Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

THE FOOD OF LOVE; This Valentine's Day, Aim for Quality, Rather Than Quantity

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

THE FOOD OF LOVE; This Valentine's Day, Aim for Quality, Rather Than Quantity

Article excerpt

COOK WITH PASSION

Butcher of the Year Jack O'Shea at Selfridges believes that the ultimate food of love on Valentine's Day has got to be a "cote de boeuf" steak for two to share. Cook it with passion: make sure your steak is at room temperature, rub with grapeseed oil, and season generously with rock salt. The oil helps the salt stick. Heat a cast-iron pan and sear the steak for around three minutes on each side, taking tongs to sear around the outside for a further three minutes until it is beautifully caramelised. Remember, colour is key to flavour. Place in a hot oven at 220C for about five minutes, open the door to release heat, and transfer the steak to a warm plate, allowing it to rest for a further 25 minutes at 90C, until your steak is perfectly relaxed.

FOOD TO SUIT THE MOOD

A platter of seafood will set a certain mood for the night. The delicious delicacy of a lobster platter with sauce costs [pounds sterling]50 from James Knight at Selfridges, and the scallop platter [pounds sterling]30.

CAN'T COOK?

Latin lovers don't want to spend all day in the kitchen - so prepare a simple, romantic, rustic Italian dinner in minutes, with everything provided for you. Inside the Table for Due Valentine's Hamper is heart-shaped pasta, tomato and basil sauce, a wedge of parmigiano reggiano, extra-virgin olive oil and a pinot grigio, to be followed by Baci chocolates and a rose with a chocolate treat inside. There's also a candle to set the mood. Hamper, [pounds sterling]49.95, from luigismailorder.com

SWEETS FOR MY SWEET

Hampers also make the perfect gift for your lover. Fortnum & Mason has the Duet hamper with champagne, cheese and crackers, olives and chocolate truffles, [pounds sterling]50 from fortnumand mason.com

For him, there is the Thinking Of You Men's Hamper - strong and serious food for the gourmet male, including LBV Port, Hot English Mustard and Fortnum's Relish. [pounds sterling]60, from fortnumandmason.com

The With Love Basket from Harvey Nichols is full of treats, from strawberry bonbons to mini rose champagne packed in a white wicker hamper. [pounds sterling]60, from harveynichols.com.

Prepare your own romantic picnic with the John Lewis Valentine's Hamper, which includes two mini pink champagne bottles, two flute glasses, and assorted jellies and chocolates. …

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