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How Ayesha Curry Went From Basketball Wife to Food Superstar

Becoming a lifestyle goddess in 10 not-so-easy steps

Goya Foods' Grand Tasting Village Featuring Mastercard Grand Tasting Tents & KitchenAid Culinary Demonstrations - Day 1 Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for SOBEWFF

2017 has yet to crown its official domestic goddesses, but a clear front-runner this year is Ayesha Curry. Curry, who’s married to Golden State Warriors golden boy Steph Curry, has over the past few years checked practically every box when it comes to becoming a capital “p” food world Personality, and she’s moving at a break-neck pace: First came a blog and a huge Instagram following, followed last year by a cookbook, a pop-up restaurant, her own Food Network show, and now, branded meal kits, not to mention an upcoming cookware line. All this, and she’s just barely turned 28.

Part of the Canadian born, Bay Area-dwelling mother of two’s key to winning hearts — and amassing 4.7 million Instagram followers — is her approachable vibe that’s reminiscent of reigning laid-back lifestyle queen Chrissy Teigen, who’s recently enjoyed a meteoric rise of her own from Instagram famous to IRL famous. Yes, she’s married to an NBA superstar and is breathtakingly good-looking, but like Teigen, Curry’s online persona is candid and down-to-earth: Her Instagram feels personal and genuine rather than perfect and posed, rife with candid snaps of her and Steph and their two painfully cute daughters, Riley and Ryan, and casual ’grams of home-cooked meals.

Being a basketball wife is a career in its own right — see the titular VH1 reality series for evidence — but Ayesha’s much too ambitious to spend all her time cheering from the proverbial stands. Though her husband may have snagged the nickname “Chef,” she’s without a doubt the culinary force to be reckoned with in the family. In the past year Ayesha’s gone full-on lifestyle goddess — and here’s how she’s done it, in 10 highly ambitious steps:

1) Amass a Huge Instagram Following

A post shared by Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) on

Back in 2014 Curry launched a blog, Little Lights of Mine, posting videos chronicling her home cooking projects and other domestic endeavors. The blog was popular, but found a whole new audience after a video of the family parodying Drake’s “0 to 100,” in which the rapper name-drops Steph (I been Steph Curry with the shot / Been cookin' with the sauce, chef), went viral in December 2014. The next year the Warriors won the NBA title and two-year-old daughter Riley found her own viral success by stealing the show at a post-game press conference; Ayesha’s social media following ballooned appropriately.

2) Launch a Line of Fancy Merch

AyeshaCurry.com

Any proper lifestyle goddess needs her own brand of fancy merch, and Ayesha got into the game early: Back in 2014, she teamed up with SF-based apron company Lundy Way (which has outfitted chefs from Dan Barber to Sheldon Simeon) to create her own line of coordinating parent-and-child aprons. The same year she debuted her own brand of extra-virgin olive oil, made with SF-grown olives and featuring an illustration of her on the label; a portion of the proceeds go to No Kid Hungry (another secret to success: plenty of do-gooding).

3) Join a Big-Name Chef for a Pop-Up

In the summer of 2016, Ayesha partnered with chef and restaurateur Michael Mina to launch a San Francisco pop-up restaurant. Called International Smoke, it featured a four-course prix-fixe menu of internationally-inspired barbecue fare (think Korean ribs and Thai barbecue shrimp chili). Teaming up with an esteemed chef to build your culinary credibility? Check.

4) Feed Drake

We here ... International Smokin' with Steph and Drake !

A post shared by Adam Sobel (@asobel) on

Drizzy has long been a fan of Steph, name-dropping him on the aforementioned track “0 to 100,” so it didn’t exactly come as a surprise when he dropped in on Ayesha’s aforementioned SF pop-up last summer. (Hey, you can’t fight with your fictional girlfriend at Cheesecake Factory for every meal.)

5) Debut a Prepared Foods Brand

A post shared by Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) on

In summer 2016, Ayesha teamed up with an SF-based food entrepreneur to launch a line of bottled, ready-to-drink soups. Called Zupa Noma, the brand had the stated goal of “disrupting” the soup industry — and while soup seems to have remained mostly, well, soup, surely every budding lifestyle goddess is entitled to their own healthy prepared foods line.

6) Write a Cookbook

The logical next leap from a wildly popular food blog presence is of course a cookbook: Ayesha’s first cookbook The Seasoned Life was published in September 2016. “Filled with uncomplicated, globally influenced recipes like jerk turkey and sweet chile shrimp wraps,” per Eater SF editor Ellen Fort, it quickly became a New York Times best-seller. (Ayesha says Steph’s favorite meal for her to cook is chicken parm, and while that recipe didn’t make it into the book, he’s also reportedly pretty keen on this eggplant pasta as a pre-game feast.)

7) Become a Media Maven

Curry as a judge on ‘Chopped Junior’
Ayesha Curry/Facebook

Aided by her Instagram fame and that best-selling cookbook, Ayesha has racked up a steady stream of TV appearances, frequently making cameos on shows like the Rachael Ray Show and Good Morning America, and even judging Chopped Junior. She’s also graced the pages of numerous publications from Food and Wine, Vogue, and InStyle to Time and Vanity Fair, and also has a column in Woman’s Day centered on easy, family-friendly recipes. Sure, Steph’s made the cover of Sports Illustrated numerous times — once even for two consecutive weeks — but it’s safe to say Ayesha’s been no less penetrative when it comes to snagging glossy spreads.

8) Get Your Own Food Network Show

Food Network

In case all that weren’t enough, Ayesha cemented her arrival as a new-school domestic goddess last fall when she hit the big-time: Food Network. Ayesha’s Home Kitchen premiered in October 2016 and is now in its second season, showcasing super-simple meal ideas (like tacos that begin with a store-bought rotisserie chicken) and frequent cameos from her superstar husband and their daughters.

9) Conquer Meal Kits

Homemade/Facebook

Anyone who’s anyone in the food world seemingly has their own meal kit these days. Last week, Curry announced the debut of her new meal delivery service, Homemade, and the beta subscriptions sold out the first day. Showcasing homey, Instagram-ready fare like orange-thyme chicken thighs with carrot puree and farro salad and vegetable chili with brown butter cornbread, the line also includes kits aimed at kid cooks with dishes like flax chicken tenders and pizza. The boxes are slated to begin delivery in early May.

10) Snag Your Own Cookware Line

Further signaling her transformation into a full-fledged lifestyle queen, Ayesha will unveil her own line of cookware this fall in conjunction with Meyer Corporation, which produces numerous popular brands including Rachael Ray’s line of pots and pans.

It’s anyone’s guess as to what’s next for the up-and-coming food media wunderkind — a magazine? A children’s book? A second cookbook? — but stay tuned: While Steph’s sinking threes in a quest for another championship trophy, Ayesha’s proven she might just out-hustle her MVP husband.

Recipe: Ayesha Curry’s Game Day Pasta [E]

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