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WITH the dou­ble celebration of Valen­tine’s Day and Chap Goh Mei (the 15th day of the Lu­nar New Year, aka Chi­nese Valen­tine’s Day), this month’s is­sue of Flavours is lov­ingly packed full of good­ness – be­gin­ning with the cover it­self, which is beau­ti­fully styled by flower god­dess Brenda James.

Start off by tan­ta­liz­ing your beloved’s taste buds with the world’s hottest fruit: the chilli. Learn more about nine ex­otic va­ri­eties to ex­per­i­ment with if you dare (pages 33-35) and em­bark on culi­nary adventures with fiery recipes from Chef Dar­ren Teoh (pages 36-44).

For those with a less pi­quant palate, get­ting cheesy with your Valen­tine over a fon­due din­ner might just be right up your al­ley. Get the scoop on the best fon­due sets and pop­u­lar cheeses to be­gin with (pages 56-58).

If Nep­tune’s catch is on your Valen­tine’s menu this year, go for fresh seafood like scal­lops, prawns, cray­fish and salmon, with recipes gleaned from Nor­way, land of the Vik­ings (pages 48-49).

Choco­late, they say, is the food of lovers. For a de­lec­ta­ble feast, try out the mag­a­zine’s choco­late-themed recipes (pages 23-28). Even the mar­riage be­tween choco­late and wine is ex­plored and uncovered, to dis­cover de­li­ciously deca­dent pairings (pages 50-51).

To com­ple­ment your ro­man­tic meal, check out bar­tender tips, ideas and cock­tail recipes (pages 92-97).

Those who are mar­ried, and even those who are not, might be keen to take a peek into wed­ded Valen­tine bliss with TV host Vanessa and rocker hus­band Moots, as they give their take on mar­ried life, fu­ture chil­dren, cook­ing and kitchen expe- ri­ences, and even their favourite shep­herd’s pie (pages 52-54).

And if you’re throw­ing a party for any rea­son at all, check out the easy-to-make and pretty-to-serve po­tato-themed canape recipes (pages 29-31).

What’s hap­pen­ing on the lo­cal Cook­ing With­out Bor­ders: Defin­ing Eurasian Cui­sine, Jean Pereira tells us about her her­itage and Eurasian cook­ing in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view, fea­tur­ing se­lected sig­na­ture recipes (pages 45-47). Gain insight into Per­anakan cul­ture with an in­ter­est­ing ac­count on the 26th Baba Ny­onya In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion 2013, held for the first time in the Klang Val­ley and at­tended by over 500 Nonyas and Babas from all over South-East Asia and the Asia Pa­cific (pages 18-19).

What’s hap­pen­ing on the in­ter­na­tional foodie scene? Savour Mel­bourne’s sounds and sights in this month’s travel fea­ture, a pre­view of some of the de­lights you’d en­joy if you’re go­ing for the Mel­bourne Food & Wine Fes­ti­val next month (pages 70-75). Bri­tish baker brothers, Tom and Henry Herbert, who have spread their en­thu­si­asm for bak­ing through­out Bri­tain, and Malaysia too through their show The Fab­u­lous Baker Brothers, share recipes for their baked good­ies (pages 59-61). And dis­cover why Ja­pan’s lux­ury fruits can fetch lu­cra­tive five-fig­ure prices, with the ex­treme go­ing at the cost of a mod­est car (pages 62-63).

The best place to learn is at the foot­stool of the mas­ter, and the best place to learn about cui­sine is at the chef’s ta­ble, where the chef not only cooks for but in­ter­acts with the diner. Read about chief reporter Suzanne Laza­roo’s ex­pe­ri­ence at La Vie En Rose at The French Culi­nary School in Asia (pages 20-21), where she sits at the chef’s ta­ble and gleans in­sights from Chef Mick­ael Cor­nu­trait and the school’s Che­fowner Jean-Michel Fraisse.

Cof­fee lovers can check out Illy’s lat­est espresso ma­chine (page 10) and also learn about the jour­ney of a cof­fee bean and the cof­fee-mak­ing process at the Wa­hana Es­tate in Su­ma­tra (pages 80-83).

For those who are couch pota­toes like this writer, get comfy with one of the lat­est foodie books (pages 66-69) or en­joy some of the lat­est foodie shows on TV (pages 76-69).

Lastly, to end on a note of love, don’t for­get to keep your love alive by eat­ing your way to good health and long life with the whole­some foods the mag­a­zine fea­tures (pages 64-65). — MingTeoh

The Fe­bru­ary 2014 is­sue of Flavours is cur­rently avail­able at all good newsagents and book­stores na­tion­wide. To sub­scribe to the mag­a­zine, call 1-300-887 827 or e-mail cus­tom­erser­vice@thes­

In this month’s is­sue of

Flavours, take a peek into the wed­ded bliss of

TV host Vanessa and rocker hus­band Moots.

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