Since Jaycina Almond, 22, and Sienna Brown, 23, met in October 2016, they haven’t spent more than two weeks apart. In fact, the friends make dinner together about four times a week.
“I’ve burnt a pot of water before,” Almond says of her cooking skills. But the model wanted to eat healthier during her pregnancy—she and rapper 6lack have a daughter named Syx—so Brown, an artist and a seasoned cook, stepped in to teach her how to make “vegan-ish” dishes. “I said vegan-ish,” Almond giggles as they talk about their menu for tonight: salmon, brussels sprouts, and mac and cheese. “Mac and cheese is something I just can’t give up; it’s part of our culture,” she says. Brown keeps the dish classic with bechamel sauce and sharp cheddar.
Their friendship has become somewhat of “a thing” online. “People are always asking about our skincare routines or where we got our earrings,” says Almond, who has 35,000 Instagram followers. The two women have just launched a YouTube series called Swear By, which they’ll use to feature “anything and everything that we love,” Brown says.
Their busy schedules won’t get in the way of dinners, though. “We live seven minutes away from one another, exactly,” Almond says.
On the radio
Their friends, mostly, who make up much of Atlanta’s young hip-hop scene. The evening’s soundtrack starts off with Lil Uzi Vert, then moves on to PVNDO, whom Brown manages, and finally to singer-songwriter BOSCO. Just before dinner, MadeinTYO’s first single “Uber Everywhere” plays. “MadeinTYO came to my old house and started mumbling some words,” Brown says. “A few weeks later, I started hearing them, in a song, at clubs all over the place. That house was such a creative lair.”
On the counter
Syx sits on one side of the island, and on the other side, a quarter cup of chopped garlic. “Garlic is for everything,” Brown says.
On the table
Brown’s Jamaican parents ran a Caribbean restaurant in Florida, where she grew up. One of the cooks taught her how to steam salmon in a foil pouch, and that’s how she makes it to this day. “Well, he didn’t really teach me; I just watched and learned,” she says. “Jamaican people don’t like a whole lot of questions!”
This article originally appeared in our February 2018 issue.