Some flavors seem to be made for each other. They can complement each other or contrast, form obvious or unexpected combinations, but the fact is that when they are together, they are even better. To help you create an irresistible menu for Valentine’s Day – or any case – Forbes asked chefs to nominate some of these perfect food pairings and talk about how they usually use them in dishes in their restaurants.
Check out some of these irresistible gastronomic duos below.
Shrimps and pumpkin
“The combination of shrimp and pumpkin has become a classic in Brazilian recipes. But what creates the perfect union with the creamy taste and natural sweetness of pumpkin is Japanese curry. In its complexity of flavors, it brings amazing depth and flair to an ensemble.”
Thelma ShiraishiChef aizomefrom Sao Paulo.
rice and beans
“This perfect couple is not only the protagonist of Brazilian culinary culture, but also has great nutritional power. And it’s delicious! Here we serve Baião de Dois made with both ingredients.”
Bell CoelhoChef Cafe Kuyafrom Sao Paulo.
cucumber and lychee
“I first tried this combination in a restaurant in (Tsuyoshi) Murakami when he was still in Liberdad, many years ago. I find it amazing, fresh, fragrant, with hints of the sea, flowers. I really love!”
Helena RizzoChef Manifrom Sao Paulo.
cheese and guava
“We can do whatever we want, everyone wants it and asks for guava soufflé with cream cheese sauce. The combination is simple, even obvious, but the success of this dessert is not only the combination of cheese and guava, but also the way it is prepared.
Carla PernambucoChef Charlottefrom Sao Paulo.
Raw tuna and buffalo mozzarella
“Raw tuna with creamy buffalo mozzarella is perfect.”
Vanessa SilvaChef Bistro Parisifrom Sao Paulo.
corn and butter
“Corn is one of the most versatile foods in the world, it looks great in sweet and savory recipes and is at its peak in June when I take the opportunity to make this green corn cream with cheese and butter.”
Daniela Frans PintoChef Cortes Asadorwith divisions in Sao Paulo and Rio
cod and onion
“In this dish, Bacalhau ao Gosto da Mia, the cod fillet pairs perfectly with the onion in the sherry because the fish taste great and the onion’s “sweetness” brings balance.”
Patricia Sampaio BetancourtChef beautiful sintrafrom Sao Paulo.
meat and egg
“I love the combination of steak and egg. In my opinion, this amount of protein ultimately enhances the flavor. on the same plate (steak on horseback served in Ori) we have another great pair: rice and beans. In other words, two perfect couples! Tapioca farofa pairs well with the crispy crust and brings the two together.”
Fabrizio Lemosrestaurant chef Origin and lineagefrom El Salvador.
caramel and hazelnuts
“The sugar caramelization process brings out the complex flavors and the notes of toasted hazelnuts make everything more harmonious. Antremet in the photo consists of nut mousse, caramel cream and nut praline.
Pedro Fradepastry chef Vila Analiafrom Sao Paulo.
Foie gras and caramelized fruits
“With its slightly bitter taste and soft, buttery texture, foie gras allows you to create a huge variety of recipes. I recommend the amazing combination of the ingredient with the sweetness of the caramelized fruit, and I like to use a bit of sour sauce to balance out the fat content of the foie. For the festive menu at the Tangará Jean-Georges restaurant, we prepared a plate of foie gras, caramelized figs and marsala wine.”
Filipe Rizzatohotel chef Tangara Palacefrom Sao Paulo.
avocado and coriander
“The combination of avocado and cilantro makes Atum Pescado a fresher dish made with avocado, cilantro mayonnaise, Brazil nuts, sorrel and olives.”
Icaro Rizzorestaurant chef grandsonfrom the JW Marriott Sao Paulo.
fish and banana
“It’s not a very common combination for foreigners, but in Brazil it’s a classic and the result is very good.”
David MansoFrench chef who signed with Roland Villard the gastronomic concept of Casa Marambaia in the Serrana region of Rio.
pancetta and guava
“When we were making guava pancetta, we thought about playing with the classic Romeo and Juliet. In our version, Juliet switched cheese and started dating greaves, which is one of the most perfect pairings we have at A Casa do Porco.”
Yanaina RuedaChef House of the PigBar da Dona Onça, Sorveteria do Centro and Hot Pork.
lobster and brain
“The idea came from the classic “suf n’ turf”. In our opinion, the best way to combine these two ingredients is with lobster tartare and fried bone marrow. So in addition to the combination of flavors—sweet and mineral lobster and umami and bone marrow fat—there is a temperature contrast.”
Dante and Catherine Bassifrom mangofrom El Salvador.
coconut and pineapple
“A wet coconut cake that takes a pineapple in the corner, in the same spoon, complementing the coconut fat and adding acidity, becomes the perfect combination, a match!”
Bruna MartinsChef scorein Belo Horizonte.
Sour fish and fruits
“My favorite combination at the moment is fish and fruits like apples and green grapes. The fish carpaccio in this combination gives just the right amount of acidity and freshness, making the dish balanced and palatable.”
Kiko FariaChef Affective Culinary Goodfrom Rio de Janeiro.
Fruit salad and Italian meringue
“Freshness, light acidity, crispy crust and various fruit textures are combined with the sweet and velvety touch of Italian meringue.”
Marcelo GiaciniChef Restaurant IMMAfrom Sao Paulo.
octopus and bacon
“I recently released this dish, Octopus with All’amatriciana Rice, as it combines two ingredients that I love and I was able to easily balance them in the same recipe.”
Pedro MattosChef Pappagallo Kuchinafrom Sao Paulo.
Cheese and dulce de leche
“My husband is from Minas Gerais and just loves dulce de leche, so at home we always eat cheese with dulce de leche. I decided to tell this story through a dulce de leche pie. (a variant of the Basque cheese pie, the chef’s specialty)“.
Tabata Tubinofrom confectionery from Tabatafrom Rio de Janeiro.
Cupuaçu and chocolate
“This duo of ingredients is a hit on Amazon. For me, cupuaçu is the fruit that pairs best with chocolate, because its sourness is perfectly balanced by the sweetness of chocolate and vice versa, creating a contrast of flavors that surprises the palate of those who eat it.”
Felipe Shedlerfrom the restaurant banzeiropresent in Sao Paulo and Manaus.
Chocolate cream with hazelnuts and berries
“Here we make an artisan cream of chocolate and hazelnuts, which, combined with the freshness of the fruit, makes the taste buds very pleasant. This is one of the fillings for our pancakes, made from naturally fermented dough, which has a slightly sour taste and therefore adds spice to the relationship.”
Fabio Pasqualegives Bread House Le Bléfrom Sao Paulo.
shrimp and egg
“The egg gives a little more texture to the shrimp, whether it’s scrambled eggs or an omelette. Here we use this combination in ebi tamagoyaki and the seaweed ends up enhancing the flavor of the shrimp.”
Thiago BanaresChef Kotori and in charge of the Tan Tan group from São Paulo.
chicken and lemon
“Galetino-lemon, dumplings with sage oil! It’s like being in Sicily, eating at your grandmother’s house, in the shade of lemon trees strewn with fruits and blooming mimosas. A simple and delicious combination of my family dish! Chicken and lemon in an emotional memory of grandma’s house… It’s the backyard!”
Ana SoaresChef Table III Skewerfrom Sao Paulo.
chocolate and orange
“Chocolate, sweet and buttery, perfectly combines citrus flavors. The power of the first and the freshness of the second, taken together, cause a feast in the mouth. I used this combination in a chocolate mousse version with orange confit cubes.”
David KasparianChef Stellafrom Sao Paulo.
tomatoes and capers
“Ripe tomatoes grated with good olive oil, capers, red onions and olives is one of the most amazing combinations we have ever tried and we try it almost every day in a restaurant just to make sure it tastes too good!”
Mauro Brosso and Susana Goldfarb, from Shook Falafel and kebabsfrom Sao Paulo.