Age-old Valentine's debate on how best to express your love - flowers or food

A “war of the roses” has erupted between two of the region’s TAFE NSW teachers over the best way to capture a woman’s heart this Valentine’s Day.

As the annual day of love nears, TAFE NSW floristry teacher Collette Rixon and commercial cookery teacher Ian Faust have passionately defended their ground in the age-old debate over the best way for a bloke to express their love – flowers or food.

Ms Rixon, a 46-year veteran of the floristry industry, said while the way to a man’s stomach might be food, the way to a woman’s heart was most definitely flowers.

“Flowers may not last forever but the gesture behind giving flowers is everlasting,” Ms Rixon said.

“I’m very passionate about flowers and whether it’s a single rose or a whole bunch, it’s still the single most powerful way to express your love on Valentine’s Day.”

Ms Rixon encouraged men to understand the hidden meaning in their chosen bouquet (hint: buy yellow roses for your lady and risk being put in the “friend zone”).

“Everyone knows that traditionally, a red rose is the lover’s rose, but few men know what message other colours could be sending,” she said.

“It’s best to steer away from the yellow rose – the friendship rose – unless you want the flowers potentially thrown back in your face.

“Pink (love), orange (passion and enthusiasm), red tulips (perfect love) and even white lilies (devotion) are better options.”

I’m a romantic and there’s nothing sexier than whipping something up in the kitchen for your loved one.

TAFE teacher Ian Faust

Mr Faust offered some alternative food for thought, saying the best place to fire cupid’s arrow was from the kitchen.

“Cooking something for someone can be an expression of your love,” Mr Faust said.

“It’s easy to go to a restaurant or buy take away, you just hand over your credit card.

“But if you spend your time and effort to create a delicious meal, that speaks volumes.

“I’m a romantic and there’s nothing sexier than whipping something up in the kitchen for your loved one.”

And if you’re still thoroughly confused about whether to opt for the bouquet or the banquet, the choice is simple – choose both!

If you’re keen to hone your floristry knowledge or cooking skills, consider enrolling in a TAFE course by visiting or calling 131 601.


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