Features & Stories

Dishes for Valentine Seduction

Heart Inside Cupcakes from Crazy Sweet Creations by Ann Reardon

Cooking something special for a romantic partner is a time-honored way to make a good impression. But which dishes are most effective? With Valentine’s day just around the corner, we searched ckbk’s collection for tips, and have brought together these recommendations from food writers and chefs for desire-inducing dishes.

The main attraction

Alastair Little takes an old school approach offering a recipe for Seductive Lobster, noting that date nights are not the time to skimp on expense.

Betty Fussell also suggests shellfish, but this time Dungeness Crab (which she says in James Beard’s opinion was a match for the the best lobster in America).

Barbara Tropp recommends a similarly extravagant, if less traditional, Smoked Tea Duck which she says is “worthy of a birthday, an honored guest, or a special seduction.”

Paula Wolfert also recommends duck, noting to her son that Slow Cooked Duck with Olives “would be a great dish to serve to a prospective girlfriend”


Tom Parker Bowles, meanwhile, recommends the somewhat more budget-friendly Penne All’Amatriciana. “This is one of the first dishes I cooked regularly after leaving university, and was a stalwart when having girls over for dinner. It took a couple of hours, smelt wondrous and tasted divine. It also gave time for a few glasses of wine. This was all about seduction via the stomach.” 


Katie Chin makes the daring claim that “tofu doesn’t have to be boring; in fact, it can be scintillating, sexy, spicy and sublime”. If you are a tofu believer, then Sichuan Tofu with Broccoli could be a good option — perhaps especially if your intended is vegan (if you use a plant-based oyster sauce alternative).

Melissa Joulwan goes with scrambled eggs which remind here of film noir… “This recipe is a subtle, seductive glance across the room … In my imagination, this is the effortlessly tempting meal that Bogie whipped up for Lauren Bacall, circa 1945, while she lounged around wearing his silk pajamas”


And so on to dessert!

Grant Macpherson makes a fine Grand Marnier Soufflé noting “If you’re trying to impress your wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend, or date with this dessert, you’ll succeed.”


Marcy Goldman says chocolate velvet cookies are “seduction at first sight”.

Peter Gordon’s crème brulée with raspberries offers a sexy twist.


Barbara Kafka recommends a strategy involving via either Strawberry Rhubarb Tart or, failing that, a meringue-encrusted banana (?!)


Levi Roots recommends stout punch. According to Levi “If you’re giving it to your girlfriend or boyfriend, be sure to drink it near the bedroom – you’re not going to get much further once you’ve had a few glassfuls of this!”

Or something completely different

Finally, Anya von Bremzen quotes a description of Salvador Dali’s approach to culinary seduction:

 “Salvador Dalí seduced many ladies, particularly American ladies, but these seductions usually consisted of stripping them naked in his apartment, frying a couple of eggs, putting them on the women’s shoulders, and, without a word, showing them the door.” 

Don’t try this at home!


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