From Moonlight to Pretty Woman, let these recipes inspire a romantic evening in.
pretty woman food and romance movies
Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

In Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, the literary icon writes,“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” She couldn’t have been any more right. Food is an integral part of both our greatest personal and shared human experiences, including and especially that of love. To help you and your certain someone think well, sleep well and love well this Valentine’s Day, here are recipes to help you recreate some romantic movie moments.

Pretty Woman

While the couple at the center of this 1990 cinematic classic is often considered one of the big screen’s most “unlikely” romances, the pairing of bubbly champagne and sweet, ripe strawberries is hardly a mismatch made in heaven. Much like the Cinderella romance between Pretty Woman’s leads Edward and Viviana, it’s a magical food and drink combo that you can capture using this sweet granita recipe.

It’s Complicated

When their son’s graduation brings a separated couple back (and more closely) into each other’s lives, Jane and Adler have to figure out how to navigate their reignited feelings. Especially as one of them has remarried. If you’ve got your romance categorized as “Complicated,” why not try a simple recipe for croissants to help balance out those tangled emotions with your partner this Valentine’s Day?

Like Water for Chocolate

In this rich love story, Tita, the youngest of three sisters, not-so-subtly confesses her passionate feelings for Pedro, a boy who loves but does not belong to her, through the very dinner she prepares. Make someone fall in love (with your cooking) using this Roasted Squab with Rose Petals recipe, based on the Mexican magical realism novel turned Golden Globe-winning film’s mouthwatering quail and rose petals dish.


The Oscar’s 2016 Best Picture winner was as groundbreaking as it was breathtaking. Moonlight’s subtle, but affecting tale of first love between Kevin and Chiron was a perfect illustration of how passionate yearning can persist across time, against either odds or expectations. If you want to show your lover that you’ll never forget (or get over) them, recreate Chiron and Kevin’s iconic reunion meal with this cumin-roasted chicken and black beans recipe.

The Vow

Inspired by a true story, The Vow follows the young and married Paige and Leo Collins after a car crash wipes Paige’s memory. In one touching scene, Leo offers Paige a box of chocolates to try, each one a leap into the unknown and a subtle, but meaningful statement about the necessity of risk-taking in love. If you want to prove you’re willing to take a chance on love (in the kitchen), these seven recipes for Valentine’s Day chocolates are a must-try with your other half.