It’s not uncommon for people to use food as a catalyst to bring communities together. With unfortunate waves of discrimination and hate towards the Asian American Pacific Islander and LGBTQ community, it’s heartwarming to see local businesses use their cuisine as a way to bring awareness to social issues. Specifically, Tiger and Wife is a catering company out of Longmont, Colorado that combines well-crafted dishes with a sense of culture and social awareness.
Partners in life and in business, Kaity and Devin Keopraphay first launched Tiger and Wife towards the end of 2020 as a super casual side hustle and later formed the catering business in January 2021. Both with culinary backgrounds, starting their own venture in the hospitality world has always been a dream of theirs. They saw a great opportunity to adapt to the delivery and commissary kitchen model that has been so prevalent in the Denver restaurant scene as a result of COVID-19 related closures.
“Tiger and Wife is a love child of COVID. We’ve only known business through delivery and catering,” Kaity said.
While neither have ever owned their own business, they’ve done various pop-ups and side businesses to dip their toes in the entrepreneurial world. In simple words, Tiger and Wife is a rustic Asian American bakehouse and eatery concept.
Devin grew up cooking around family, so a majority of the menu is influenced by Laotian food and familial dishes. So many recipes are passed down from generations of the Keopraphay family and reimagined under a modern lens. Combined with Kaity’s background as a pastry chef, the various innovative baked items add an intriguing curve to the fare.
With summer quickly approaching, more picnic-style heat-and-eat dishes, berry infusions, and monthly inspired dishes like the chocolate rainbow doughnut for PRIDE month grace the menu. While it does change frequently, the brunch catering menu holds a few staples like savory quiche — with mascarpone, roasted mushrooms squash and thyme — to bagels and buttermilk and Maldon Sea salt biscuits. The more culturally focused dishes include black sesame cookies, miso caramel doughnuts and tiger bentos with pork nikudango skewers, asparagus tamago, wakami and a rice, cucumber and tomato salad filled inari pocket.
As each dish takes a modern approach to its heritage, the team also grasps every opportunity to support local minority communities. In April, the team curated a Feast for Peace menu celebrating the Laos New Year highlighting dishes like luk seen — a turmeric and kaffir lime leaf meatball skewered on lemongrass stalks and a sweet chili tamarind sauce. Not only were these dishes close to home for Devin, but 50% of the profits were also donated to the AAPI community.
For the remainder of June, the team will donate to the LGBTQIA community in support of PRIDE month, with a few seasonal items added specifically for this occasion — including a chocolate or vanilla rainbow doughnut, matcha palmer or coconut pandan drink, big chicken bun with a cornflake crusted chicken thigh, American cheese, scallion relish and maple mustard.
“Tiger and Wife is food for the soul, made from two people who really care about the culture, community and representing our heritage,” Kaity said.
As the culinary world continues to change, the Keopraphay’s will continue to adapt and see where the market takes them — with the hopes of a brick and mortar in 2022.
Tiger and Wife is based out of Longmont, Colorado. Delivery is available in Longmont only and pick-up is available upon request. More information about the menu and catering can be found here.