Hello, I’m Audrey!
I’m an artist, gardener, and home chef living in Colorado with my husband and occasional collaborator, Nick. We enjoy cooking together, fermenting everything from pickles to beer, making (and drinking) craft cocktails, and getting outdoors whenever we have time.
On We Make Pretty, you’ll find vegetarian and gluten-free recipes for everything from cauliflower wings to tempeh bacon, along with cocktails, fermentation recipes and more. We plan to cover a variety of topics beyond recipes, such as information on plant-based proteins and adaptogen herbs, or starting a garden from seed. My goal is to help readers break out of their normal routines and try something new.
I’ve enjoyed cooking since I was a kid, but I was forced to start getting more creative in the kitchen in my early twenties when I found out that gluten and dairy were the cause of some major health problems I’d experienced during my college years. That was back in 2009, so there weren’t many gluten-free options available, especially not healthy, whole grain options.
When I met my husband Nick in 2011, one of the things we bonded over was a shared love of cooking. We’ve cooked many plant-based meals together, and have a shared interested in fermentation and food science. Having been vegetarian his whole life, Nick was able to share his knowledge of items like tofu and tempeh with me and gave me the courage to start developing my own recipes and taking on bigger projects.
Along with our love of cooking, we have a shared passion for entertaining. We like to have guests over a few times a year and tend to go a little overboard on the planning. I handle the cocktails, Nick brews a seasonal beer, and we plan out a menu together that pairs with the drinks. In 2017, with the help of friends and family, we cooked all of the food for our wedding. Nick made onion jam and ketchup to go with my homemade veggie burgers and brewed 3 different beers (15 gallons) that we served in addition to pre-batched cocktails. We also served a variety of side dishes and appetizers, along with a homemade lemon cake with rosemary infused buttercream.
In 2018, I started working on one of my biggest projects to date. With the help of Nick and my friend, Paula, I had the rare opportunity to develop an entire menu for a new vegan restaurant in Arvada, CO. Once the restaurant opened in April of 2019, I hired chefs, and they gradually took over development of our ever-changing menu. With so many other things to focus on with the new restaurant, including developing our drink menu and bar program, I was relieved to have the help. Once things started to wind down; however, I realized I needed a new creative outlet. Less than a year into opening the new restaurant, I was back in the kitchen experimenting.
Spirits & Cocktails
At home, we like to keep it simple. We’ll usually go for a Negroni, Manhattan or just a neat pour of bourbon or scotch. If we’re having friends over, we’ll get a little more experimental. I’ll make cocktails to go along with whatever food we’re serving, and Nick will usually brew a beer for our annual holiday party or summer barbecues.
At the restaurant, I’ve had the opportunity to come up with a number of cocktails, including some of our happy hour main-stays, like the Rosemary Ginger Margarita, Blackberry Julep, and Lavender Lemonade, along with a variety of rotating seasonal cocktails. Prior to opening the restaurant, I worked in a bar with 2,000 different whiskeys and had the opportunity to attend dozens of whiskey trainings and events and sit down with master distillers and spirit experts.
More About Us
We currently live in Colorado, where we have a giant garden with heirloom vegetables, culinary and healing herbs, edible flowers, fruit trees. Growing food ourselves helps lessen our impact on the environment, and provides us with higher quality produce than we could get at the grocery store. We both eat a primarily plant-based diet, so having quality produce is important to us.
Audrey, our self-appointed “head gardener,” enjoys every opportunity to be creative, including making pottery and a variety of crafts. She has a BFA in painting and printmaking.
Nick, our household “saucier,” sous chef, head brewer and farmhand, enjoys spending his free time mountain biking, building and flying drones, playing house music and coding. Nick has previously worked as a wilderness guide and instructor. To see what projects Nick is working on or checkout his DJ sets, visit nickbrogna.com. You can also follow Nick on Twitch at twitch.tv/whocareswhodjs.