and the City of Angels
By Miriam Marcus
Aphrodisiacs – a word derived from the Greek goddess
of love, Aphrodite – are agents said to cause the arousal
of sexual desire. They have been around since before recorded
history, but the meaning and purpose behind them has not changed.
People employ these magical substances reputed for romance
in hope of stimulating instant amour and erotic interest.
Whether it’s for love or lust, food is frequently utilized
to trigger the release of endorphins and other body chemicals
to send messages of pleasure throughout the body. It’s
no surprise then that in preparation for Valentine’s
Day, restaurant reservations around the country are booked
far in advance, dining rooms are rearranged for tables of
two, and chefs strive to concoct sensual menus.
We asked five chefs from Los Angeles to offer their recipes
for a seductive dish, each one engaging a different sense—sight,
taste, touch, sound and smell—to inspire Valentine’
Day menus in restaurants across the country.
Sometimes a dish can simply look sexy. That is
the case with Fresh
Wasabi and Soy Marinated Blue Fin Tuna from Water
Grill’s Chef David LeFevre. Chef LeFevre tries
to engage all the senses using bright flavors to stimulate
an erotic imagination. The eye is appealed to first; the dish
is plated to make the food look as if it is growing from the
plate—a sophisticated, naturally sexy presentation.
Delicate monkfish, silky mushroom scampi, and succulent
lobster meat heat up animal passion when feasting on Roasted
Monkfish with Lobster Fettuccine. Chef Piero Morovich
of Tower Bar tantalizes the taste buds and motivates
a healthy libido.
The mythological arrows of Cupid’s bow are aimed directly
Mousse with Lychee Sorbet from Chef Rodelio Aglibot
of Yi Cuisine. Physical appetites are indulged with
the lovely texture of mousse, inducing bodily ease and dreamy
looks of love-hungry diners.
“Ooooooh, Ahhhhhh, Mmmmmm…..” The sounds
of deep carnal pleasure will barely escape the lips of anyone
who tastes Cajeta
Tart with Chile-Almond Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Guava
Puree and Tequila Caramel from Pastry Chef Koa Duncan
of Water Grill. This totally decadent dessert ignites
a chemical cascade and leads to an audible shedding of sexual
inhibition. Garnish this dish for your intended with poached
quince—a fruit considered by the Ancient Romans to be
a symbol of love and commitment.
The olfactory sense is the most powerful of the five senses.
It’s also the most primitive, traveling a direct route
to the brain and provoking emotions of ecstasy. Inhale enough
of the amorous scent of Smoked
White Chocolate Mousse, Meyer Lemon Granita and Shiso Ice
Cream from Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza of Sona,
and the natural high will send the ‘pleasure center’
of your brain reeling!