How to cook the perfect romantic meal, with Colin the emotionally unstable chef

There’s no better way to impress a lady than a romantic meal for two. Unless they’re sadistically playing with your feelings like a cat toys with a mouse, before ripping your heart out like some evil succubus from Hell. 

But that might not happen so here are some of my favourite recipes for when love is in the air.

Fillet steak and thick chips with chilli butter

Fry the steak for no more than 3¼ minutes for medium rare, serve with chilli butter for something slightly different, and any date will be impressed. Unless they’re just leading you on, eh, Rachel? If you want a free meal, go to a fucking food bank. Or get a sugar daddy. I’ve never understood that set-up. Do you have to fuck them? That would never do. 

Tagliatelle with chicken meatballs

With a ragu or homemade pesto, chicken meatballs make a wonderful change from beef or pork. Or if you’re an unadventurous peasant – not naming any names, but it’s obviously you, Clare – you might instead go, ‘Eurgh – chicken meatballs? That’s just WEIRD!’

No, Clare, finding an alien in your loft is weird. Chicken and the concept of meatballs really aren’t weird at all. I guess I dodged a bullet with Clare, but that’s cold comfort when you’re sitting alone on the sofa at midnight, wanking and eating cold chicken balls.

Warm lobster and potato salad with truffled mayonnaise

There’s a fair bit of preparation involved – be prepared to make mayonnaise from scratch, make sure you have truffle oil and learn how to remove the meat from a lobster. It’s all of Saturday, really, and when you’ve basically put in six hours of unpaid work, that’s the perfect moment to say ‘I like you as a friend, Colin’, isn’t it, Suzanne? For fuck’s sake.

Oysters with lemon and tabasco 

The pinnacle of romantic food. You don’t get much better than this simple yet sophisticated classic, unless your name is Caitlin and you squeal in horror like a fucking idiot and refuse to even try them because they’re ‘slimy’ and ‘disgusting’. Jesus wept. I bet you’re not so prissy with that arsehole Gavin you’re seeing now, not that I imagine you having sex or anything. No. I’ve definitely never done that.

Spaghetti with creamy mushroom sauce

A tasty but safe choice of food you really can’t go wrong with. Shame about the rest of the evening. Just for the record, Eva, I did NOT say there’d be other people there, and it is NOT ‘hilarious’ that I might be romantically interested in you. Why stop there? Why not cut off my balls and make me wear a red nose and giant shoes, since you already think I’m Colin the Eunuch Clown?

Bovril on toast

If you’re going to get your cod mornay thrown back in your face without so much as a snog, cut your losses and serve cheap white bread with a viscous layer of concentrated boiled cow. It’s laughable when you think about it, making pan-fried sea bass with a perfectly balanced lemon and chili dressing when our evolutionary mission is simply to mate and breed like beasts.

No, I’m not going through this ridiculous charade of cooking veal Milanese for ‘dates’ anymore. I’m going to become a lonely, bitter, masturbating hermit and keep my dignity intact.

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Mash Blind Date: 'He was almost as much of a prick about eating meat as I was about being vegan'

COULD committed vegan Flora and enthusiastic carnivore Jamie find common ground, or are they both tedious, sanctimonious twats whose date was bound to fail? 

Flora on Jamie

First impression

From a distance I thought he was pretty good-looking, but when I sat down I could smell the animal fats leaking from his pores. He had that evil, greasy sheen I associate with people who murder and consume my animal siblings.

How was the conversation?

Initially confused, as we both angrily spoke over each other trying to be the first to explain our moral standpoints on consuming flesh. Then he got stuck chewing a particularly tough bit of steak for ages and I was able to wax lyrical about the superiority of veganism, like I usually do.

Memorable moments?

When he proudly told me he hadn’t had a shit in 10 days due to constipation from his all-meat diet. I’d just hit nine days, due to constipation from compacted roughage. I suppose we bonded a little.

Favourite thing about Jamie?

He was the living embodiment of a boorish, masculine carnivore and therefore completely fulfilled my expectations of him being absolutely awful. I’m always right, you know.

A capsule description?

He ate a big chunk of flesh from a poor, innocent cow in front of me, so ‘Vile, sick freak who belongs in prison’ should cover it.

Was there a spark?

Yes, a very angry one, which I must admit did cross the line into raw, sexual passion.

What happened afterwards?

We shouted at each other in the street then ended up snogging and he came back to mine for an incredible banging session.

What would you change about the evening?

I’d have not insisted on splitting the bill. My butter bean salad was dirt cheap compared to his 20 oz steak.

Will you see each other again?

Yes, we’ve arranged to hook up for more hot sex next weekend, but don’t tell anyone.

Jamie on Flora

First impression

Just as I’d expected, from the vegan leather jacket to the felt Birkenstocks. But what I hadn’t anticipated was a strange stirring sensation in my groin.

How was the conversation?

Reasonable, pragmatic and sensible when I was talking. Total hippy bollocks when she was rabbiting on, which was a long time as I’d literally bitten off more than I could chew.

Memorable moments?

Watching her turn pale as I cut into my very rare steak. There was more blood on my plate than there was in her face. Does that make me sound incredibly masculine and tough? I hope so.

Favourite thing about Flora?

I had to admire her commitment to her cause. She accused the woman at the next table of ‘stealing, killing and dismembering the child of a loving mother’ because she’d ordered the lamb.

A capsule description?

Preachy, condescending, judgemental, smug, annoying and confusingly attractive.

Was there a spark?

Yes. Despite the Birkenstocks. And the undercut.

What happened afterwards?

We went back to hers and shagged like mad. She had a lot of stamina for someone who must have an iron deficiency and weak bones.

What would you change about the evening?

I shouldn’t have let her pay half the bill. It made me look like a weak metrosexual feminist who doesn’t eat meat at every meal.

Will you see each other again?

No. At least not in public anyway.