Sixteen years ago Andrew Carmellini and Gwen Hyman hit the road, along with a mutual pal, in search of the best truck-stop breakfast in Canada. (That alone scores them cool points in our book.) At the time, she was a strict vegetarian; he was a hard-core carnivore, but despite their differences, by the end of the trip, the two were holding hands. That was the first, but certainly not the last, of their shared culinary adventures. They got married in ’99 after setting up shop in New York City to start their careers—he as a chef (this year, Esquire named his Italian eatery in New York, A Voce, “Best New Restaurant”), she as a literature professor (her dissertation was on the role of food, natch, in Victorian novels). The happy chowhounds are currently combining their talents and collaborating on a cookbook, Urban Italian, headed for bookstores next fall. Good food and fine writing—we can’t think of a better recipe for love.
Inside Dish: When they shacked up in grad school, he slaved to prepare vegetarian meals for her, many of which made the menu at famed New York City eatery Café Boulud, where he worked before opening A Voce.