A Decadent Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel
LA2LAChef: You state that the decadence of Marquis de Sade, among others, inspired you. Most people do not have positive associations with the the Marquis de Sade. Will you talk more about that, and the inspiration?
Chef Dakota Weiss: The Marquis de Sade in my opinion was a masterful man. He was a thinker way beyond his time, and in so many ways was persecuted for being dirty, violent, perverted and sinful when most of those persecuting him were either doing the exact acts themselves, that he wrote about or were thinking them. I am drawn to him because he lived in the moment. He was not afraid to speak his mind, write what he felt or do as he pleased. I get the same amount of passion when it comes to cooking. My personality, emotions and thoughts all come out in my food, as it did for him when he wrote.
LA2LAChef: Did you research the types of foods served in that period?
Chef Dakota Weiss: I did quite a bit of research and tried to fit in as much as I could, but I was also going more for an “updated” menu and focusing more on aphrodisiac foods.
LA2LAChef: Can you tell me why certain foods were included- i.e. are there any aphrodisiacal qualities you were playing with?
Chef Dakota Weiss: Every main ingredient on the menu was an aphrodisiac…Grilled Asparagus-asparagus is packed with potassium, vitamin E and calcium and aids in energy and gives one a natural dose of hormone production. Oysters are loaded with zinc which is a key ingredient to testosterone production and, hence, sexual performance for both genders. Rosemary plays on humans keen “scent memory” – medieval women would bathe in rosemary scented water to allure men. Pine nuts help increase fertility. The list goes on and on.
LA2LAChef: Why the mixed platters for each course?
Chef Dakota Weiss: I wanted to have a “feast” like atmosphere in the dining room. Everything to be eaten with your fingers, off the same plate with your lover, to feel each other and really get into the “decadent” feel of the time.
Well, all I have to say is, you go girl!