Nate Padavick & Salli S. Swindell

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Nate & Salli are illustrators with a national practice. They started They Draw and They Cook to celebrate the fun of illustrating food and are soon to capture this innovative way of conveying how to make a dish in a book .

Best cooking tip

Salli: Keep pets off of the counter and if possible out of the kitchen (I once had our big fluffy cat leap onto the counter and land on a batch of cut-out cookie dough, leaving paw prints in the dough)

Nate: The freshest ingredients + EVOO/butter + skillet = foolproof goodness

Worst cooking disaster

Salli: ugh. Not realizing that the glass pitcher I was pouring boiling water into for iced tea was not tempered. It scattered instantly sending me to the hospital and ruining the family gathering.

Nate: I once tried to make raviolis from scratch - they turned out like pierogis, but I like pierogis, so it wasn't awful, just embarassing.

Favorite cooking tools

Salli: I never understood the glory of a bread knife until we acquired our cutco bread knife! voila! I also love my little tiny mini whisk.

Nate: A big, heavy, old, 18" cast iron skillet.

Cooking tools/aids you wish existed

Salli: More hands on me!

Nate: A hands-free garlic/onion dicer, actually, I bet this does exist - I'm not into kitchen gadgets really.

Favorite Software/Apps

Nate: Adobe Illustrator for creating recipe illustrations.

Software you wish existed

Nate: A hologram digital reader so I can keep my arms under the covers when reading in bed!

Favorite Ingredients

Salli: Never underestimate the power of fresh thyme + rosemary + some sun-dried tomatoes to brighten things up!

Nate: Purple cabbage, carrots, brussels sprouts, turnips - love the color palette!

Ingredient you'd like to learn more about

Salli: I've been exploring fennel lately.

Nate: Bacteria - I'm currently really curious about this fermented food movement.

Restaurant recommendations

Salli: I'm not a big fan of "fancy food" or food that appears to have been fussed with alot. I recently ate Karyns Cooked in Chicago and was a very happy girl.

Nate: Balaboosta and Taim in NYC - same owners - best hummus and falafel in the world!

What are you craving right now

Salli: I always seem to crave espresso and chocolate covered orange peels.

Nate: A fresh mango that I picked off a tree, in Mexico, on a beach, with a pina colada.

The leftovers in your refrigerator right now

Salli: Kung pao cliche!!

Nate: Navratan korma, curry cabbage and rice...actually, now that I mention it I think I'll warm that up for dinner.