Interview with The Duo Dishes!

Fri, May 28, 2010


Today we are getting to know a little more about Chrystal and Amir of The Duo Dishes. These two are great friends that actually went to college together in North Carolina and after both moving to Los Angeles, found that they both have a great passion for food. They are both so kind as to invite us into their kitchens to see what they cook up together as well as on their own!

What made you decide to write a blog about food  and to do it together rather than separately?

Duo Dishes: We started the blog in November 2008. It really did happen on a whim. We had known each other back in college, but it wasn’t until we both moved to LA and began hanging out in intersecting circles that we realized food was a common factor. We would talk about different recipes, cook together and then cook for other people together. One day, Chrystal said it would be a good idea to start a food blog–a place to share our recipes and photos of food with our friends and family. It just grew from there.

Obviously food means a lot to both of you. How did you both become so passionate about it?

I’ve had an appreciation for food for a long time, though I do not know if I would’ve called it passion at the time. Baking was always something I enjoyed during middle school and high school, but when I went to college, it was difficult to cook. Right after college, I moved to Los Angeles and over time discovered new restaurants and the ethnic food scene in LA. I started cooking more at home and found that it was a creative outlet that I enjoyed.

Amir: As long as I could remember, I’ve always loved to eat.  Even as a young kid, I was known to my friends and family as a passionate eater who never turned down a good meal.  My whole life half-eaten plates were passed down to me, and any sort of leftovers were mine for the taking.  As I got older, I grew interested in how food was actually made.  I spent a lot time hanging out in the kitchen with my mom, grandmother and aunts and marveled at all the ways one can manipulate and prepare food, cooking it in whatever ways you wanted.  Like Chrystal, moving to LA after college opened me up a whole new host of new ingredients and types of cuisines.  My appreciation and passion for eating, and cooking, intensified greatly.

MiK: How often do the two of you get together to make food, and how easy is it for the two of you to agree on a recipe?

Duo Dishes:
We no longer live very close by anymore, so it’s easiest to get together whenever we throw a dinner party, birthday gathering, bbq, etc. There are always occasions that warrant food, so it is often. Of course, we cook on our own as well, so we are both constantly testing new recipes. In terms of agreeing on recipes, that is very easy. Most of the time, we’ll brainstorm via email or text about something that sounds good, then we’ll piece together ingredients to match with it. From there, it’s all just a matter of cooking it then finalizing measurements for the sake of documenting recipes for the blog.

You make mention of the amount of dessert recipes featured on The Duo Dishes in your FAQ. Can you share each of your favorites from that list?

We make a lot of sweets! I have a few favorites. We made an Apricot and Pumpkin Ice Cream for a dinner party that was really amazing. There were also a Pear and Walnut Cake and a Walnut and Maple Cream Cake that are near the top of the list for me.

We definitely have a sweet tooth!  I loved the Banana Pudding Cake we made early on in the blog.  It was a vanilla wafer cake layered with homemade vanilla pudding and, of course, bananas with a whipped cream icing on top.  Divine!  As well, I am a fan of anything pancakes!  We have a Sweet Potato Pie Pancakes and a Rum Coconut recipe that beats them all for me.

On your FAQ page it says that the two of you met at University in North Carolina. Now you’re living in Los Angeles. How different are the two regions when it comes to cuisine?

Chrystal: It’s almost impossible to compare Chapel Hill, NC and Los Angeles. Southern food is great, and it’s steeped in tradition. There are staple Southern dishes that you’ll see at most family gatherings or at different restaurants, and for me, I look forward to having those foods every once in a while because they are associated with specific events or times of the year. Californian cuisine has always stood out for being healthy, organic, local, light, flavorful, fusion-oriented. Those are all things that appeal to me. It wasn’t until I moved to California that I began to really cook with fresh vegetables and fruits, especially with a climate that almost encourages you to eat seasonally. The interesting thing is that the healthy, varied vibe of food has infiltrated parts of the South as well. Though Southern food and Californian dishes will always differ, it is nice to know that you can occasionally find a happy medium.

I agree.  I actually don’t have anything to add!

If either one of you were a dish what would you be? If you were an ingredient what would you be?

As a dish, maybe I would be a super fresh California roll. Even though it sounds boring, it is my favorite roll, and I love sushi. If I were an ingredient, I would be sea salt. It just makes everything taste better!

If I were a dish, I would most definitely be a stack of buttermilk pancakes smothered in maple syrup with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.  This is the meal that keeps on giving!  Just one ingredient?  I’d have to say cinnamon.  It adds a great flavor to any dish, savory or sweet.

Thank you so much Chrystal and Amir for such a fantastic interview! If you’d like to check out some of the sweet and savory dishes that these two have created, you can do so over at The Duo Dishes!

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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24 Responses to “Interview with The Duo Dishes!”

  1. Michael / South Bay Foodies Says:

    Chrystal and Amir are the best! I can offer personal testimony to the skill and they possess when it comes to throwing down in the kitchen. I’ve been a fan of their blog for a while now and they just keep the good stuff coming. :)

  2. Rochelle Says:

    I haven’t gotten the chance to have anything they’ve made, but the recipes on their site sound fantastic! I’m jealous that you’ve had first hand experience :D

  3. courtney aka glamah Says:

    Great article on some of my favorite bloggers!

  4. Cameron Rogers Says:

    i like reading food blogs because i am always seeking for new recipes.*”

  5. Gabrielle Ross Says:

    i always bookmark food blogs becuase i want to look at new recipes.;`~

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    Finding good information from blogs is not always easy, but you have done a great job here, interesting title ( Interview with The Duo Dishes! | Made in Kitchen Blog ) too, cool.

  7. Gabrielle Ross Says:

    i love to eat cakes and bake them too that is why i am always on the lookout for cake recipes”*:

  8. Microwave Cart ` Says:

    i love food blogs because i love to eat tasty and sweet foods`~’

  9. L-Methionine Dosage : Says:

    i maintain at least three food blogs because i really love to eat and drink.:,

  10. Flatware Sets · Says:

    the cake recipes on the internet are all very delicious and i want to try and bake all of them*

  11. Gilberto Arvez Says:

    Interesting, thank you! I spent my childhood in Yorkshire in the UK, and I’ve been trying to find a recipe for this delicious pie I remember eating all the time, but can’t remember what we called it!!! Do you know a famous pie recipe from Yorkshire?

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  1. Interview with The Duo Dishes! | Made in Kitchen Blog | Dessert Recipes - 28. May, 2010

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