Horny haute cuisine

Aphrodisiacs are on the menu at Sex on the Table.

  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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  • Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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Photograph: Jolie Ruben

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On Thursday 11, dinner is foreplay. J. Federer—a writer, chef and aphrodisiac specialist (he's even penned a book about it)—is teaming up with Chef Gwenal Le Pape of the Kimberly Hotel to create the first Sex on the Table event in the hotel's elegant lounge (Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, 145 E 50th St between Lexington and Third Aves; 212-888-1220, sextable.com; Thu 11 7--9pm; $99). "There are over 100 aphrodisiac foods you can find on any shelf," said Federer. "[Le Pape] wasn't even aware he was using a lot of aphrodisiacs in the food." Based on a list of ingredients from Federer, Le Pape will make 13 different dishes of pleasure foods for the tasting. The event is open to anyone, single or not, with an appetite as healthy as their libido, with room for up to 135. Federer showed off a sample of the evening's seductive servings and told us how they will supposedly light your fire.

SALAD
Roasted red and gold beets with a pistachio emulsion and goat cheese

The tender beet slices help increase your brain's dopamine levels, which makes you happy; whey protein in the fluffy goat cheese does the same thing. The bright green pistachios contain arginine, an amino acid that helps blood vessels relax, which is good for maintaining an erection.

APPETIZER
Roasted jumbo shrimp with tomato vinaigrette and a chickpea rag

"It's not just about what you eat, it's how you eat it," said Federer; hands and lips are essential for releasing this firm crustacean from its shell. While you suck out the juices and savor the tangy tomato sauce, you're ingesting the shrimp's omega-3 fatty acids, which encourages blood flow—yeah, you know where. The lemon-scented chickpeas are packed with vitamin B6, which boosts mood and, well, other things: "When the botanist Dodoens found out 500 years ago how much chickpeas have an impact on the sperm count of men, scholars and priests were actually not allowed to eat them anymore," says Federer.

ENTRE
Beef cheek with coriander and a veggie medley

Using coriander as an aphrodisiac dates back to ancient Chinese love tonics and a wedding drink called hippocras from the Middle Ages. The herb's pungent scent—rich and spicy—can trigger memories, which Federer claims is psychologically powerful in itself. It's paired with melt-in your-mouth chunks of beef cheek and crisp fall vegetables.

DESSERT
Chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate crust

"People out of love replace it with chocolate," says Federer. Le Pape's chocolate crust is a fluffy mousse on top of crunchy nougat, a worthy accompaniment to the old romantic standby, chocolate-covered strawberries. "Chocolate has two neurotransmitters that are all going to the pleasure sensors in the brain," says Federer. "The same transmitters in chocolate are in strawberries." The tiny seeds that dot the berries also have a pinch of zinc (not that a single serving delivers much).

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