Top Chef Competitors Share the Foods Guaranteed to Please a Valentine’s Date

Whether you have kitchen skills, or reservation-booking skills — you need these holiday meal ideas!

Not every member of a coupled pair has Top Chef-level cooking skills... and that's OK. When it comes to the much-anticipated Valentine's Day meal, the ideal date includes maximum romance — over a home-cooked meal, a candlelit restaurant table, or even just-right takeout. Here, Top Chef's Season 15 cheftestants share what foods are slam dunks for wooing your date... with ideas ranging from sexy to cheeky to highly personal and downright romantic. So read along and consider yourself set for a February 14 that will go down in date history. (You're welcome!)

Fatima Ali

“Anything you can eat with your fingers. French fries [are] my personal favorite. A gentle caress of the finger while reaching for the ketchup!”

Tyler Anderson

“Call Blue Hill at Stone Barns, make a reservation, take her there — boom... wooed.”

Carrie Baird

“I work Valentine's Day, so I've never had to woo a single person. But I love a dirty (funny) menu: cream-filled dates, red snapper tacos, bone-in anything... get it? Hilarious!”

Adrienne Cheatham

“Easy recipe for Valentine’s Day: steak tartare with salt, shallot, capers, chive, olive oil, grated fresh horseradish and a little grated truffle.”

Laura B Cole

“King Crab pasta with a carrot reduction sauce.”

Joseph Flamm

“Mussels with white wine, and sausage, toasted baguette.”

Rogelio Garcia

“12 local fish market oysters, four egg yolks, two tablespoons white wine, one teaspoon of lime juice… and a dallop of caviar.”

Tanya Holland

“Slow-cooked meats.”

Bruce Kalman

“My wife and I had our first date on Valentine’s Day, we had orecchiette with sausage, rapini, and parmesan.”

Brother Luck


Melissa Perfit

“Raw oysters and Champagne. Can’t go wrong with that!”

Tu David Phu

“Oysters Rockefeller.”

Joseph Sasto III

“I really enjoy the fact that my girlfriend doesn’t buy into Hallmark holidays, like Valentine’s Day. But if you’re not so lucky, try experimenting with fresh-made pasta. Guaranteed to woo a date on any night of the week. [But] whatever you do, don’t use jarred pasta sauce… yuck!

Christopher Scott

“I make a dessert called ‘Chocolate Silk’... its basically is a super-rich chocolate mousse with a toasted pecan brown sugar crostillant.”

Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins

“Mine? Well I married a Southern Boy. Boiled peanuts and pulled pork with a vinegar based barbecue sauce. Not going for sexy… more for the love!”

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