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Aprons & Fall Cocktails with Probably This, it was love at first sip!

By Tippi Clark

Aprons & Fall Cocktails with Probably This, it was love at first sip!

We recently had the pleasure of making cocktails and wearing our co-designed aprons with the couple, Matt and Beau from the food and lifestyle blog, Probably This.  We joined them at their charming shot gun house in the Bi Water on a crisp Fall afternoon.

Matt Armato, 25 grew up in the New Orleans neighborhood of River Ridge and Beau Ciolino, 23 also grew up locally in Lakeview.  The duo didn't cross paths until college at Loyola University in 2013 when Beau was working for an organization that sent students abroad to volunteer.  After newly dating for two months they decided to travel to Vietnam together, and at the time it seemed like a bold move. But now after almost 5 years together and the creation of Probably This it was definitely the right move. 

Tell us about how the blog originated: 

Matt: The blog, Probably This originally started when Beau was feeling a little down about school. He just didn’t love what he was studying, but he was taking a photography class, and he’d been a home baker since he was a little kid, so a friend and I encouraged him to start photographing things he baked. That’s kind of how Probably Baking started, and the name was a nod to the question that always sort of caused Beau grief--”What are doing when you graduate?” The answer he always gave was “Probably baking,” which was just a joke because he really had no clue what he was going to be doing. Well, turns out it was a reality as he ended up working on the blog full time not long after graduation.

I was always involved in a kind of editor role and helped with some of the baking and the photography. After a few months of strict baking, Beau wanted to start incorporating more food than just baked goods, and I had lots of drink recipes I wanted to share, so we both moved in front of the camera and changed the name to Probably This, which just felt like a more general name that has allowed us to cover everything from travel to cocktails. But the idea is that it’s still the answer to a question--What are we doing? Probably This.

What is your favorite detail about the bartender's apron we co-designed and why?

Beau: We absolutely love the pockets! The fabric for them is incredibly cute and stands out from the rest of the apron, and they’re really useful for keeping our tools right in front of us where we need them. When you’re making drinks at home and you’re not behind a full bar, it seems like space for your tools and where to place everything for easy access is the toughest thing to figure out. But keeping a couple right in your apron makes that way easier to handle!
We are so excited to be giving away two of these aprons to two of your lucky followers! It's such and honor and we're really excited to have this be our first giveaway! Thanks so much for including us! 

There are so many amazing directions you can take this blog, what are your goals for Probably This? Cook book? Cooking Show? Reality Show? Fashion Show?

Matt: Wow, while I think we would absolutely love to have a fashion show, there’s still a lot of cooking and travel and home stuff we should probably get to first! We have a cookbook proposal we’ve been writing on-and-off for about a year, so hopefully we’ll see something come of that at some point. I’ve also always loved the idea of opening a small (like very small) neighborhood restaurant and bar, but I think we would both want to hold that plan off until we’re probably 20 years older. In the meantime, we’re just kind of exploring this new world of social media at our own pace and starting to play around with online video formats.

What is your first memory of someone wearing an apron?.

We used to have big family crawfish boils at my grandparents’ house in Patterson, LA, and my dad and my Grandpa would do all the different steps of preparing and cooking the crawfish together. I was very little but I would kind of “help” a little bit, which basically just means I would try to free the live crawfish and then get pinched in the process. My dad is the only person I’ve ever known to boil okra with his crawfish, which is just a shame because it’s such a good addition. But he had this apron that he wore that had a little picture of a crawfish with a chef’s hat, and it said “Kiss the Chef.” I remember I kept reading it as “chief” and I was always confused about who the chief was.

 

How does living in NOLA influence your recipes and creativity?

Beau: New Orleans is just so colorful, so it mostly helps us out just by being a beautiful backdrop for whatever we’re doing or creating. As far as the actual recipes it inspires, we try our best to cover New Orleans classics on our blog--we made and photographed a turkey andouille gumbo, and we’ve made our own spin on Hubig’s pies before, just to name a couple. But the biggest thing about New Orleans that we find inspiring is just its complex cultural mixture. Coming up with up to three original recipes a week can be daunting, but looking to New Orleans’ mixture of cultures and cuisines is generally a great inspiration to create something new by taking something classic and putting a different spin on it.

What's on your Holiday Wish List?

Matt: Well we honestly have way too much that we don’t need, so I’m thinking about asking our families to just donate to Planned Parenthood or the Human Rights Campaign in lieu of giving either of us another object.

 

Last but definitely, not least...you made us the delicious cocktail (featured above) last week to demonstrate exactly how this apron functions under the elements. What are the details for that beautiful, fall whiskey classic?

Matt: We decided to call the drink we made “The Fall Down,” because it’s got a ton of fall flavor and is super boozy. I’m usually more into summer weather and I prefer to drink more light and refreshing things cocktail-wise, but Beau digs fall and sweaters and hot cider and whiskey. So this drink is really for him, kind of in celebration of the temperature finally dropping a little bit down here. Here’s the recipe!

1 ½ oz. bourbon

¾ oz. creme de cacao

¼ oz. allspice dram

¼ tsp gingerbread maple syrup (from Bushwick Kitchen--can sub regular maple syrup and half a pinch of ground clove) 

Combine in mixing glass. Add ice and stir for about 30 rotations. Strain over fresh ice into a glass and garnish with a slice of apple.

 

Probably This is giving away two of their co-designed aprons this week. Click here to find out how to enter! 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kenny Cox - Tattoo Artist

By Tippi Clark

Kenny Cox - Tattoo Artist

“Wearing an apron symbolizes labor and craft and I can identify with that. My dad was a super blue-collar dude and I grew up blue collar.” Says Kenny Cox. “I can vividly remember my Grandma wearing an apron. She raised me up and was always in the kitchen.”

Interview and Story by, Mary Ladd 

Kenny Cox, 33, is a New Orleans native and a tattoo artist at Tattoo A Go Go, where the environment is warm and welcoming.  This may be a welcome surprise for those thinking a tattoo shop can be an intimidating experience!

Kenny's smile and sense of humor comes through when he talks. Kenny first fell in love with tattooing in Florida while studying animation in college. Kenny works often and genuinely seems to love what he’s doing along with NOLA, which is both his home and muse.

Who taught you your skill? And does he wear an apron.

I was just a wild ass'ed teenager and my friend Ben Thomas insisted I get into tattooing, something he’d been doing for five years. He got me the equipment and got me going. Yes! He wears a bib apron with pockets at the very bottom. 

How has your work changed over time?

I started off being into classic Americana traditional, but I have definitely evolved into a  psychedelic style. I still love the classic and traditional iconic tattooing. I've just added another layer.

What themes do you pursue in tattoo artistry?

Every sort of outlet that you decide to spend time on is a potential influence. Tin toy books are an inspiration. Also psych filmmakers. Experiences, movies, and cartoons can inspire – anything that makes a good image. I also like occultism a lot and get into that. It has a lot to do with what I do. 

What does wearing an apron mean to you?

It symbolizes labor and craft and I can identify with that. My dad was a super blue-collar dude and I grew up with a blue collar. I can vividly remember my Grandma wearing an apron. She raised me up and was always in the kitchen.

Do you always wear an apron when you work and why?

I definitely wear one. I also wear short shorts because it’s so fucking hot outside. I’m not allowed to wear them at work, but I get around it in the summer by wearing an apron. I’ve ruined most of my clothes so wearing an apron is beneficial. If I don’t wear one I tend to ruin all my clothes.

What is your favorite detail about your Holt McCall Tattoo Artist's Apron? Tell me about the fabric and why it works for your craft.

My favorite part is the chest, which is embroidered with my logo, which is a smile and a frown. I picked the colors.

In the world of tattoos, who is your hero and why?

Donn is my hero and boss. I’ve been working at the shop for almost five years. Outside of tattooing he’s really great and taught me how to be a full adult (laughs).

What’s your favorite tattoo tool and why?

Tattoo machines are my favorite.The act of tattooing is simple and intimate.

What do you do if it’s your day off and beautiful outside?

I’d probably go swimming and hang out with my girlfriend, Ali Mills. I also like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

 How and why living in New Orleans influence your work?

I view New Orleans as the freest city in the nation . As a result, you can freak what you feel a little more.

If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what would you be?

Ali said I’d be a hoodlum (laughs).

I own a dim sum food truck called Electric Egg Roll. So at the moment in the realistic sense of things, I would focus fully on the food truck but that may not be my ideal alternative. Ideally, I’d like to be a painter because I wasn’t always into fine art but the older I get and the more my girlfriend shows me more of the art world, I am way more enamored by it. And yeah, being a painter would involve wearing an apron too!

Why do you think there seems to be a resurgence of local makers in America?

The country is fixated on nostalgia and I think people naturally found a way to monetize it.

Where do you get your inspiration?

For wonderment and excitement, I go outdoors and to art museums. I bounce a lot of things off my girlfriend who is also my business partner.

Who is your style icon and why?

Rich people are my style icon. I like the Ivy League, blue blood Americana thing.

Holt McCall designed aprons specific to your style of tattoo art. How did they get to that design and what is your favorite detail?

They took a look at the current apron that I used and found ways to make it better. It now covers more of my chest and is a little longer covering more of my legs. 

The guys at Holt McCall did a great job!  

How many tattoos do you have?

I have a considerable portion of my body covered. Alli would say it’s 75% covered.

What’s your daily routine at work?

I go in early because I like to listen to my own jams and prep. I’ve been listening to Om, this druggie stoner band that uses Hindu music cues. Tonight I’m playing yacht rock at the Ace Hotel, which is like 70s music.

I like to get my drawings together, set up my station and get ready for the first appointment of the day. That’s my practice. 

What’s your dream work space?

I think I’m in it. My shop is pretty great. It’s a super family coordinated shop that is small. It’s crushed with a bunch of paintings. Any space like that would be great.

 

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