To get ready for Valentine’s Day, we asked some husband-wife chef and restaurant management duos to share their romantic stories: how they met, what they like to cook to celebrate the holiday and whether their restaurants go all out in the name of love.
Written by Harrison Keevil. He and his wife, Jennifer Keevil, are the chefs and co-owners of Charlotsville, VA-based Brookville, a 60-seat restaurant serving New American cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal and local ingredients.
I met Jennifer while working as a line cook; Jennifer was my expeditor at the restaurant. Our relationship blossomed and I went on to open Brookville in July 2010 with Jennifer as co-owner and front-of-house manager. We got married in 2011, and on Dec 31, 2012 we welcomed our first child, a beautiful baby girl named Caroline, into the world. Valentine’s Day is ordinarily a really special holiday for the two of us, but this year it will be even sweeter as we get to celebrate with Caroline – the most wonderful thing in our lives right now.
We really like to go all out on Valentine’s Day and shower each other with love. The day before, I go to the local florist called Hedge. They are amazingly thoughtful when designing an arrangement, so I trust them to make a florist’s choice bouquet (but it has to have Day Lilies and a pastel theme – Jennifer’s favorites). I love to have the bouquet sitting on the table when Jennifer wakes up because I get to see the surprised look on her face. I also go to Albemarle Baking Company and buy a heart-shaped linzer tart, a heart-shaped chocolate-glazed chocolate brownie and a mini princess cake (which is a vanilla cake with marzipan fondant). My intent is for her to enjoy them throughout the day, but with my help, they are usually finished before noon! (This year I may have to double up!)