Two beautiful dudes fall in love, develop a popular blog and make a cookbook out of it in a matter of years. That’s pretty much the story behind the popular duo Husbands That Cook (Ryan Alvarez and Adam Merrin) who just came out with a tasty new cookbook you’ll definitely want to get your hands on.
The Los Angeles based foodies have been together for over a decade and have cooked up some wonderful recipes over the course of that time that many people have brought into their own homes thanks to their popular blog of the same name.
Now they’ve released an amazing cookbook surrounding what they’ve concocted in the past called Husbands That Cook: 120 Irresistible Vegetarian Recipes and Tales from Our Tiny Kitchen. It was released this past Tuesday and the cutie twosome are currently on a book tour for it.
Ryan and Adam were nice enough to take a breather and discuss their new book as well as how this career and project all came together and so much more.
Your new cookbook, Husbands That Cook, just came out on Tuesday. How does it feel to finally reach this milestone?
We are BEYOND excited. We poured our hearts and souls into this book for over 2 years—we basically had no lives and had to cancel almost all our social plans during that time. Some nights we would stay up past midnight, cooking and testing in the kitchen, then wake up at the crack of dawn to start all over again. Our cookbook was just released on Tuesday (March 12), and we are so thrilled for people to see it. It was worth every second, every stressful situation trying to meet deadlines, and every Friday and Saturday night when we had to stay home instead of going out and partying with our friends. This is our first book, and we couldn’t be more proud of it. It’s more than just a cookbook: it’s a love story about our 17-year relationship as a couple.
What inspired you guys do want to work together on something like this?
In early January 2015, Ryan had the idea to start a cooking blog. We knew nothing about food photography and didn’t even own a camera, but we knew we had delicious recipes that we wanted to share with people. So we threw ourselves into the world of blogging—figuring out everything as quickly as possible—and launched our site, Husbands That Cook, in April 2015. The blog took off very quickly—we were nominated for a prestigious Saveur Blog Award and were contacted by a literary agent asking if we had ever thought of writing a cookbook—less than a year and a half after our launch! Even though we weren’t seeking it out at the time, the idea of having our own book sounded a creative undertaking, and we jumped at the opportunity.
The cookbook is vegetarian, which could be a hard sell for a bear like me who enjoys his meat. How do you respond to that for people who are a bit leery to do only vegetarian cooking?
Haha, this cookbook is definitely for vegetarians AND non-vegetarians… and bears, otters, cubs, twinks, twunks, daddies, and zaddies! The funny thing is, most of our audience doesn’t even realize that we are vegetarians—we just love eating food that is satisfying and delicious… and happens to be meat-free. There are 21 original entrées in this book that will have everyone at the table licking their plates and asking for seconds. These protein-packed main courses will pleasantly fill you up, and nothing here is made with boring sticks and leaves. We also love to travel and are so lucky to have visited some exotic places over the years. We’ve been to Tanzania, Japan, The Galapagos, and have traveled around Europe, so we’ve included all our favorite vegetarian dishes from our adventures around the world.
Do you each have a favorite recipe in the book?
We are leaving for our book tour this afternoon, and two entire suitcases are packed with ingredients for the tour! We’re hosting book signing events all along the West Coast, including Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and Napa, then heading to NYC in April. These two giant suitcases contain everything we need to make thousands of Gooey Butterscotch Blondies from the Desserts chapter in our book. This easy one-bowl recipe is one of our favorites, and at every signing event we set out trays of freshly-baked blondies for everyone to sample. We also really love the Cuban Empanadas in the Entrées chapter. Ryan’s abuelita made them all the time when he was growing up, and even though she never used a recipe, he learned her techniques by watching her cook—and now we’re so excited to share her secret family recipe with the world.
Tell us about how you two met in the first place and how your love story blossomed.
Ryan was a freshman in college and sang in the USC Jazz choir. His group decided to produce an album to sell at their concerts, so they booked a few weeks at the recording studio where Adam was the engineer. Adam immediately had his eyes on the cute, skinny baritone singer with glasses… and five years later we were married in front of 120 of our friends and family. We’ve been together for 17 years and been husbands for 12 of those years. We never would have predicted becoming authors, but now we have a beautiful book that we are so proud of. It’s colorful, glossy, and all the recipes are freaking delicious!
Does the heat in the kitchen translate into the bedroom as well? (Wink wink)
Let’s just say that we love spicy food—like our fiery Banh Mi Sandwich with crispy tofu—and that fire certainly doesn’t stop once we leave the kitchen…
I see you are also touring for your book. How exciting! What are you looking forward to this most while hitting the road with each other?
We have friends and family in all the cities we’ll be visiting, so we can’t wait to see everyone and meet some new friendly faces as well. We had our book launch party at Barnes and Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles last Saturday, and although we were nervous leading up to the event, we felt such a boost of confidence from the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response we received. This was the first time we have ever appeared onstage together where we had to talk about ourselves for 30 minutes, but we just went up there, had a fun time, and it felt like a party! We sold out all our books that day and went home feeling overjoyed. Since it took so much time and hard work to write this book, we are honestly so pumped to be able to just relax and enjoy all the attention! 🙂
Anything else you want to add?
Did you know that we were each other’s first boyfriends? We took things slow at first—we were friends for 4 months before our first kiss! But on September 23, 2001, while we were watching the Ken Burns Jazz documentary in Adam’s tiny studio apartment in Los Feliz, we were cuddling on the couch and had our arms around each other, and it just happened naturally. Our lips met for the first time, and we have called that evening our anniversary ever since.