion is still alive; you’ll notice the black and white piano keys tucked into the background of their cooking shows streamed live on Instagram and available on YouTube.) Their shared interest in culinary artistry, however, was unearthed gradually throughout their relationship. Ryan had always loved spending time in the kitchen and had maintained a folder of faithful recipes. Over time, Adam joined in and became just as adroit with a chef’s knife as his husband. In 2015 the pair launched Husbands That Cook as a blog that shares not only recipes but also tips, tricks, and ravishing culinary photography that will make even the most amateur chefs among us feel inspired to begin our own kitchen adventures.
Within a year, Husbands That Cook was a finalist in the prestigious Saveur Blog Awards and has since been featured by Crate & Barrel, Whole Foods, Williams Sonoma, Better Homes and Gardens, and countless other publications. We can’t wait to get our hands on the Husbands That Cook book (now available for preorder). The book’s description guarantees intrigue, laughter, and--most importantly--promising recipes: “Many of the recipes in the book represent significant moments in their love story. From the Coconut Curry with Chickpeas and Cauliflower inspired by their first date at a shopping mall food court, to the Communication Breakdown Carrot Cake—one of their biggest kitchen disasters—many recipes are a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their relationship.”
When the pair started out on the path to launching Husbands That Cook, they admit they had a lot to learn. Their initial photography was not nearly as beautiful as it is now. What’s even more beautiful than the photography is the positive influence the blog has had on its community of readers. These culinary husbands learned over time that their recipes carry more meaning than a mere list of cooking instructions. Through live streaming videos on social media each week where they prepare dishes in real time, the couple have grown a large following of fans from all over the world. As one of the guys pointed out to Men’s Vows: “Everybody eats. Food brings people together.” This community of fans is able to witness a loving gay couple share their passion for food in such a way that is has even converted the hearts and minds of people who previously weren’t accepting of same-sex marriage.
Men’s Vows had the opportunity to do an exclusive interview with Ryan and Adam, and we wanted to know all the juicy details of their own wedding (pun intended).
When they married in 2006, neither man had attended a same-sex wedding ceremony. Their wedding predated Men’s Vows and likely every other gay wedding resource, not to mention legalization of gay marriage. These men are two brave matrimonial trailblazers. They weren’t alone on their wedding day, as 120 guests assembled in a church on the University of Southern California campus to witness the interfaith ceremony in gesture of support. Both husbands emphasized how intensely emotional the day was--how powerful and sacred the experience was for them. When asked what in particular was their most memorable moment, Ryan explained how it felt seeing the smiles and the tears of friends and family who were in attendance, and Adam spoke of the vow recitation and the signing of the Jewish katubah.
As gay groom pioneers, Adam and Ryan had the freedom to create their wedding however they liked. There were several religious traditions they upheld, such as the use of a Jewish chuppah, the breaking of the glass (by both grooms simultaneously), and the practice of yichud. Yichud (Hebrew for “togetherness” or “seclusion”) is time taken immediately upon completion of the ceremony for the newlyweds to be alone to reflect on their vows. As anxious as any newlywed couple may be after the ceremony to get to the reception, this 15 minute time period permits the new husbands several moments to take in the magnitude and emotion of their big day. In the food department, the grooms who would later become Husbands That Cook departed from tradition, creatively opting for a tower of cream-filled profiteroles in place of a cake.
If there’s anything we’ve learned from Ryan and Adam, it’s that the marriage adventure can be delicious and full of surprise.
We asked the Husbands That Cook for wedding & marriage advice, and here’s what they had to share:
It’s worth it! The time, energy, and financial investment that comes along with planning a special wedding pays off. There’s something about the unique emotions of the day that last forever.
Focus on what’s important. Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, but what truly matters are the promises you and your husband-to-be share with each other.
Don’t go to bed angry. Conflicts can be complex and difficult to solve in one day, but always find forgiveness and kindness in your heart before the day is closed.
Think about how you communicate. The words you choose matter. Instead of saying “you are [insert adjective],” focus your constructive criticism on your partner’s actions by phrasing your message “that action was [insert adjective].”
Give space when it’s needed. As much as we love common interests such as music or cooking, every man occasionally needs time to himself.