Valentine’s Day should be spent with the people (or animals) you love. And there is no deeper love than the one you share with a pet. Diana Yen, founder of multidisciplinary creative studio, The Jewels of New York which combines the love of cooking with the beauty of everyday things, arguably has the cutest pet in all of New York City. So we decided to visit her to ask how she and her bunny Cleo celebrate the day of love.
About a year ago, Diana welcomed Cleo into her life. The angora bunny from Upstate New York quickly caught on to her mom’s trade, and has since become the “produce specialist” at The Jewels of New York. You can usually find her chomping on kale or berry scraps at Diana’s Lower East Side studio.
To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Cleo and Diana designed a delicious Raspberry-Rosewater Pistachio Milkshake. We stopped by their studio to taste their pretty-in-pink concoction and ask the pair all about the love they share.
Tell us about when you first met!
Cleo and I met upstate through a woman who breeds angoras, I really wanted an angora!
She had a knitting circle with a bunch of old ladies. She said “If you are interested in angoras, come to our knitting group and you can pick one out!”
I saw cleo with her brother and sister. Cleo was so sweet and friendly. I knew she was the one!
When did Cleo become interested in cooking?
It happened by chance! She would come with me to the studio a couple times a week and that is where she developed her interest in the culinary arts.
Since bunnies mostly eat vegetables, we would make a big bowl of extra salad for her, and soon she took an interest in produce. She is pretty particular, so she won’t eat every vegetable. It has to be at a certain level. So naturally, she has become the produce specialist here.
What do the two of you enjoy doing together?
We love doing tricks together. She just learned how to do eskimo kisses. We also love eating vegetables together.
What are Cleo's favorite dishes?
She loves shaved root vegetables, rainbow carrot salads with frisée. She is partial to textural vegetables…baby kale and mixed vegetables. She also loves beet greens and radish tops. Carrot tops are her new favorite.
What are your plans for Valentine's Day?
We are going to drink milkshakes together and go out for a walk in the snow.
Mostly just hang out at home. Have a low key night…avoid the crowds!