Curtis Stone Says Valentines Day Is the Perfect Time to Express How You Feel Through Food
Being skilled in the kitchen is a true art form. Whether its crafting a soufflor just scrambling some eggs, producing a dish that is appealing on the eyes (and wont give the consumer food poisoning) is quite the accomplishment. And while food certainly has a huge impact on our day-to-day, its spotlight shines just a smidge bit brighter when Valentines Day rolls around.
Do you make an elegant dinner reservation for you and your partner? Do you stay in and cook each other's favorite meals? Are all those classic aphrodisiacs oysters, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries too cliche, or at this point, a requirement of the occasion?
To answer all those questions, plus a bunch more food-related insights perfect for anyone trying to schmooze a special someone, AskMen referred to an expert: none other than professional chef Curtis Stone.
AskMen: So what is it that makes food such an important part of Valentines Day?
Curtis Stone: If you think about it, so many dates (especially early in a relationship) revolve around sharing a meal together, so Valentines Day really is the chance to go the extra step and do something special. Whether its snagging a reservation at the restaurant youve been wanting to check out, or cooking your significant others favorite dish at home, you can express a lot about how you feel through food.
Aphrodisiacs are a thing of the past is that an unpopular opinion or are you someone who is all about em?
Im certainly not going to stop anyone from eating oysters and chocolate if thats what feels right to them! Theyre both classics, but I also encourage people to mix it up and rethink what kind of cuisines and foods are romantic. Perhaps theres a dish that has sentimental value to you and your partner.
For me, Valentines Day is about the whole family so I love cooking up my favorite Croque Madame recipe it's cheesy and delicious but its also easy enough that the kids can jump in.
What are some foods or dishes that kill the vibe of a date night because theyre so messy?
Well, ribs, burgers and foods you eat with your hands probably arent a lot of peoples first choice for date food, but I think there is something romantic when both people are that comfortable together. That being said, if youre in a new relationship, you may want to opt for fish, chicken or dishes you can cut into or eat in small bites. Think risotto versus spaghetti.
For a total kitchen novice, whats one rule (whether cooking for yourself or someone else), that you should always abide by?
I recommend avoiding a sink full of dishes and cleaning as you go. Truth be told, Im a bit of a clean freak and just discovered Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray. No need to soak and wait, just spray, wipe and rinse no matter how messy, and you can put that pan back to use or in the drying rack.
If you do decide to cook for someone else, is there such a thing as doing too little or too much?
If youre going to cook for your date, you need to be willing to put in the effort while being realistic about your skills. If your cooking experience is limited to pasta and eggs, dont promise a coq au vin to your partner.
A general rule is to keep it simple, use high-quality ingredients (this is the moment to splurge) and then you dont have to worry about putting together a five-course tasting menu. You can make a simple cacio e pepe, but maybe on Valentines Day top it with caviar.
At what point of a relationship do you think its OK to cook for the person youre seeing?
Every relationship is different and it really depends on your personal dynamic, so I would say trust your gut on the right moment. Ignore the naysayers who say its too soon if you want to go for it early on. It shows you care about the person.
Do you think even the pickiest of eaters should venture outside their food comfort zone for love?
Absolutely. I think its a great idea for couples to try out a new or different cuisines together, and the shared experience is a memorable bonding moment. Also, I think a lot of partners appreciate the willingness to try new things.
Are food choices as important as topics like politics and religion when it comes to finding the one?
Everyone will put a different weight behind how important food choices are to them. But, in general, if youre going to be spending a lot of time with someone, having a shared love for a certain kind of food certainly helps.
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