What Celebrity Chefs Can Teach You About Romance


If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, what does his love or disdain for certain types of food communicate about his heart?

Betty Fussell said, “Food, far more than sex, is the great leveler. Just as every king, prophet, warrior, and saint has a mother, so every Napoleon, every Einstein, every Jesus has to eat.” No longer can you tell a lot about a person just by the way he or she treats children or animals. What about what’s in their grocery cart? What gets their palate going come mealtime? What makes their appetite cry out, “YES!”?

Eating is one of the most civilized things we do as human beings. Sometimes we eat on the go, particularly in American culture, but more often than not we sit down to a meal at a table with friends, family or colleagues. The next time you sit across from your boyfriend or girlfriend and ask yourself, “Is this actually going to work? Will I be able to put up with this person for the rest of my life?” take a look at your beloved’s guilty pleasures, favorite comfort foods and dishes for a glimpse into his or her personality and how it will gel with yours over your lifetime.

The 3-step analysis works like this:

  1. Consider the favorite food of your romantic interest.
  1. What is the first word that comes to mind on how you feel about your romantic interest loving this type of food? Are you inspired? Repulsed? Excited? Disappointed? Don’t ignore your gut reaction.
  1. Think about parallels of your romantic interest’s love for that particular food in the rest of the relationship. See if you can fill in the blanks with other activities you do together with that same adjective, i.e.:

When I’m getting ready for a Friday night date with him/her, I feel _____________. Inspired/Repulsed/Disappoint/Tired (insert whichever adjective you used).

The prospect of house/apartment hunting with this person makes me feel __________.

At some point when having sex with this person, inevitably I will feel ____________.

And there you have it! The easiest relationship eye opener test you’ve ever taken that distills everything you need to know into one nutshell. Relationships have their ups and downs just like meals, but ultimately you want food and you want your partner to be an experience you relish and are grateful to have every day.

Let’s take a look at some of the favorite foods of celebrity chefs and see what they can teach us.

Jamie Oliver calls pasta and bread his two passions. It’s no wonder he’s been married for 15 years to Juliette Norton, and has 4 children! This guy is rock solid in his commitment to the most basic pleasures of life. Unless there is a medical reason to justify an exception, it’s simply not safe to trust someone who doesn’t indulge in pasta and bread every once in a while.

Gordon Ramsay loves good fish and chips and his guilty pleasures are Jaffa cakes and sweets. Here is another British chef who isn’t afraid to admit his fondness of a British culinary staple, has been married 21 years and counting to Tana Ramsay, and has 4 children. No one said picking your favorite color or food had to have imagination – you’ve just got to be honest. A man who isn’t afraid to admit he loves a popular food item is a man who is committed to building a strong foundation.

Wolfgang Puck’s favorite comfort food hails from his childhood–wienerschnitzel with mashed potatoes. So he’s been married three times. Third time’s the charm? But clearly this man loves romance and loves to be married. He’s Austrian, so you never know about European men and what they might want to do with their wienerschnitzels. A man who isn’t afraid to utter the words “wienerschnitzel” is a man in love with love. There may be drama involved, but maybe you secretly crave the drama?

Rachael Ray’s favorite soul-food dish is collard greens. If you’re not from the south, you probably don’t know what this is, or you might think it’s some type of plant or weed. Rachael is resourceful (you’ve read her cookbooks on 30-minute meals and $40/day), and not afraid to face and stare down anything bitter. (Collard greens contain a lot of calcium, which tend to make them taste bitter.) She’s also been married for 10 years and counting to an American man of Italian heritage, John Cusimano. If your love has a penchant for something out of the ordinary that’s healthy and a little different or requires a particular palate, he or she might just be the one!

David Chang unabashedly declares his love of chicken fingers from any fast food place. All hail the celebrity chef who isn’t afraid to chow down on processed, fried food. He’s under 40 and still single, and his love of chicken fingers clearly illustrates he’s willing to run the spectrum from high times to low times with a potential mate. Make your mad dash for the East Village now while he’s still on the market.

Emeril Lagasse’s favorite breakfast is eggs with bacon, whole wheat toast and fresh orange juice and fruit. Emeril has also been married three times, though it seems the third time is the charm for him, as he’s been with Alden Lovelace for 15 years now. A man who loves his bacon, eggs and toast is regimented, ordered, predictable, perhaps not very flexible. Some of us need this in our lives, some of us don’t. What do you need?

Levi Roots loves his chocolate; his go to is a Snickers or Twix. Whomever says they don’t like chocolate is either lying or wants to deny himself pleasure, neither of which are healthy behaviors in the long run. A person who loves chocolate is more likely to lick it off of any surface (bonus).

Ina Garten microwaves her breakfast every morning: McCann’s Irish oatmeal with milk and salt. The Barefoot Contessa makes breakfast in the microwave! (She also happens to eat dinner out nearly every night, at a small circle of local restaurants.) A person who uses the microwave is emotionally low-maintenance (read: easygoing). Think about it: If every online dating service had a section for “Favorite Breakfast” – you’d feel good about your choice to click on the one who eats oatmeal with milk and salt in the microwave. Oh, and she’s been married since 1968 to the same man.

Marco Pierre White’s favorite meal is a ham sandwich with English mustard. Ham = basic. Mustard = spicy, tangy, unique (you either love it or you hate it). Marco has been married and divorced or separated three times. Therein lies the rub! Is your potential mate addicted to ham sandwiches with mustard? You’ve got to be the yin to his yang, the lid to his pot. This person requires someone sensitive to the delicate balancing act of sensing moods, passions, and desires. Are you up for the challenge?

Gael Green said, “Great food is like great sex. The more you have, the more you want.” Conduct your food analysis on your romantic interest now. If it’s not holding your attention, it’s time to move on to a more delectable dish.

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