Hook & Rub
Hook & Rub was created after our good friends brought us a gift from Maine, a beautifully crafted wooden box that contained six spice rubs and three condiments from a local company called Vervacious. It was the perfect gift for us as we are known as the couple who loves to host parties revolving around freshly made recipes. After a few days of oohhing and aahhing over the gift with friends, Doug turned to me and said “we can do this” and tailor it to our life and love of food.
Who We Are
Doug was born and raised in South Florida, spending a good deal of time on the water with his father who ran a weekend charter boat business out of Bud N' Mary's Marina in Islamorada. Although he graduated from Florida State University, he decided to forgo the nine-to-five lifestyle for a life at sea. He spent the past twenty years working on charter boats, for private individuals, and for multi-million dollar corporations who use their sportfish boats and fishing trips as a great way to spend a day. In his down time from fishing, he fishes. He fishes with a rod and reel and loves to go spearfishing here in South Florida and in the Bahamas. Doug has spent a majority of his time on the waters in the Bahamas and feels like it is a second home to him.
I, on the other hand, was born and raised in Northern Virginia. I spent my summer weekends on the Northern Neck of Virginia; which is an area that has the Potomac River to the north, the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the Rappahannock River to the south. We would fish on our 20’ Pursuit named the Five Bells for flounder, troll for blue fish, and fish off our dock in the Lower Machodoc Creek. In college, I went to Cozumel for spring break and fell in love with scuba diving. I didn’t really have a chance to do it much afterwards (living in Virginia and all), but it was always in my thoughts. I became a management consultant with Cap Gemini Ersnt & Young and worked all over the country for the next five years. I decided the nine to five world wasn’t for me either, so I moved to Seattle and within two years I was working at the Seattle Aquarium and loving every minute of it. I moved to South Florida with the thought of getting a masters degree in Marine Biology at RSMAS at the University of Miami but needed a job first. I headed over to the local dive shop in South Beach, South Beach Dive & Surf, continued my diving education and became manager of the shop. Over the next few years, I became a PADI certified scuba instructor, got my captain license and ran the dive boat out of Miami Beach Marina.
In 2007, the owner of the dive shop, Sasha Boulanger was celebrating his birthday at a local hole-in-the-wall, The Abbey. Both Doug and I attended and that was the beginning of our courtship and eventual relationship. Doug and I found jobs together so that we could travel the Bahamas and the Caribbean together. And believe me – the saying “a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is definitely true when it comes to our relationship. Luckily, we have very similar likes and dislikes in the culinary world and we enjoy the same amount of salt (I do tend to like things slightly spicier than he does). Doug is content to let me spend three hours in the kitchen every night preparing dinner and I love doing it.
Our Passion For Food
Throughout my entire childhood, I can remember going out to eat with my family less than five times and we never got delivery. Each meal was prepared from scratch by both my mother and father. That doesn’t mean I grew up learning how to cook. We would help out occasionally in the kitchen, but mostly we sat around the kitchen table watching TV, doing homework, and just chatting with our parents while they cooked. The one “foodie” type activity I did do was read every issue of Bon Appetit magazine. This wasn’t because I was interested in the articles and recipes per se, it was more that I needed something to read while I was eating breakfast or an afternoon snack and that is what was always on the table (I loved and love to read). In college, when it came to living off campus and having a kitchen (and no meal plan), the only thing I knew to do was cook dinner. I called my mom for a few of my favorite recipes and cooked the same few dinners again and again. After college is when I started to play around with cooking my own food – with the availability of the internet and hosting parties, I was inspired. I love having people to my house and feeding them. I love to see people having a great time, enjoying food and drinks, but I prefer to watch it from the kitchen and not have to interact too much. So my MO these days is to invite people over, have a theme or theme ingredient, and start searching through all the recipes on Epicurious.com until I find the 5-6 recipes that I like (I’m starting to get more realistic and only cook 3…. or 4 dishes). I am no chef, but I will cook almost any recipe out there.
Being a boat captain doesn’t mean you just “drive” the boat. There are so many other responsibilities and tasks associated with the job and one of those is to think about and prepare the food onboard. When you walk down the dock in the evening, you will most likely see many captains and crew grilling fish, preparing sides, and entertaining their bosses and their guests. Every one of them has amazing passion for one or five of their recipes and will always tell you how it is prepared. This is where Doug’s passion for cooking began. One of the greatest parts of fishing is coming back to the dock and enjoying your catch. Doug makes a fantastic seared wahoo, delicious tuna poke, and is the best at grilling all fish and making easy, complementary sides.
So this is our back-story of why when we received that amazing gift box of spices, we decided to combine our worlds and create our own unique line of spice blends. Hook & Rub spice blends are near and dear to our hearts, and we hope you love them as much as we do.