Support LGBT couple-operated travel businesses around the world! We love to travel to us unknown countries and cultures. An important part of our trip planning is to dive into the culinary culture of a gay-friendly destination. Karl loves to test good burgers. Daan focuses on vegetarian options, especially from Italian cuisine. And, of course, we are taking some of the best recipes back home to cook for our friends and us. Torsten and Sascha, the gay couple chefs behind the food blog “Die Jungs kochen und backen” (Engl.: “The guys cook and bake”), love to spend time together in the kitchen. Cooking and baking are their passions, and they love to do them together. The two gay guys live in Cologne, Germany, in their dream apartment with a lovely view of the famous Cathedral. We love to follow their posts on social media, and now we just received their newly released cookbook. Enjoy our story of Torsten and Sascha on Couple of Men and learn more about how the Gay Food Bloggers from Cologne face the challenge of LGBTQ+ business owners together.
Gay Food Bloggers from Cologne, Germany
The two gay guys met in a part of our life when both were out of and nowhere near the need for a new relationship – as so often in life, nothing comes the way we expect it to, right? But, today, they are a couple for over 12 years and are officially married since 2018, just a year after same-sex marriage was only legalized in Germany in 2017.
“We are Torsten and Sascha. Together, we live in Cologne, Germany, in our dream apartment with a lovely view of our famous Cathedral. We met in a moment of our lives when we both were out of and nowhere near the need for a new relationship – as so often in life, nothing comes the way you expect it to! So now we are a couple for over 12 years and are married for eight years already! Ok, technically, we are “married” since 2018 because just two years ago we can marry legally in Germany.”
From the ‘internet thing’ to their own cooking book. The story of gay food bloggers from Cologne continues.
“After a short period of time, we discovered that we both love to be in the kitchen. Cooking and baking are our passions, and we love to do them together! Friends and family constantly asked for recipes, and in 2012 we decided to put them into that “internet thing.” Over the years, it grew bigger and bigger, especially in Germany, and suddenly, we became food bloggers.”
Cooking, Baking, and Blogging together
From the online cooking and food blogging world to their cookbook specifically for gay couples: Sascha and Torsten are proud of what they are accomplishing together.
“Our gay couple food blog is called “Die Jungs kochen und backen,” which means “The guys cook and bake,” as our friends always call us simply “the guys” or “the boys.” And we are so proud of what we achieve together. And we are so excited to talk about our newest achievement: Our cookbook! “Kiss & Cook – Die Gay Edition.” Cooking together, enjoying together, that’s the motto of our cooking book. And the best thing is: it is a cookbook set specially made for gay couples. Because with the cookbook set, each partner cooks his part of the dish without interfering in the cooking of his partner.”
But traveling is not the only thing the two guys have in common. Which brings us to their connection to their gay travel storytelling strongly connected to food stories – like just another Couple of Men.
“Our second passion became to travel the world – in the end, this is deeply connected with our love for great food. Every culture also brings a typical kind of food, and we want to discover as many as possible. So, a few years ago we also started to create more travel content like food- and travel guides. Especially on social media we love to take with us our followers on a trip and a part of it is always “traveling as a gay couple” and we show our love openly and proudly! In 2020, we started with a second Instagram channel dedicated to us as a gay couple traveling with less focus on food (but it is in our nature, so a bit of food is there, too) it is called @theguys_outandabout. We hope to share our love and can connect with fellow gay couples on social media.”
Germany, the home country of castles, sausages, beer, and, of course, cars. Lesbian, gay, and queer travelers should visit Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt, as these are considered to be the biggest and gay-friendliest cities in Germany. But there is more, in fact, over 60 annual LGBT Pride events all around the country.
What about the Couple’s travel plans for 2020?
Their year 2020 started for the passionate food travelers Sascha and Torsten with planning many, many trips for, especially in Europe. Even Karl’s home country and Austria were on their bucket list followed by Italy and Spain. But then, we all know what happened to our plans for 2020…
“Last year, we traveled with a camper for the first time, and we loved it so much. So, the plan for 2020 was to do it again but bigger and better! Our plan was to travel from Cologne, over Austria to Italy. Together with a partner company, we wanted to visit lots of restaurants and wineries on our route to Southern Europe – so tons of amazing food and delicious wines was on our bucket list for 2020. Additionally, we had planned to visit London for our anniversary in April.”
We love Barcelona as well, especially due to its LGBT and gay-friendly culture and the fantastic Spanish cuisine. It was also the starting destination for two of our gay cruises in the past. But for the gay food blogger couple, the city has a special meaning, too.
“Barcelona is a city that is a special place for us and one of our favorite places. Torsten visited Barcelona nearly 22 times and he “infected” me with his love for this wonderful Spanish city. So, our honeymoon was in Barcelona, and we try to go there as many times as possible! We hope to make it happen in the near future – I think it may be the first destination we want to travel to as soon as it will be possible. At exactly this time I am writing this text we would be in our camper. We rescheduled it, and we will explore our home country Germany for some beautiful hidden places as we think traveling in Germany will be very popular this year.”
Pride Month, Coming Out Story, LGBTQ+ Activists – We gathered information about the LGBTQ+ rights movement around the world strongly connected to our LGBT and gay pride trips for our gay travel blog Couple of Men. Happy Pride and keep waving your pride flags (not only but) especially in June!
And then, Corona hit the world…
When everything happened in Europe at the beginning of March, both guys were shocked and actually directly affected by the lockdown. Back then, they were working in Austria for a befriended hotel at Lake Wolfgang. Just one day after their arrival there, Austria announced the lockdown.
“After one day of our stay, Austria announced the lockdown and our friend had to send home all his employees as the season started. A devastating feeling and after 3 days there we had to travel home because we were afraid the border would be closing. A feeling like a movie! When we arrived at home the German government recommended going into a two-week quarantine. We did!”
Torsten works for a medical company and luckily for the guys, this is considered to be a “safe business”. Of course, Torsten is in the home office since March. Sascha on the other hand is a self-employed content creator. The crisis had a much bigger impact on his work life.
“I was so afraid of what happened – within the first days a few partnerships were canceled, and our travel plans as well. But luckily the food industry wasn’t affected as badly as the tourism industry. So, I had still lots of work, and I’m more than happy about it. More challenging is the fact that it is so hard or nearly impossible to plan something. Things are changing constantly, and nobody knows what is the situation for the next two, three, or six months. Luckily, the crisis is not as bad for our work-life than it is for our personal life. Because on a personal level the isolation is something, we both as a gay couple living and working together are struggling with.
How to beat the Corona Crisis? Together!
#1 Try to keep your routines!
We still get up at 7 am and start our workdays as usual. Just try to keep your routines and schedule! There will be a time after corona and so you don’t have to struggle with going back to normal. On the flip side, you keep this feeling of normality while everything around us is more than different and unusual.
#2 Try to find a hobby or stick to your hobby!
“You need an outlet for the situation. If you already have a hobby stick to it and if not find a thing you like to do! The sport was always an important part to get it all out for us and isolated, we started to have bike trips nearly every day. We discovered our hometown and found so many beautiful places. Doing stuff together makes everything else so much easier.”
#3 Try to stay healthy in your relationship
“Don’t rest on conflicts – If you argue in any kind of way, bring the conflict to an end. I learned this from my parents, and they never go to bed if the thing isn’t settled in any kind of way. We never fall asleep disputing! If you work together you don’t have to do everything together. Find out who is an expert on several topics. For example, I am the creative part and Torsten just supports me, on the other hand, Torsten is so focused and strategic. He is the master of finance, and I’d be never able to do stuff like that. That’s what being a team means!”
#4 Try to support your locals!
“One of the best things this crisis brought is the big amount of support for each other. So many businesses are struggling, and we all have to support them. You want to have your favorite shop, restaurant, bar, gym, etc. still existing after the crisis is over?! Check out what you can do for them – buy gift cards, share their services on social media, or just offer your help and ask what you can do.”
Gay Couple operated Food Blog from Germany
Final thoughts of the gay couple: “For us, the hardest part is not to be able to see our friends and families. We need people around us. We love to have guests and just enjoy our times together. Family is super important and usually, Torsten visits his mother and our grandmother Lore, at the age of 94, daily. We meet my family very regularly, too! I think before we travel to any destination we have to see our loved ones. And after that, we hope to travel to Barcelona and enjoy the city and perhaps a trip to Sitges to relax at the nice beach.”
“We are a couple for over 10 years and there are still situations, one of us has to step out of his comfort zone. No matter if it is just food you usually don’t like, a place you feel it would be better not to travel to or whatever. At least we trust each other and try out nearly everything. Keep an open mind! Oh, and if you work together you don’t have to spend all the (spare) time together as well. Find out who is an expert on several topics. For example, I’m the creative part and Torsten just supports me, on the other hand, Torsten is so focused and strategic. He is the master of finance, and I’d be never able to do stuff like that. That’s what being a team means!”
Do you want to know more about our gay travels around the world? Stay tuned on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you again in Germany, Europe and somewhere around the world! Karl & Daan.
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