The Food Network star dishes on her busy schedule, her new meal kit delivery service, and what she's actually cooking for her family.
Ayesha Curry is a busy woman. Not only is she mother to two young children and the wife to NBA star, Steph Curry, she’s recently launched Homemade, a meal kit delivery service designed for families. On top of this, the second season of Ayesha’s Home Kitchen has returned to TV. We caught up with Ayesha and talked everything from cooking for the family, what it’s like to film a TV show in your house, and what’s on the menu for game day.
MyRecipes: With the launch of Homemade, what are you hoping to accomplish by entering the meal kit delivery space?
Ayesha Curry: Since I started my blog, I’ve always wanted to help families and make mealtime easier. I want them to get as much joy from being in the kitchen as I do. So with Homemade, all of the recipes are designed with the whole family in mind, even young picky eaters, to make that time in and around the kitchen table memorable in a positive way and help them save time, money and waste less.
MR: What was the most unexpected/troublesome obstacle or setback you faced in launching Homemade?
AC: I simply didn't know how many moving parts would be involved in getting it off of the ground. My team is small but mighty and I honestly love it that way. We're able to come together quickly and effectively and work out kinks on the spot. I love that I am able to keep a close eye on the quality and integrity of our ingredients as well.
MR: What would you say sets Homemade apart from other meal kit delivery services?
AC: Homemade is for the whole family. So the meals are simple to prepare with ingredients to make dishes both the parents and kids will love, making it easier on mom in the kitchen. We’ve also included fun activities for the kids, so that everyone can spend time together while dinner is being prepared, meaning the parents won’t have to be both chef and entertainer.
MR: For anyone who wants to become more confident when it comes to cooking for themselves or their family, do you have any baseline advice for them or suggestions on where to start?
AC: A little extra time in the kitchen today can save you a ton of time over the course of a week. For busy families, meal planning is key. Glad products, like Press’n Seal and food protection containers, help keep meals fresh for days, allowing families the luxury of having healthy, home cooked meals on demand and on-the go. Dishes don’t have to be overly complicated to be good. Simply trying to incorporate fresh ingredients and letting their natural flavors shine is better than reaching for processed food. And learning how to do a staple dish, like a baked chicken, can then be turned into so many other meals – from tacos, to salads, to pizza, or wraps.
MR: What inspired you to team up with Salvage Supper club and work towards ending food waste? What are some things that the average home cook can start doing to help this cause?
AC: I am passionate about the taste of food, its power to bring people together, and have a strong belief that we need to waste it less, which is what I’ve been working with Glad to help families waste less in their kitchens. Salvage Supperclub exists to create inspiring food experiences with a purpose. They recognize how essential food is to all of us, but believe that the power of a shared meal can (and should) go beyond our base needs. It should not only nourish us but also delight and empower us. They don't just make great food. They put great food at the center of a dialogue about a more sustainable food system. I wanted to team up with them because food waste is a major global issue that affects the environment, economy and food security. A little extra time in the kitchen today can save you a ton of time over the course of a week.
MR: What were the best and worst parts about filming your show in your own home?
AC: The best part of filming at home was that I was in my own home! I was still be able to see my girls and put them to bed. The tough part of filming at my own home was there were people everywhere. There wasn’t a quiet spot in the house. LOL.
MR: So, you’ve lived in Toronto, North Carolina, and San Francisco...these are all very different places to call "home" with vastly different regional cuisines. Do you favor a particular region’s food or draw most heavily from one more than the others in your cooking? What's your favorite signature food item from each area?
AC: I feel that Toronto really embodies who I am from a cuisine standpoint. You can literally get any type of food at any given moment, anywhere in that city. From Chinese to Ethiopian, they've got it all and it's all really, really delicious. Toronto I love for their dim sum and uber-traditional Jamaican cuisine. San Fran hosts a slew of Michelin-rated restaurants and no one is like the other. SF is an incredibly special, thriving and innovative place for food. NC, what can I say? I love a good biscuit, sweet tea and fried chicken meal.
MR: Any hot takes/unpopular opinions when it comes to foods you love (or despise)? Any food(s) that you’re ashamed to admit you have a soft spot for?
AC: I have three things on my no-no list. Any sort of mollusc (abalone, conch, etc), frog and rabbit. I just can't seem to stomach it. I am also not a fan of foie gras. I tolerate it within a dish, but stand alone it simply isn't for me. I think it's a textural thing. As a chef, I am a bit ashamed to admit the foie dislike because it's the wave right now.
MR: What's your favorite kitchen task (it can be the cooking/prep task you find the most soothing, the task you find most rewarding, etc.)?
AC: Meal planning. If you’ve ever seen on my social, especially during the season with busy schedules, I’ll prepare a lot of the same dish at the start of the week, so that my family can just reheat for lunches or dinners and always have a fresh meal in a flash. Sometimes, it may take longer to prepare more food, but that’s when I just throw on some music and pour a glass of wine and have quality time in my kitchen.
MR: What’s the go-to meal that you make for your family on a crazy-busy night?
AC: My go-to meal I make for my family on a typical crazy-busy night are Easy Pan Steaks. They’re easy, full of flavor and filling. If it’s a game day, I make Game Day Pasta. It’s a ritual in the household.