Sexy Feast: Canlis Teaches That Time and Technique Are Key in the Kitchen and the Bedroom

canlis_earth_and_ocean_500Behold the beauty of “Of Earth & Ocean,” one course from the new Autumn Tasting Menu at Canlis. The colors and forms of the dish are dazzling, so much so that I hesitated to take my first bite. But not for long. As expected, the flavors were dazzling, too.

When asked about the inspiration for the dish, Chef Jason Franey told me that when he came to Canlis two years ago, he had to strike a balance between presenting the classics that have made Canlis popular since 1950 (you may have heard that they’re hiding old menus around town in a contest to celebrate their 60th birthday) and putting his mark in taking the restaurant in a new, more modern direction. “Of Earth & Ocean” is his spin of a previous shrimp, avocado and mango dish that had great flavors, but “was a bit dated.”

So what does this dish teach us about sex?

Sometimes our sex lives get stuck in a rut. It takes creativity to climb out of the crevasse. That means incorporating new ingredients, trying new techniques, and taking time to make all that happen.

Just like making “Of Earth and Ocean.”

“Sometimes I don’t realize how difficult a dish is until I have to explain all the ingredients and techniques to someone else,” Franey explained. I didn’t get the entire blow-by-blow description of preparing “Of Earth and Ocean,” but he talked about pounding the avocado gently, cutting it into a circle, brushing it with lemon oil, sprinkling it with fleur de sel, and vacuum sealing it to prevent oxidization. Then there was the whirlwind of ingredients: braised octopus, Blue Hawaiian prawn, lobster knuckle, the Spanish calamaretti, Hawaiian ogonori (edible seaweed), mango, mango puree, calendula flowers…it started to get overwhelming. Did I also hear garlic flowers and lime liquid gel vinaigrette?

Imagine deploying such a whirlwind of ingredients into your sex life. What might that look like? Think pillows, sheets, sex furniture, music, videos, incense, cologne, lubricants, lingerie, costumes, blindfolds, restraints, and the whole world of sex toys. (And, of course, food.) The possibilities should be overwhelming–in a delightful way.

The same for techniques. Take time to learn and incorporate new ones. Caresses, kisses, swirls and squeezes. New sequences and new positions.

And maybe even new settings. Considering the Canlis dish, if you typically do earth, how about trying the ocean?

First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on November 4, 2010.

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