For those of you who are still hesitant to dine in (no judgment here), we have enlisted Chef Michael O’Dowd from Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club to give us a few pointers on how to spice up a date night at home.
O’Dowd, also known as Chef MOD, says it’s important “exploit your senses.” Make sure your lighting is appropriate, display flowers with a scent and pick music that will complement the mood. “It’s a subliminal message to someone that you care about them,” he says.
Once you’ve set the scene, have a little fun with the food, O’Dowd says. He suggests putting salad dressing in a perfume atomizer (brand new, of course), displaying some of the salad ingredients in glasses and enhancing the salad plate with different colored oils that will pop on the plate. “It’s the presentation that make the dishes a little over the top,” he says. “At the end of the day, you want to burn a memory.”
As for dessert, O’Dowd recommends putting a piece of plexiglass on the table and arranging the desserts and sauces on top. “It’s an interactive dessert that you can eat together and be creative at the same time.”
O’Dowd’s bottom line? “Do something that’s fun and mix it up. Who wants to be ordinary?”
To get you started, O’Dowd has included a vinaigrette recipe to put in your atomizer:
1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. agave nectar
Pinch of masala or cumin
Dash of Dijon mustard
Mexican sea salt (or your favorite salt) and freshly ground black pepper to taste