Source: YouTube user Thug Kitchen
Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway are the foulmouthed makers of Thug Kitchen, a vegan blog that aims to "yell at people to eat a g*ddamn salad" . . . well, to eat more veggies in general. Michelle handles the recipe developing while Matt takes the photos, and the two combine forces to write up the hilarious, profanity-filled captions stamped on each image. The duo just released a book this month, which is quickly making its way onto bestseller lists, because it's f*cking delicious (we can attest). While traveling on their book tour, the two phoned in for an interview to talk about their haters, celeb fans, and their love affair with vegetables.
POPSUGAR: You recently revealed your identities, and the fact that you are white angered some people. How have you reacted to that response?
Michelle Davis: We understand that running an anonymous blog may give a lot of people different ideas of who is running it.
Matt Holloway: When we created it, we weren't trying to load our blog with a lot of personality like a lot of websites or food blogs. I personally find that really alienating, because when I'm cooking their food, I'm constantly comparing their life and their photos to my life and how my food looks. So, we didn't really want it to be about personality.
PS: Now that your identities are out there and the book's published, will you continue to update the blog?
MD: Yeah, and the site's not gonna change. And if people are just hearing about it for the first time and want more information, go to our site before checking out the book. We don't have ads. We're not gonna make any money off of you checking it out, so . . .
MH: We're gonna keep it going for sure. Like Michelle said, our website is free and is always going to be free. We don't run advertising or have any sponsored posts or anything like that. The cookbook was just something that kind of came our way, and it was really the first time that we were able to be make any money and sustain our site. When we started it, it was like a free Tumblr account. Everything we do, we keep our costs as low as possible.
MD: We're still having fun with it and still enjoying ourselves. It seems like fans want us to keep going, so we're gonna keep going.
PS: Gwyneth Paltrow mentioned you on Rachael Ray Show and the site exploded from there, but have you had a chance to meet her yet?
MD: Yeah, we wish. We owe her so many drinks, like, come on.
MH: Yeah, that was crazy. We didn't even know that was gonna happen.
MD: We didn't even talk to anyone from her camp, but we're so grateful for the plug. She definitely changed our lives.
Source: Rachael Ray Show
PS: You were just on Rachael Ray Show. What was that experience like?
MH: That was f*cking terrifying.
MD: She was such a gracious host, definitely made us feel way more comfortable than we had any sense of feeling as our first time on national television.
MH: She was great.
PS: Was it difficult answering questions while simultaneously cooking?
MD: Yeah, I can't even really do that with friends. And now there's an audience and there are cameras?
MH: There's a live audience. There are a bunch of cameras on you and all these lights. You know, Rachael, she's got it down.
MD: Yeah, she's a f*cking pro. She made it look so easy, and it wasn't easy at all.
MH: We went on stage and both of us just kind of looked at each other like, "What the f*ck just happened?"
PS: I'm amazed by how many times you can use the word mothereffer and remain funny. Where do you come up with the captions used on the photos?
MH: I would say as we're cooking it in the kitchen and run into roadblocks, we're like, "Ah this is f*cking annoying."
MD: It's either what we think is funny about the dish or some kind of backstory to how we created the recipe or either one trying to convince the other one that it's a good idea.
MH: Like with the tomato nectarine pasta we did, Michelle pitched that idea to me and I was like, "Yeah, that sounds really weird though." And she's like, "Just trust me. It works."
MD: That reflects what we wrote on the photo . . . of me trying to get Matt to f*cking eat that sh*t.
PS: Where do you get inspiration for the recipes?
MD: When it comes to where we come up with our recipes, sometimes it's dinner over at friends' houses or things we eat in restaurants. Mostly we kind of just walk around the store and see what's on sale, so that way we know it's in season and that most people will have access to it. Then we just cook what sounds good to us.
PS: What are your favorite recipes from the new cookbook?
MH: Mine's gotta be the chickpea and dumpling soup. It's a really hearty and thick soup that's f*cking great during the wintertime when the weather starts to drop. You can give that to somebody who's never had vegan food before and tell them it's vegan and they won't believe you.
MD: That's a f*cking awesome recipe. I really like the sriracha cauliflower. That one's really good. And the smashed chickpea and smoked almond sandwiches. Those are really delicious, too. I like the buckeyes and the coconut . . .
MH: Yeah, the coconut cornmeal cake's really good.
PS: Everyone has a staple recipe that they pull out on the regular. What would yours be?
MH: For me, it's gotta be the roasted chickpea and broccoli burrito. I mean everybody f*cking loves burritos, so that's a really easy dish to do. It's just kind of like a dump and serve. You've got all the ingredients to make burritos for a few days.
MD: Yeah, it has a big serving size, it's easy, and you can eat it for a couple of days. I never get tired of it. I've been making that for like eight years.
MH: I don't make it once a week, but certainly like every other week. It's in heavy rotation in my kitchen.
PS: What do you get the most requests to make?
MH: Yeah, that's true actually. We get a lot of people emailing us to do more drinks.
MD: Yeah, like smoothies . . . cocktails, and also just juices.
PS: What veggie is the biggest deal right now? For a couple years, kale has been king, but what is it now?
MD: I think brussels sprouts have been having a moment too.
MH: Actually, that's a legit question. We haven't gotten that question before.
MD: We're trying to make cauliflower happen.
MH: Yeah, cauliflower doesn't get enough love. I personally, I would say spinach. I don't think spinach gets enough love.
MD: Matt, you think that's gonna make a comeback?
MH: Yeah, well, it has 50 times more nutritional value than kale.
MD: I don't know, I think cauliflower. I'm trying to make that happen.
PS: What food trend are you totally over?
MD: Let's see . . . People need to calm down on the pine nuts. That sh*t's expensive. I could do without pine nuts being thrown in everything.
PS: What is the cheapest vegetarian protein out there?
MH: Yeah, it's gotta be beans.
MD: Black beans or chickpeas are always your best bet. They're both really, really versatile; especially if you're cooking them from dry rather than can, they're superaffordable.
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts
PS: Which of these two things do you prefer: kale or brussels sprouts?
MH: Brussels sprouts.
MD: Brussels sprouts.
PS: Pumpkin or gingerbread?
MD: Yeah, gingerbread.
PS: Thanksgiving or Christmas?
MH: Definitely Thanksgiving. It's obvious. It's just food-centered.
MD: I like to do a PJ Thanksgiving where everyone just comes over to your house in their comfiest clothes and you eat. You don't really clean up, and then you eat again in like four hours. You have your sweatpants on and they kind of just expand with you.
PS: Coffee or tea?
PS: Tofu or lentils?
MD: I'm gonna say lentils.
MH: Yeah, I'm gonna have to go lentils too.
PS: Almond milk or soy milk?
MD: Almond! Hands down. No question.
MH: Almond all the way. Soy is bullsh*t.
PS: Hemp seeds or flax seeds?
MD: Flax seeds.
MH: Flax seeds, yeah! Flax seeds are pretty versatile. Flax seeds.
PS: Chocolate chips or sprinkles?
MD: Ooo, chocolate chips. I like a couple of chocolate chips and let them melt in my mouth into one chocolate chip. Come on.
MH: Yeah, chocolate chips for sure.