Chef’s tips on how to cook from the heart

Courtesy of Live Well

Courtesy of Live Well Network

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and let’s face it guys, if you’re running out of ideas you better figure something out fast. Luckily, Chris Koetke from The Live Well Network has the recipe to set the romantic mood for all the lovers out there.

Koetke’s show, Let’s Dish, aired a Valentine’s Day episode specifically tailored to those in dire need of some creative recipes.

“The Valentine’s Day menu was all about the idea of cooking with the sexiest, most romantic foods I could think of,” said Koetke. “Oysters, smoked salmon, truffles, mascarpone, almonds, honey … these are a combination of decadent, sometimes pricey and luscious.”

In chef Koetke’s Valentine’s Day episode, he shows viewers how to cook oyster beignets, caviar-smoked salmon pancakes and truffled risotto with mushroom, prosciutto and mascarpone.

Finally as a treat for those with a sweet tooth: almond tuile cookies and honey ice cream.

“I think it communicates to your loved one that they are special enough to get these foods,” Koetke said. “And of course, being seductive ingredients, it is a great start to a Valentine’s romantic evening.”

Like every passionate chef, Koetke’s cooking comes directly from the heart. The seasoned artist cooks as much as he can for his wife, special romantic holidays or not.

“The fact is, I really love to cook for my wife,” Koetke said. “What I like to do is to make a late, late night dinner after all the kids are sleeping and when we can enjoy some great food together, just the two of us.”

“Delicious food, champagne and great conversation,” he added. “That is romantic.”

Koetke was drawn to his wife more than 24 years ago by an indescribable fascination with her.

“It’s really hard to explain as love typically is, but we have been married for 22 years and I still am captivated with her beauty, humor and well, just about everything about her,” Koetke said. “What can I say—I am a hopeless romantic.”

Koetke’s perfect comfort meal when at home with his wife is roasted whole veal sweetbreads with morel sauce.

“Sweetbreads (thymus glands) are one of those love it or hate it ingredients,” Koetke said. “For us, we love it and the addition of morel mushrooms is heaven.”

Let’s Dish gives Koetke the opportunity to do what he loves most in front of a camera.

“For me, cooking in front of an audience is simply fun and one of my favorite things to do,” Koetke said.  “I really like to teach people about cooking and watch their faces light up as they learn things. That is so rewarding because I know I am making a difference.”

Lastly, chef Koetke has some advice for all the boyfriends, husbands and fiancees out there scrambling to give their loved ones a perfect Valentine’s Day meal.

“Cook from your heart,” said Koetke. “Don’t try to do something too over the top.

“Instead, cook something that your loved one will enjoy,” Koetke said. “The simple fact of taking the time to cook what she likes is romantic. It shows you care.”

The Valentine’s Day episode of Let’s Dish can be found at LiveWellNetwork.com/Lets-Dish/Episodes/Valentines-Day/8982657 .

About Peter Pham

Peter is a print journalism major at Cal State Fullerton in his final semester. He is one of the three fine Copy Editors of the Daily Titan. Before CSUF, Peter was the College Life Editor on the Mt. San Antonio College newspaper: The Mountaineer. On his spare time, he blogs about food, draws cartoons and reads comic books. His love for pizza is rivaled by his love for breakfast foods.