On the menu this evening

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Jaelen Steede is still only in his early Twenties, but he has spent the better part of the past decade learning the ropes in a kitchen. Now the head chef for Harrington Hundreds supermarket he is one of the rising young stars of Bermuda cooking.

Who better then to help us put together a menu that you can recreate at home when trying to impress a date. Jaelen’s tips will help you go from Average Joe to semi-pro in no time.

And if that wasn’t enough, Jonathan Leadley, the general manager at Discovery Wines, has put together a list of wines that will complement the meal perfectly.

He might have been helping us out in the kitchen, but that didn’t mean we weren’t going to take the opportunity to quiz Jaelen about his experiences of cooking on date night, and why the way to a girl’s heart can be through her stomach.

What’s on the menu today Jaelen?

“Well, we’re doing Shrimp and warm Couscous Salad as an appetizer, Surf N Turf as a main course, and a slightly tropical Crème Brulee for dessert.

“I’ve picked that because it has a good mix of something that’s a little bit sexy, something that’s a little bit adventurous, and something that’s a little bit different. You know something that’s for everyone.”

If you’re trying to impress a date what dish would you cook for her?

“Well, my girlfriend’s favourite is my shrimp and mussels in a Thai curry bacon sauce.”

Did you ever have a dating experience where a female didn’t like your cooking?

“Yes! I was at home with Raeven White [my souse chef] and we were creating this whole elaborate menu and my girlfriend was here and so I said, ‘yeah, go ahead and taste it’. She tasted it and was like ‘it’s okay’, and I said ‘you don’t like it’ and she said ‘not really’. [From there] it was an argument, but that’s okay.”

Do you ever wish that someone would cook for you? And if so what would your ideal meal be?

“I would love it if someone cooked for me, and you know what the sad part is, people think that chefs are the pickiest people, but if you gave me a simple burger and fries that’s like my [thing], I’ll go with that any day.”

What tips would you give a guy who is just learning to cook for a lady?

“Don’t be afraid. Try whatever you haven’t done before. And don’t be afraid to try something you haven’t tried before. That’s my top three things I would say.”

What is your favourite cuisine?

“I would have to say is more like a Caribbean-Mediterranean type fusion, because you’re growing up on an island and you see all [the] fruit and pineapple and tropical kind of stuff. But, I also like refined [ingredients], like olive oil and balsamic [which] comes from the Mediterranean side of things. So it’s a little bit of both, like a fusion.”

If you had one meal to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?

“I’d have to say a nice roast chicken with some nice fluffy mash potatoes and a little bit of vegetables and some gravy.”

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