One of the most memorable meals I ever had was a special, for "couples only" dinner at a certain fine restaurant. I've had many memorable meals during my life, of course, both high-brow and low. But that night, thanks to an extraordinary chef who really knew what he was doing, I, literally, tasted romance.
I won't go into all five courses, but the moment I knew that this meal was going to be very different was when we got to the lobster bisque. One spoonful left both me and my special someone amazed, lost in a bliss of heavenly flavors. We'd never tasted anything so wonderful. By the third spoonful, however, something else started to happen. I felt amorous. Sultry. Warm. Unable to help myself, I left my side of the table and settled on the couch-like opposite side, next to my beloved.
We spent several moments snuggling and even considered leaving the restaurant right then and there to do more! Days later, when I'd regained my senses, I thought back on the remarkable magic that had happened between the two of us all thanks to a mere half-cup of rich, creamy lobster bisque. Up till that point I'd viewed the saying: "food is love" as just a show of love—like a mother baking her kid cookies or a husband making his wife a special breakfast. But after that meal I realized that if the flavors were just right, food could make two people want to gaze into each other's eyes, want to kiss, want to retire to a room and deepen their adoration.
A fine meal could literally create love.
Not long after that revelatory meal I chanced upon a post by one MsJess125, a foodie with a certificate in pastry arts. She was hoping that some aspiring author might create a story for her of a girl seducing a sexy guy with gourmet cooking. Flashing back on that extraordinary meal, and being, myself an ardent foodie, cook and baker, I e-mailed Ms. Jess, letting her know that I wanted to take a stab at this culinary challenge.
With editorial help from a restaurant Chef named Dan, I whipped up a story that more than satisfied MsJess—and in words recreated a little of what I had actually felt during that wonderful dinner. Originally called "The Garden of Earthly Delights," it is now known as "Savory & Sweet" and has been republished by Fantastic/Forbidden Fiction.
It is a story that is as much a celebration of the culinary arts as it is a romance between two lost souls. I hope that it will remind all who read it that if we put in the effort, we can create not only nourishment with what we cook up, but love.