torstar news service


Susan Kates


When Susan Kates was nine-years-old, she started going to bed with a cookbook in hand.

Now all grown-up, Kates is still passionate about cooking and food. She is the owner of Dinnerworks, a cross-Canada dating service that organizes meals for singles.

Once a month, Kates invites singles into her home and cooks them dinner. “We use restaurants around the city, but when we do the actual dinners that are here at my house, I do the food,” she said.

Self-taught chef Kates says certain aphrodisiac foods are key to a romantic dinner:

  • OySters: Oysters are well-known for making the top of the list because they are an aphrodisiac, she says. Oysters can also be served in various different ways. “There’s a number of things you can do with oysters,” she said.

  • Truffle oil: Made from truffles, it’s very aromatic and “sexy,” she says.

  • Basil: It’s considered an aphrodisiac, but Kates isn’t sure why.

  • Wine: Red wine is more than just good for the health. “Not only is it good for you, but it also gets you in the mood,” she said.

  • Fish and Chicken: These sources of protein have the advantage of being light. “If you’re going to get yourself into the mood, you don’t want to be eating a heavy-duty steak because that will just put you to sleep instead of anything else.”

But not all necessary ingredients for romance can be found in your pantry or your fridge. “If you really want to have a romantic dinner, get all the other ingredients right, so that the candles are lit, you have set a nice table, you have some nice music playing,” Kates says.