She's a self-made entrepreneur with more projects than a middle school science fair. (Copy her recipes from The Seasoned Life cookbook! Watch her make them during Ayesha's Home Kitchen on Food Network! Laugh at her jokes cohosting ABC's Great American Baking Show! Steal her CoverGirl beauty secrets! Feel generally inspired to get your sh*t together after reading through her list of accomplishments!)
Since we know approximately zero people busier than Ayesha, we figured, who better to field all our newlywed cooking questions for couples short on time (and maybe skills or money too—Curry is notably budget-minded.)?
"I definitely recommend couples cooking together, especially as newlyweds," she tells BRIDES. "And if one person just can’t stand it, still be in the kitchen with the other person cooking. Pour a glass of wine. Turn the music up. Talk. Those moments of disconnecting from the rest of the world to prepare a meal for each other are good relationship-builders."
And oh, look at that! Ayesha just released a kitchenware collection with Meyer Corporation that's actually affordable, and that, in promo-speak, "combines cooking performance (think porcelain enamel, hard-anodized, and stainless steel) with Instagram-ready style (think sparkly exteriors, trendy colors, and spatulas with cutesy blue hearts)."
Below (exclusively for BRIDES!), Curry dishes on her favorite collection items for couples starting out, the first meal she ever cooked Stef, and a warning for all brides regarding the worst mistake she's made in the kitchen.
BRIDES: This whole line sings registry-potential! I want everything in my kitchen colored "brown sugar" now. Do you have any products that are especially good for newlyweds?
Curry: Oh my goodness. How do I answer that? All of them, right?! But I think investing in one of the 11- or 12-piece sets is a great idea because you get a little bit of everything that you need.
And then definitely my knife set!
The 3-pack includes a chef knife, a utility knife, and a paring knife. Y’know, they sell all sorts of butcher block sets, but those are the three that you’re really going to use every single day. I’ve been testing mine out for six months now, and it just doesn’t dull. The quality is amazing. I'd highly recommend newlyweds put those on their registries.
Right, newlyweds in particular are looking for those "base sets" they'll use most regularly.
Absolutely. And, I feel like when you’re newlyweds starting out and settling in your new place, it’s so nice to bring something new into your home and actually like the way it looks too. With these, you can leave them out on the counter because they're functional and they’re that cute.
And accessible! You can get these online, but also in person at Target and most retail stores, right?
Yep! People can get the goods at retailers nationwide.
You've been very open about how meaningful food is to your family. Let’s talk about some of your favorite cooking memories with your husband Stephen. Do you remember the first time you cooked for him?
Oh my God. I was 19. I was a baby. It was at my home. My parents were gone and surprisingly let me have him over, which was a big deal for me—to have a boy over. I did chicken with this seasoning that his dad used all the time at his house. Since this was my first time cooking for him, I was like, “Whoa, I better draw on a staple. If he likes his dad’s food, then I’ll use this on mine.” So it’s this stuff called “Southern seasoning” and I still use it to this day. It’s this dark, charcoal-colored seasoning, and it’s so funny because I can’t put my finger on what exactly is in it. On the label it says like, “salt, garlic, pepper, charcoal, and ‘other spices.’” They don’t give the secrets away. But I just basically smothered the chicken in butter and that seasoning and roasted it off. And we’re married now, so...
So there it is! This was essentially your version of “engagement chicken.” Do you remember his reaction?
He loved it. There were no leftovers.
Any other fun cooking stories with Steph? Lessons you've learned?
My advice to all the women out there would be: never put garlic in your eggs. I was trying to be experimental one time before we got married. He loves my scrambled eggs, but something told me to be inventive and put garlic powder in there. It was disgusting. He was so sweet about it too. He was like, “Hey, did you do something different to the eggs?” I was like, “Yeah. I put garlic powder in ‘em.” And he just shook his head. He’s like, “I like...uh, I like the ones that you usually make...” So, I haven’t done it since. I should’ve known, "Don’t switch up a good thing.” That’s key.
What's a successful something you make for him?
He loves when I make him chicken parm. It’s one of those comfort-food dishes, and I do it a little differently than a traditional chicken parm. I make the sauce from scratch, and instead of breading the chicken, I do a light sear on it. It’s a fresher, healthier take. I always know I can make him happy with that.
Does Steph have any game in the kitchen? Rumor has it y'all have a mobile cooking game coming soon...
With my meal-kit delivery service, he’s gotten really adventurous. Oftentimes, he’ll be the one cooking. So, that’s been really, really nice—being able to have that one day a week when the man’s cooking for you. That’s different and new for us, and I love it.
Is there anything he makes that you really love?
He makes this five-ingredient pasta, and it’s really simple and fresh, but hearty and delicious at the same time. That’s, like, the one thing in his little arsenal. That recipe is in my cookbook, and he’s very proud of it.
What have you prepared with your new cookware?
Ooh! Well, I just unboxed a set the other day, and we made my spice-rub chicken with parsley-mint sauce. I was so excited because I used my grill pan and it gave the chicken breast the perfect sear marks. We had guests over, so it was a good testimony to the cookware.
Any last-minute thoughts for newlyweds about the importance of spending time together in the kitchen? And what if they say, “Oh, we’re just too busy! It’s our first year of marriage! We're figuring all this stuff out! Blah, blah blah!”
My advice would be to order my meal-kit service! Everything is laid out for them and ready to go. There are no excuses any more. And as you expand and start a family, make sure you cook with your kids. Involve the little ones as well. [Ed. note: The Currys have two daughters Riley, 5, and Ryan, 2, who are heavily featured on Ayesha’s site and social media, and precious beyond belief.]
It all goes full circle and it’s very important for building strong relationships. You're giving each other something that’s so necessary in life—which is to eat—but you’re also making it creative and fun.