Love is in the Gulf

Aiste A Daubaras shares her insider’s knowledge about the food of love.

It is indeed a very rare occurrence, but I do sometimes pity the opposite sex, especially when the gift-giving occasions, such as Valentines day, are rapidly approaching. Imagine what a mammoth task they are facing in figuring out what their Beloved might want to receive, as any self respecting Beloved in question… doesn’t know herself what she wants. Or even if she thinks that she knows what might please her that minute, by the time, lets say, the coveted sent is presented in front of her, she would be struggling to hide her disappointment, as she has gone off perfume completely… about five minutes ago … and now wants a handbag.

Our task, dear Ladies, is much easier in that regard. The truism that a way to a man’s heart lies through his stomach, is undoubtedly true. And what better occasion to put our witchcraft in good use, than a romantic Valentine’s day meal. And in my view, if you do something, do it right, so I decided to seek advice from the very best and the most knowledgeable. Luckily for me, my dear friend Valter Piergiovanni, the Head Chef at the Capital Club Bahrain, is a true wizard of his art and a passionate Italian to boot. And he gladly agreed to share his expertise with me, so I could pass it on to you, my dear Readers.

Turns out, if you combine a pinch of knowledge with a dash of imagination, it is not that complicated after all. These with a sweet tooth could rummage in their cupboards for some chocolate, which helps to release the ‘love chemical’, and is very easy to serve (just melt it and make a retro chocolate fondue or sprinkle on some pudding).  Or one could just drizzle fresh figs (which, for centuries, were associated with love and fertility) with some honey, as it contains the boron mineral and boosts oestrogen and testosterone levels in our blood. Those with a penchant for the more “greener” diet, would be delighted to learn, that potassium and vitamin B packed avocados or folic acid and mineral rich asparagus can also help to jazz things up without sabotaging your calorie intake. And for the ultimately adventurous ones, Mr. Piergiovanni recommends the classic aphrodisiac- the oyster (or any shellfish, as they are all packed with Zinc, a mineral that significantly increases testosterone levels).

But all this scientific gibberish aside, I could not help but second our Chef’s opinion, that is not what you cook rather than how you cook, that matters. Having been cooking for 38 years, he says he always ‘cooks every single dish with passion and love, and that’s the only way to make the moment memorable and your loved one happy”.  In other words, the main ingredient of your Valentine’s feast… should be your hart, and plenty of it!

And some ‘insider information’… of what Mr. Piergovanni has up his sleeve for his Beloved: a simple menu but cooked with love. Oh, lucky her…

Starter: Lobster Ceviche

Elegantly presented steamed lobster tail with clarified butter for dipping. Tossed with lime juice, shallot, jalapeño and cilantro marinade.

Main course: Sailor-Style Mussels

A light dish of mussels cooked in briny, aromatic broth flavoured with shallots, leeks, garlic and wine, served with aioli toasted bread.

Dessert: No-Bake Chocolate-Nutella “Cheesecake”

A lovely layered dessert (a base of Oreo crumbles, topped with Nutella and chocolate cream cheese and garnished with some whipped cream, more crushed Oreos and toasted hazelnuts) can be any chocolate lover’s fantasy.


Aiste is a Socialite, Writer, Jewellery

Brand Ambassador and Advisor for International School of Etiquette, living in Bahrain.To share your feedback,  email: aiste.anusaite@ gmail.com