Jeanine and Jack of the food blog Love & Lemons, fell in love and then developed together a love affair with food — savoring not only its many tastes and flavors, but also its colors, shapes, and textures. Eating is a celebration. Experiences with food culture — from Spain and Italy to the neighborhood food trucks and culinary spots in their hometown of Austin, Texas — have taught them how keeping things simple and fresh can help create a transcendent meal. Jeanine and Jack decided to share their passion and recipes online through their blog.
Today we go behind the scenes and take a tour of their pristine cottage-modern kitchen where all their lovely food and photography are produced.
The first thing you may notice when looking at the Love & Lemons food blog is the bright colors and light. It just so happens that those are also the first elements you notice when stepping into their kitchen. Radiant light beams through large glass windows — illuminating a backdrop of white ceramic tile. Like the food that gets plated on their white marble countertops, it's simple yet elegant.
Jeanine is a graphic designer and Jack is a video game programmer. After a couple years of marriage they wanted to work on a new project together and the food blog is what resulted. Jeanine does most of the cooking and arrangement for the pictures, and Jack does the food photography with a tripod-mounted DSLR tethered to his laptop.
Looking at their appetizing photographs, you can see a lovely marriage of styling, typography, and technical precision.
When planning the kitchen, Jeanine fell in love with their Thermador range with its analog dial and baby blue LED lights. It was just the right mix of vintage and modern, a look and feel that Jeanine wanted her kitchen space to embody. It's all beautifully executed, and you'll find yourself wanting to grab a seat, enjoy a cold brew coffee, and bask in its calm expanse. We're so glad Jack and Jeanine decided to share their creative vision on their blog, giving each of us a chance to escape and become inspired by their culinary creations.
10 Questions for Jeanine and Jack
1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
The space is open, airy, and flooded with light...the kitchen is my favorite room in our house and I feel happy just being in it. It's all very white and fresh feeling...which I think is the perfect backdrop to the colorful, veggie-focused food I like to cook.
I'm a visual person, so much of the time my approach to food is similar to the way I think about decor and design: interesting neutrals with pops of color. I'm always thinking about shape, color, contrast and texture...whether I'm shopping for vintage kitchenware or picking up vegetables at the farmers market.
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
It's perhaps a toss-up between my Microplane zester, the Vitamix (which was kind of a game-changer) or the glass of wine that's almost always nearby while I'm cooking. I believe cooking and eating should always feel like a celebration.
3. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
For Jack's birthday last year I got him a pasta maker. He's a gadget guy and I thought learning to make pasta together would be more fun than going out to a fancy dinner. We spent hours late into the night rolling out dough and stringing pasta strands all over the kitchen. The night could have very well ended in ordering a pizza, so we were excited that it not only worked out, but it was super delicious. We were very impressed with ourselves and Jack vowed that we'd never cook [store-bought] dried pasta again (which of course we have).
4. The biggest challenge for cooking in your kitchen:
Not spilling things on the marble. It's not the easiest surface to have as a kitchen countertop, so I've had to become more organized and orderly about the way I prep and cook. And when we have people over, I pretty much become the coaster-cop.
5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
A separate closet for the photo equipment. While planning the kitchen, we had no idea we'd be doing food photography. We have this really nice large walk-in pantry, yet I trip over tripods and lighting equipment while trying to reach my canned goods.
6. Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen:
Probably the kitchen (and the house) itself. We're grateful for the opportunity we had to build our own custom house, but that came with the pressure of creating a space that we will love for years and years to come. We didn't cut many corners because we knew we'd be living here for quite a long time.
7. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
It's so new and it's still such a blank slate. I think home decor is always a work in progress. As we grow into the kitchen I think it'll start to reflect us and who we are more and more. Whether that means layering on vintage finds or collected items from our travels — only time will tell.
8. How would you describe your cooking style?
I like to cook with beautiful seasonal ingredients and fresh herbs. We take a lot of inspiration from our travels so I love cooking with interesting seasonings from different parts of the world. And I think (most) things should be finished with a bright squeeze of lemon.
9. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
I first learned about cooking with lemons years ago while watching Giada DeLaurentiis on TV. And through our many travels to Italy since, I've learned to try to keep things simple, fresh and flavorful. Less is really more.
10. What are you cooking this week?
As this post goes up, we will be on a flight back from Spain. We've spent the past few weeks in Europe eating ourselves silly, so I'm looking forward to cooking meals that are healthy and simple when I get home. Whenever we come back from Italy or Spain, we usually crave healing Asian foods. Heck, even when we come back from Asia, we crave healing Asian foods.
• Stove: Thermador
• Fridge: GE
• Flooring: White Oak
• Paint color: Sherman Williams, Crumb Cookie
• Countertop material: Carrera Marble
• Dishwasher: Fisher Paykel Dish Drawers
• Kitchen Table & Fabric Chairs: Anthropologie
• Architect: Nana Kim - 9 Square Studio
• Builder: Brent Alison - Lake Travis Builders
→ Visit Jack & Jeanine's blog: Love & Lemons
→ Get a recipe: Miso-Maple Sweet Potato Tacos
Share your own kitchen renovation or improvement!
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
Show us your kitchen here!
(Images: Chris Perez)