The question: My wife and I are hosting five couples for dinner and have decided that the evening's theme is SEXY. Invitations already went out and our friends will come sexily dressed, ready to enjoy sexy food, sexy conversation and maybe even sexy games. I would love to hear any advice as to what you consider to be sexy food other than oysters and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
The answer: Thank you for your letter, Mr. Strauss-Kahn; I'm sure that everyone will love the office party again this year. I'm not sure, however, that there's such a thing as sexy food. Sexy music and sexy company, sure. But supposedly sexy dishes, like your oysters and chocolate strawberries, are a little too obvious. How about something slightly more small-caps sexy, like a ballsy pasta puttanesca (but with just one fork per couple maybe) or borderline feral finger foods like honey garlic ribs - dishes that can be as sexy (or otherwise) as your dinner guests want them to be. You can try, for instance, a creamy, jiggly, passion fruit panna cotta at the end of the meal, although, from the sounds of it, your guests will likely have reclaimed their keys and fled the party - or moved on to more comfortable surroundings - long before dessert.
Follow food writer and restaurant columnist Chris Nuttall-Smith on Twitter: @cnutsmith. Have an entertaining dilemma? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.