Will you be cooking a romantic dinner for a loved one this Friday? Or perhaps treating yourself to a special solo meal, no partner necessary? This week we are talking to chefs, food writers and bloggers about their ideal Valentine's Day menus. Whether you're married, single, or it's complicated, we'll be sharing ideas for all kinds of cooks, from the hopeless romantic to the die-hard cynic.
Speaking of hopeless romantics, today's menu ideas come from Australian chef and food heartthrob Curtis Stone, who likes to go all-out for his wife, Lindsay, on Valentine's Day. From Mexican feasts to quick-yet-decadent lobster dishes, here are his ideas for creating a romantic meal for a loved one.
Do you have any Valentine's Day traditions in your relationship?
This is my first Valentine’s Day married to my incredible wife Linds, so we’ll be starting new romantic traditions from this year forward. I’m a bit of a self-confessed hopeless romantic so I’ve got quite a few ideas buzzing around in my head for Friday.
What is your ideal Valentine's Day menu?
For me, Valentine's Day is not about a big fancy meal, it's more about being really thoughtful. It's a day when you think deeply about what your loved one loves, and make that day and night all about them and their favorite foods.
Last year, for Valentine's Day, since I know Lindsay loves mariachi music and Mexican food, I hired a mariachi band to come to our house. Sometimes you’ve got to go all out for the lady you love! While Lindsay was upstairs, I rallied the musicians into the backyard and told them to begin playing music in three minutes. I then ran upstairs, chilled out with Linds for a bit and all of a sudden the music started. We ran downstairs to see this gorgeous 10-piece band playing music. I’ve gotta say, it was pretty special even if it was just a little over the top! I then made Lindsay a Mexican feast with tacos and her favorite guacamole.
This year, I’ve not only been inspired by Lindsay’s love of lobsters but also by the spiny lobsters we’ve sourced off the West Coast for the menu at my new restaurant in Beverly Hills. Oven Roasted Lobster with Lime and Chives is a great recipe for a Valentine’s Day menu since it takes very little time to cook, which means more time together!
What is your best piece of advice for cooking a memorably romantic meal for a loved one?
For a memorable dinner, cook something simple that you can put into the oven or that requires little prep time. Set the table with her favorite flowers, light candles, open a delicious drop, put on her favorite music. While the dinner cooks, sip some wine, dance, and linger in each other's company, relaxing and enjoying the moment. Yup, that’s how it’s done, fellas!
(Image credits: Ray Kachatorian)