Trust me when I say that it takes a lot to make me blush. In matters of sensual imagination, I have plenty of it, used in abundance over the years for work and play.
I understand the concept of food and erotica and have toyed with more than one audience in a corporate presentation.
Dinner on Thursday night had me on the defensive. Two days later, I remain obsessed by the pumpkin risotto with lobster, that I enjoyed at a Manhattan restaurant Thursday night.
Can we agree that this photo — whether or not you like squid — is erotic? If “yes”, then stay with me.
Now you must do a little “Imagine This” with me. This is our basic recipe, more or less … wait, wait … let me set the stage!!! Close your eyes now for the real tale of Thursday night’s dinner.
It is your first date with this very attractive man. Discretion and appropriate behavior are important to him, because he is known in many circles globally. In his notes to you about fairly lofty subjects, he has made it clear that sensuality is very important to him, but so are appearances and proper decorum.
Translated, his wild side belongs behind closed doors.
Reading the menu in this gorgeous restaurant, where he is obviously well known and can have the table of his choice, you can’t ignore the fact that he is impeccably dressed … to the smallest detail. What can you say … you’re a girl who likes cuff links and white shirts.
The two of you are discussing your mutual love of Rome, when you decide to order.
The offering is extravagant and enticing. One dish catches your eye more than the next. But ohhhhh … you cannot resist one of them.
Speechless and Depraved
You have just raised the wine glass to your lips, when the waiter and captain appear. Sipping slowly, you gasp silently at the culinary masterpiece coming your way. Your eyes glaze over his veal scallopine, paling in importance next to your risotto.
As the dish descends before you, he marvels out loud:
“My God! It’s spectacular!”
Only the Italians and the French know how to produce this effect on our senses, electrifying them with food. The colors are outstanding … a mound of creamy risotto drifts in the confines of the acorn squash bowl. Perfectly pink lobster meat invites you to gaze longingly into its exquisitely smooth, juicy, succulent meat, before raising it to your lips.
You cannot help smiling, and neither can he. The dish is the most visually decadent food you’ve ever seen, let alone tasted. You are not a shy woman … you can handle the moment with total grace, except for the greenery.
This bold, outrageous statement is not about parsley.
Demanding your attention, is a single spear of asparagus. Unwilling to lie quietly next to the lobster extravaganzy, he requires his own moment center stage. This is not a thin spear of asparagus, as you prefer, when eating asparagus vinagrette.
This asparagus is fat, robust and prone to confrontation.
The chef has placed him strategically into the lobster meat, at precisely the right angle for you to gaze longingly into the culinary vignette. You are totally speechless, as three men watch your reaction.
“It’s spectacular,” you say, taking a breath. “Fabulous … I can’t believe it! My compliments to the chef. It’s the most beautiful dish ever.”
You are flushed with heat, even though your shoulders are bare.
The two of you are alone now, looking at the risotto together. Steadying yourself, you reach for another sip of wine.
“Well, well,” you laugh. Not one intelligent comment comes into your razor-sharp brain. Your eyes are fixated on the beauty of that fat spear of asparagus piercing the lobster meat.
Ever the gentleman, he makes it easy for you, throwing you a lifeline to put you out of your misery.
“It suits you, don’t you think? The perfect dish for a perfect woman.”
“Indeed,” you reply, regaining your composure. “It’s the most spectacularly sensual dish I’ve ever seen. I don’t know what to say.”
But you know what to do.
Not reaching for your fork, but using your fingers instead, you slowly pull the spear of asparagus from its mooring in the lobster meat. Putting it not near the squash bowl where it belongs, but into your mouth … you bite off the head.
He is watching you on your stage, waiting for your eyes to meet. Gently savouring the aspargus in your mouth … you say nothing, grinding slowly, carefully … tasting all the asparagus flavors and textures before swallowing.
Thrust In The Moment
You enjoy this moment of unexpectected provocation, laughing quietly, as your blushes subside and confidence regrounds you in the moment.
You could talk about the aphrodesiac properties of asparagus but decide not to intellectualize the moment.
This totally unexpected, deeply sensual moment was caused not by you — who are on your best behavior — or him, the epitome of elegant, reserved masculinity and world accomplishment. Your reserves crumbled in earlier conversations about consciousness and Rilke, but now they are stewn about the booth, like ribbons ripped from your bodice.
The captain and waiter are smiling nearby, sending a thumbs up to the bemused chef in the kitchen. For one second you feel that you’ve landed on Italian soil again … you used to kiss the ground on arriving.
The two of you are not in Rome. You’re both lived long and interesting lives on multiple continents.
You’re in New York on a bitterly cold November evening; the stock market has fallen another 500 points, losing all its gains of the past five years.
Neither of you cares … your beings are affixed together by a plate of suculent lobster, pierced by a perfectly-proportioned asparagus spear in a singular moment of sensual beauty and eroticism. You are both open to receive its meaning and savour its promise, as only two experienced, mature, worldly grownups can do.
This moment was not for kids or the training-wheels girls.
And neither is this next moment … the food scene from 91/2 weeks. It’s divinely sexy if you haven’t seen it . .. not that I favor the entire movie. It’s complex… and forget the book. It’s devastating.
But this gem of a movie scene, it totally fantabulous! Talk about growing new dendrites by getting out of your comfort zone!
Who knows … I could become very inspired in the kitchen this winter. How about you?