From heat and spice to all things nice, the ingredients for the perfect romantic date are to be found no further than your kitchen. And while we’re having a field day with all the kitchen puns, these couples tell us how it’s done.
Juhi Jamba Phillips and Sahil Phillips
Juhi and Sahil are both active in sports management and Juhi also aces the kitchen. The couple believes their love for sports, food and travel keeps the passion alive in every shared territory.
Our idea of the perfect intimate evening is a dim lit dinner in bed with a crime documentary on Netflix. We also travel a lot for work, so dinner dates at new places with exotic food are always a part of keeping things exciting between us.
Doing Things together
Juhi: Both Sahil and I work in the sports management industry and are ardent sports fans. So, fitness and anything to do with sport is our me-time, going out for a run together or just staying in bed to watch a game of football is a delicious thought!
Juhi: Was a high team Sahil made for me a couple of months into our marriage, after a small tiff. It was served in bed, with a highly salted yet delicious mushroom bruschetta being the highlight. It was special because he despises cooking and he made this meal from scratch!
Couples That Cook Together…
Juhi: No! We absolutely don’t enjoy cooking together—I am very possessive about my kitchen and Sahil absolutely hates cooking but loves being fed. Our idea of being in the kitchen together is him keeping me company by just chatting and irritating me by picking food from my mise en place.
Meals and Memories
Juhi: Three days into our wedded life, it was the UEFA Champions League Final. This was the first time I made a mushroom and chicken Risotto and since then, the dish is our go-to date night food.
Aphrodisiacs—yay or nay?
Oh well, I can’t say much on the science behind these foods. But strawberries every season make a comeback into our bedroom with some dark chocolate as an accompaniment for our midnight snack.
new love zone or not?
Yess! In our home, it definitely is. Love, passionate discussions, fights and family bonding—everything starts and ends in the kitchen. In fact, my husband proposed to me only after I finished shooting for Femme Foodies. I guess he realised how good a cook am I and how I always find a way into his heart with food.
and Rishabh Shah
She’s an educator, he, an entrepreneur. Rishabh and Nirali Shah, who also happen to moonlight as travel bloggers (Gypsycouple), tell us how they spice things up in their marriage.
The Perfect Romantic Evening
We disagree on a lot of things but our idea of a perfect intimate evening would be a candlelit dinner on sandbank, far away from the crowds. If Rishabh had his way, it would be pizzas all the way, while nachos would lead the way for Nirali.
Spicing Things Up!
Given our penchant for spicy food, how could we let our lives remain bland? From impromptu trips to surprise gifts to breakfast in bed, everything adds a unique flavour which keeps their life, tantalising!
Surprises in the Kitchen
Rishabh: Ours was an arranged marriage. I knew that Nirali hadn’t spent much time in the kitchen, however, just days after our wedding, she cooked up all my favourite dishes including two varieties of finger licking pizza on my birthday, without any help! Given her inexperience in the kitchen, it would have taken her some effort in figuring out recipes, acquainting herself with the new kitchen space and attempting all this knowing I’m a foodie and have high benchmarks! This show of affection, hardly a week into the marriage, in a new home and with a new family was definitely the best surprise for me.
Couple Cooking Capers
Nirali: We absolutely do not enjoy cooking together. We fight all the time. Rishabh thinks vegetables cut themselves, utensils magically appear and all the condiments are arranged as if in a cookery show. All he needs to do is mash up a few recipes to create his own version and create magic, wah! He is an absolute foodie but leaves the kitchen in a mess!
Rishabh: Nirali seldom lets anyone have their way in the kitchen. She feels she knows best and it’s absolutely no fun to cook with her! But then, I cannot cook without her—I need someone to chop the onions!
The only food game we’ve ever played and had a surprising winner for, was an ice cream-eating competition! Nirali won! It’s very surprising considering how tiny her appetite is. According to her, there’s a whole new stomach for desserts and one cannot really argue with that logic.
Of Naughty Memories and Aphrodisiacs
Nirali & Rishabh: We live with our family so naughty memories are relegated to the bedroom. And aphrodisiacs? Who needs them when there’s plenty of spice in one’s lives anyway! But hey, we are all eating aphrodisiacs all the time—strawberries, watermelon, chilli peppers and chocolate!
N & S: We both love some drama and grand gestures. The way to Rishabh’s heart is through his stomach and there’s no better way to win Nirali’s heart than with breakfast in bed on a weekend!
Vikram and Anu K *
Banking professional, Vikram, 37 and his writer wife, Anu, 33 believe it is food that always plays cupid in their relationship
Would be wining and dining at the newest restaurant in town, followed perhaps by some dancing! If it’s home, it’s got to be a movie on Netflix accompanied by wine and maybe some cheese!
Getting into the Mood…
Anu: Is almost always with a good bottle of wine. I’m weirdly obsessed with cooking shows and love whipping up something exotic once in a while. A lovely pasta with a bottle of rosé never fails to put us in the right mood!
A Food Memory that Makes us Smile…
Anu: Was a bill of Rs 9000 back when we were dating. It was Christmas day, we’d just begun dating, and guess we were both trying to show our best dining etiquette. I asked the sommelier for a wine recommendation. It was a lovely lunch, until the bill arrived—Rs 6,000 plus was for the wine alone! Vikram felt so bad that he refused to let me pay—we finally ended up splitting the bill. It still makes us crack up.
Cooking as a Couple
Anu: is not for us! Vikram is your quintessential desi boy spoilt rotten by his mother. Before we got married, I don’t think he so much as even made a cup of tea for himself. At the most he will keep me company in the kitchen, and I enjoy pampering him though when I’m whipping up something fancy.
A Memorable Meal
Anu: It was a few weeks into our wedding and we were with Vikram’s family. My mother-in-law was out and asked me if I could figure dinner out. Considering I also had precious little kitchen experience, I literally panicked. I remember Vikram came to the rescue and started helping me, chopping vegetables—considering how he hadn’t done much in a kitchen either, it was very adorable. When we got to the onions, we were both weeping, and he suggested we wear shades and do it. It was such a ridiculous sight—but something that still brings a smile. Needless to say, it’s a meal I remember!
Aphrodisiacs—yay or nay?
I wouldn’t say that we actively look for aphrodisiacs—like I said, a bottle of wine and the right mood, usually does the trick!
Kitchen—the new love zone or not?
The kitchen certainly is a space for bonding. The sparks are always lit in the kitchen which almost always leads us to the bedroom!
*names changed upon request