By Tippi Clark
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:
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?
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?.
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.
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.