What is needed to keep love alive? Good food and straight talk from Margie Holmes

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THE FIRST flames of love are nothing short of magical. But what happens when the flames die down? Through the years, lingering smoke and smolder between two loving individuals is all that’s needed to stay together, and that sexy, calming ember is captured perfectly by the Valentine’s Dinner offering of 22 Prime in the Discovery Suites.

Helping preserve love affairs is psychologist and sex and relationship expert Margarita “Margie” Holmes, who will be giving a talk in the Discovery Suites on Feb. 13 and 15. The talk will cover her 2001 book, Life Love Lust: Straightforward Answers to Provocative Questions.

During a lunch previewing the special menu last week, Ms. Holmes demurred from talking too much about her talk. “I might give the whole thing away. In talks, as in sex, a little surprise is valued,” she said with some of her trademark laughter. “All I can say is, remember that the book is divided into life, love, and lust.”

She assured BusinessWorld, however, that since a part of the book is also devoted to life in general, her talk will cover not just erotic relationships, but other facets of interpersonal relationships such as family and friendships.

Angela Padilla, Marketing Communications Director of the hotel said, “We really wanted to reach out to Ms. Margie; do something fun, allow people to let lose, and be informed. I think, more than anything, I don’t want it to seem like an education show, but at the same time, it’s more relevant to Valentine’s.

“It’s actually more personal for people.”




Now, for the food. The menu, called “The Perfect Match,” was designed to be shared between two people. Nominally, the dishes are served His and Hers, though a couple can play around with the selections.

The meal started out with Salmon fritters with lemon garlic aioli, smashed avocado, and petite greens. This tasted crisp, light, and served to open the palate. The alternate option is a Sous-vide octopus, with a powerful smoky chewiness (there’s the smolder we were talking about).

As for the soup, the His option is a Sweet corn veloute, with an aggressive grilled corn, chipotle foam, and some popcorn, resulting in something quite robust but drying down with a quiet mildness. Its counterpart, the Purple yam soup, with a heart-shaped parmesan cheese meringue, is consistently creamy.

Oven-braised USDA short ribs serve as the main course for Him, with a luxurious truffle and white bean puree, cherry tomatoes, and turnips. I’m much more inclined to the Chilean sea bass option, with a flirtatious clam sauce, brunoise vegetables and fava beans on the side.

Finally, the meal ended with a Vanilla ice cream panna cotta, with pear poached in red wine, and red velvet cheesecake.

The menu is available at 22 Prime for P6,500 nett, including two glasses of wine, and a bouquet.

Tickets to Dr. Holmes’ talk are at P1,000 nett per person, inclusive of food and cocktails. A room package at P6,500 nett (inclusive of a one-bedroom suite, breakfast for two, access to amenities) will include two tickets to the talk. For inquiries, call 719-6822. — Joseph L. Garcia