Cupid is back, his arrow is drawn and it’s aimed straight at your rump. But on Valentine’s Day an arrow is the least of everyone’s worries.
Valentine’s Day is looming and for those who are bound to the hip with a significant other, they can either give in to the pressure of buying a perfect present for a loved one or can choose to ignore the day all together, hoping the absence of a present goes unnoticed.
For those who are on a mad hunt searching for the “perfect gift,” hint: there is no such thing. But next to diamonds and gold, food is often a good choice. A night on the town is always appreciated, but a thoughtful and skillfully crafted home cooked meal is often preferred.
To help make the night go as smooth as possible, Whistler’s finest chefs have contributed to a three course meal plan, a few tips and recipes to bring out the inner Jamie Oliver or secret Nigella talents in everyone.
Alta Bistro’s Executive Chef Nick Cassettari just successfully tied the knot with his now wife and along the way has learned a thing or two about keeping a lady around. He starts off his Valentine’s Day with a drink, appropriately titled the Lover’s Boulevard.
1.25 oz of vanilla and cinnamon infused Makers Mark bourbon
1 oz Punta Mas
.75 oz Aperol
Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass and pour over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a twist of orange peel. Voila.
The Main Course
Araxi’s Chef de Cuisine, Jeff Park, reveals that his wife’s pregnancy cravings will determine what he cooks for dinner this Valentine’s Day. If she is up for it, Park plans on whipping up a prawn risotto.
“The beauty of this meal is that it’s a quick one to two pot dish, from start to finish it takes about 30 minutes”, said Park. “My wife is always impressed by this one.”
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
300g short-grain risotto rice
2 Tbsp olive oil
750ml chicken or vegetable stock
250g raw, peeled prawns
Grated lemon zest and parmesan
In a large pot, boil the chicken or vegetable stock. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and add the risotto. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
While the risotto is cooking, take out a pan and add a few drops of oil on medium heat. Throw in two finely chopped, large shallots and one crushed clove of garlic. Fry for four minutes until onions are golden brown. Set aside.
Once the risotto is 80 per cent to 90 per cent cooked, fold in cubes of spaghetti squash and raw prawns. Park claims the prawns and squash will be fully cook after three to four minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in the onions and garlic.
Sprinkle lemon zest and mascarpone cheese. Add a little grated parmesan on top for flavour.
For a mouth-watering gluten-free dessert, the Four Seasons’ talented Montreal born pastry chef, Isabelle Dionne has masterfully crafted the Hazelnut Cake. While the name lacks flair, the result is anything but plain. The moist hazelnut cake is layered with a fig jam and topped off with a fig and balsamic ice cream, perfectly balanced by the balsamic reduction drizzled on the plate.
180mL egg whites
300mL hazelnut powder
125mL icing sugar
Brown the butter, set aside to cool. Whip egg whites until they appear as stiff peaks. Boil sugar and water and make Italian meringue, whip on med speed until cool. Fold in hazelnuts, icing sugar and brown butter. Fill greased ring molds with batter and bake at 120 degrees Celsius for approximately 25 minutes.
1 cup dried figs, chopped
½ cup water
½ cup apple juice
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
Add figs, water, apple juice, lemon juice and honey in a boiling pot of water. Let simmer for about 20 minutes until figs are plump and soft. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for another five minutes.
Spread the jam on the cake and top with ice cream.
Just in case there isn’t enough time to whip up Dionne’s creation, Purebread has everyone covered. Paula Lamming has stitched together her highly addictive chocolate gateaux.
“This rich, dense and sexy dark chocolate cake is sinfully sized for two,” raved Lamming.
The inside of the cake is gooey chocolate deliciousness, wrapped in a fragile crust that is dusted with cocoa powder. For $9 per cake, it’s the perfect last minute Valentine’s Day treat. Who said a nightcap had to be a drink?
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