February 14th, 2018

11 Great Stories from Culinary Couples Who Met at the CIA

11 culinary couples valentines day image

11. Stephan and Patrick

Patrick Decker and Stephan Hengst were introduced by friends who felt they had so much in common. Stephan was working at the CIA as the director of communications and Patrick was about to graduate from the college. They became friends and as it turns out, they shared the kind of connection that eventually translated into a serious and long-lasting relationship. After many years together, they wished to marry but same-sex marriage was not yet a reality in New York. They happened on an opportunity, offered by the Netherlands, for couples to enter a contest to marry in Holland—where it has been legal since 2001—if they had at least one partner with dual U.S. and Dutch citizenship. Stephan, whose father is Dutch, was born in Holland, where he still retains citizenship. Patrick and Stephan, along with four other couples, were married by the mayor of Amsterdam during the city’s Pride Day Celebration. Today, Patrick is a digital product manager for Food & Lifestyle media at Scripps Networks Interactive and Stephan is an account executive with Media Copy based out of Philadelphia. The duo are co-founders of Big Gay Hudson Valley and Pink Stallion, organizations that promote LGBTQ local events, resources, and community in both the Hudson Valley and Philadelphia. “Our goal is to keep our community connected,” says Stephan.

Food is love, so it’s not surprising to find out that many of our graduates found their soul mates while attending the CIA. Here are eleven great stories of how they met!