Celebrity chef Jim Fisher owns a top cookery school in France, which he runs with Lucy, his wife of 29 years. He attributes his long and happy marriage to the fact they cook together as a couple but Jim has additional evidence for his theory too. Over the years, Jim has witnessed numerous rocky relationships being recharged through the magic of a cookery course at Cook in France.
Based on their experiences, Jim and Lucy are sharing some top tips for a great Valentine’s, including some wonderful recipes for the perfect romantic meal – but before the cooking action Jim suggests that you:
Get showered and dress up to prepare your meal together – it’s as much a part of the evening as eating.
If one of you is a better cook, the other should be involved by clearing up, handing things to the chef and helping as asked but without interfering.
Don’t criticise. Be supportive and heap praise where praise is due (keep the ultimate goal in mind).
Brush against each other, hold a touch longer than normal, smile at your partner and pay attention to what he or she is saying – really listen.
Don’t drink too much throughout the evening – a couple of drinks to help you relax is fine but getting drunk is a complete passion killer.
Feeling full will lesson your appetite for what comes later so try and keep portions small.
Great sex stimulates the appetite, so leave a few well-chosen leftovers – chocolates or petit fours, for instance – to feed each other and nibble on afterwards.
When it comes to the menu for a dreamy dinner for two, Jim and Lucy have developed the perfect food combinations, “Men need to eat the equivalent of gourmet Viagra to feel stimulated whilst women need foods to help them feel relaxed,” says Jim. “A menu that delivers both is romantic nirvana.”
It’s also good to introduce food that requires you to use your hands rather than cutlery – feeding each other is sexy. Colours, texture and aromas all play a part too. It’s important to stimulate all their senses”.
Relaxing foods for her, stimulating ingredients for him.
Asparagus (increases overall confidence and activates libido)
Caviar (heightens the senses and increases nerve sensitivity)
Truffles (a chemical in truffle mimics a male sex hormone)
Chocolate (eleven out of ten women say chocolate is better than sex)
Oysters (oysters contain zinc, a nutrient vital for a man’s reproductive and sexual function)
Asparagus (rich in vitamin E that stimulates the production of testosterone in men)
Ginseng (derived from the Chinese term rénshen, which literally means ‘man root’, ginseng reduces fatigue and stress and helps prevent impotence.
Meryl Cubley is a journalist and writer based in Cardiff, Wales, specialising in social trends and culture, feminism and women’s issues, sexual health and wellbeing, travel and lifestyle, the environment and business. With a wealth of editing expereince, Meryl also enjoys a succesful freelance writing career and has written for titles as diverse as Grazia, Red, Marie Claire South Africa, Scarlet, Your Healthy Living, The Guardian and The World Class Series. A regular interviewer of celebrities Meryl has interview skills that are first class – and discreet. She has also appeared on television discussing her thought-provoking, fresh, and unique articles. Meryl is also a writer with Ustar Novels (under the pen name of Sylvia Hadcliffe) publishers of personalised literature.