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Dining

[Love & Sex Issue 2014]

Office romance: Checking in with three couples who work together

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Photo: Christopher DeVargas
    • Ken & Cindy Osborne, Musicians, The All-Togethers

      How they met: “I was bartending in Roanoke, Virgina, in December 2002, and she came in with her nursing class,” Ken remembers. “There was a spark, a chemical thing right away,” Cindy says. “It was mostly physical attraction at first,” Ken agrees. “The rest came later.” Five years in, the two got married.

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      Ken & Cindy Osborne

      He taught her to play: No, they weren’t brought together by a mutual love of music. Ken was in a couple of bands and Cindy was “your typical band girlfriend,” she says, “taking pictures, standing out front and screaming the loudest.” She eventually picked up a guitar, and then “Ken got this cool upright bass and taught me to play it. It was love at first pluck.”

      On being bandmates: The Osbornes played their first show as The All-Togethers, an acoustic act specializing in old-timey folk, in January 2012 and have been regulars on the local scene ever since. “We’re a couple that likes spending time together, so it’s a lot of fun playing in a band with him,” Cindy says. “When we get onstage, it’s like a chemical reaction all over again.” “The only time we ever fight is when we practice,” Ken says, “but we know we’re working toward the same goal.”

      Romance on the road: Does spending hours together in a van strengthen or test their relationship? “When we toured it was 6,200 miles of getting to hang out with your best friend, almost like a second honeymoon,” Ken says. “We don’t mind being stuck up each other’s you-know-what,” Cindy laughs, and adds, without us asking, “We’ve joked that if we ever broke up, we’d both stay in the band. That’s how much we like doing it.” –Spencer Patterson

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      Peter Bastien & David Mozes

      Peter Bastien & David Mozes, Owner/executive chef and business manager, Bronze Café

      How they met: As students—and fraternity brothers—14 years ago at California State University, Northridge in Southern California.

      What they do: Bastien is owner and executive chef of the Bronze Café, located inside the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, and still owns and runs his catering service of the same name. Mozes is the café’s business manager; he has also done business development and urban planning.

      How they view the café: It’s their baby, especially since it’s barely 10 months old. “From the sleepless nights, to the blood, sweat and tears, to the wide-swinging emotions and the stress—and it’s all self-imposed,” says Mozes. “We have high standards for us, the café and the people we hired ... but it’ll get easier as this baby gets older.”

      How they avoid driving each other crazy at work: With Bastien mostly in the kitchen and Mozes in the office, they actually don’t see each other that often, despite their proximity. And complementing talents make for natural cooperation. “Most of the time, because of our separate responsibilities, it’s very easy for me to tell him what to do and to accept it, and for him to tell me what to do and for me to accept it,” says Mozes. “There’s not a lot of overlap.”

      What they do when they’re not working: They snuggle. “At work, I keep hugging and body contact to a minimum,” says Bastien. “So when we get home, I’ve been wanting to give him a tight hug all day.” And, sometimes they just work some more. “One of the best days we had over the last 10 months was actually Christmas Day,” says Mozes. “We wanted [the staff] to enjoy the holiday, but we didn’t have any plans and thought there would be customers who might want to still enjoy the café, so we just worked it, the two of us. It was a lot of work physically, because it was just the two of us, but it was a really fun day.”

      How they keep it together: They’ve made it a goal over the years to create overlap within their professional spheres. Says Bastien: “Being interested in what he’s interested in and working together to build our interests into a career has been very beneficial to our relationship.” And they communicate openly and exercise positive reinforcement. “We seem to get some sort of strength when we’re nearer to each other,” says Mozes. “We talk about it daily. We say to each other, ‘Thank you for just being here.’” –Mike Prevatt

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      Mark Purdy & Tammy Alana, Executive chef and pastry chef, Alizé

      How they met: Purdy joined the team at Andre Rochat’s restaurant group as chef of the former Mistral at the then-Las Vegas Hilton in 2004—and immediately noticed the company’s pastry chef. “I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but she’s beautiful,” he says. “We struck up a conversation right away. It’s always been a really good working relationship and a friendship, and then a relationship was born out of that.” They’ve been together seven years.

      How they got engaged: Alizé, where Purdy is chef de cuisine and Alana is pastry chef, is one of the most romantic restaurants in Las Vegas, definitely a place to pop the question. But Purdy had different plans. “I love what he did,” Alana says. “We were flying to my mom’s in California for Christmas and he hired carolers to be at the airport. I’d never traveled at Christmas before so I thought nothing of it, but they sung this cute Christmas song and then he asked, and I didn’t know that my brother was there taking pictures of the whole thing. It was pretty awesome.” The couple plans to tie the knot next summer.

      How they balance work and regular life: “Being a chef is kind of like being in a parallel universe to the rest of the world, to ‘civilian’ life,” Purdy says. “I’m fortunate that we have each other in that universe, because unless you’re in it, no one can really understand.” Since they always have to work on romantic holidays like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, Purdy and Alana have created their own traditions. “I prefer to have Valentine’s Day together in the kitchen,” she says.

      How they cook together: They do occasionally go out for a fancy meal, but prefer to cook at home or have friends over for dinner. “The funny thing is, he’s usually the one baking cookies,” Alana says. She gave Purdy a pizza stone as a gift, so he’s experimenting with different breads and fresh pizzas. “I’m not just saying this, but I think she’s the better chef,” Purdy says. “Sometimes on days off, we’ll be at home and the cookbooks will just start coming off the shelves, and she’s buried in this pile of books and notes, synthesizing all this stuff. It’s a beautiful thing to watch the way she works.” –Brock Radke

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