A different kind of Valentine’s day
No matter your relationship status, Valentine’s day can be fun and enjoyable. I can remember in recent years how many Google searches for valentine’s day ideas I hit to figure out how to mark the holiday. When I was single, to celebrate my friends and treat myself, and during time’s I’ve been in a relationship, how to treat my significant other. I thought it would be helpful to suggest a few alternatives for Valentine’s, however you choose to spend it.
Organize a Private Pop-up
February 14 is one of the busiest nights for restaurants. It’s one of the nights where everyone makes the extra effort to have a nice night. However, going to a good restaurant can be a challenge, especially if reservations were full 3 weeks ago. And even if you make it, it doesn’t guarantee a good experience. The restaurant may be delayed with food as the kitchen tries to handle the influx of simultaneous orders.
An alternative is to organize a Private event. A few couples get together, normally at someone’s house, and decide with the chef on the menu. For our events, each couple shares the cost of the event, which ends up being more affordable than the restaurant experience with the added bonus of being in a more comfortable environment. For more information on how to organize a pop-up, you can contact me directly.
This valentine’s day Alicia and I are spending it at one of these pop-ups, together, presenting a menu to several couples that liked the idea of a private pop-up restaurant for themselves.
Endive boats with Pecorino, Walnuts, and Balsamic Reduction
Bruschetta Classica- Tomatoes, Basil, mozzarella
Beet Carpaccio with Goat Cheese and Honey
Porterhouse Steak with Charred cherry tomatoes over Parmesan Risotto
Option: Salmon in Florida Grapefruit and Thai Basil vinaigrette.
Blueberry Almond Galette with French Vanilla Ice cream
Create an opportunity to be sociable
When I was single in Valentine’s there were times when I wanted to have dinner with friends as a group. At someone’s house. So we had a dinner party. Singles, couples, whatever the relationship status, everyone was invited. Having a dinner party took the pressure off any one person, and it created a more casual environment where we could drink a few cocktails, laugh, and it wouldn’t matter if someone had a date or not.
Tips for hosting:
Create a playlist or if you have an Echo tell Alexa to play one.
Figure out the food and delegate. Don’t cook everything yourself, have other friends bring some cool dish. If you like to cook, pick one or two dishes and delegate the rest- you need to enjoy yourself too.
Sangria Punch Bowl
This is a chance to treat your significant other. Setting a table, cooking, and drinking a bottle of wine together. There is harmonious intimacy in sharing a meal with the person you want to be with.
Figure out what works for you, picnic in the park or candlelit dinner, or something in between. It doesn’t matter as much as honoring the person you are with. Loving them how they want to be loved.
And if you throw something with Nutella, you’re on the right track!
Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled Nutella with fresh Strawberries
Whatever you do, treat yourself too
The Bible says love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31). Which is interpreted to mean that as much love as you show your fellow man, you need to show love to yourself as well.
Many times, I cooked myself a fancy dinner: a big steak, Risotto, a big bowl of gelato with sliced cherries and almonds with drizzled port wine because I needed it. When things weren’t going the right way in life, it was a good moment to just enjoy something.
If you have no one to buy something for, buy something you’ve been putting off for yourself. Or even something as simple as a good bottle of wine. The whole meaning of Valentines, I feel, is this: You matter and you deserve to give and receive love.
Rum Cake, Strawberries and Whipped Cream
A little about me
I’m a chef and a former psychologist. I spent years studying how we experience food to make the best eating experiences possible- and I show you how to eat well on this site. I host secret popups in Miami, FL teaching people how to approach good food that’s never been done before.