A Private Chef at Home
I love hosting dinner parties. They are probably the only ‘adult’ thing I’m pretty sure I do well. Having a bunch of loved ones, sat round my table I am in my element, sloshing more wine into their glasses and insisting on giving everyone second helpings.
I’m pretty well versed at choosing my dinner party menus carefully- I mean, I’ve watched 539749747 episodes of Come Dine With Me, so I know that you need a balance between spending time with your guests, and cooking their grub. I generally get the balance fairly well, but always feel like I could have spent more time actually catching up with said loved ones once the night is over.
However, recently my conundrum was temporarily solved by La Belle Assiette. They have a huge network of professional chefs whom you can book to come and cook for you at home. They’ll consult with you on the menu, they’ll bring the ingredients, they’ll cook, serve and even clear up afterwards. So all you have to do, is ensure the drinks keep flowing and everyone is sufficiently entertained! The lovely folk at La Belle Assiette asked if I’d like to try out the private chef experience, and I was like, lol OF COURSE.
It was all booked in for a weekend that my parents and my brother and his girlfriend were down to visit. Our menu had been sent over by our chef Patricia Ambrose the week before so I could check everything worked and to discuss any allergies or dietary requirements. The main was scheduled to be salmon, however, I knew my Mum, brother and boyfriend aren’t into it, so I asked if we could switch to a meat based course. Patricia could NOT have been nicer and more accommodating, and the main was swiftly changed to steak. OH LOVELY!
So, the night arrived! I have to say, I felt quite nervous for her arrival- my kitchen is lovely but v small, and I started to get concerned I wouldn’t have the right pans and equipment. Plus, would it feel weird to have someone in the kitchen in my house?
But I needn’t have worried. Patricia arrived bang on time, laden with bags of ingredients and was probably one of the loveliest women I’ve ever met. After showing her where everything was, she shooed me out of the kitchen and got to cooking. Soon after, we were met with a platter of goats cheese and onion chutney canapes, which were the perfect accompaniment to our pre-dinner drinks.
Next up were bowls of Ecuadorian style ceviche- big fat prawns doused liberally in fresh lime juice and herbs. THAT WAS A REAL HIGHLIGHT FOR ME GUYS. So fresh, zingy and flavourful. Mmm mmmm mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. We were asked how we’d like our steak cooked, and then there it was, HUGE, and plated up with wild rice, quails eggs, sunflower seed and chive tabbouleh and a fennel and red cabbage salad. I adored the menu so much- I would expect steak to come with chips and a big creamy sauce but these light sides really kept everything feeling fresh, modern, with a South American twist.
Dessert was a beautifully rich chocolate cake, which Patricia had baked in advance so once it was served we invited her to join us for a glass of wine. She explained how she had trained, where she’d worked and her love for bringing her South American roots to her food. Then, in seemingly a blink of an eye she was gone- and the kitchen was as clean as a bead.
It was such a brilliant night and felt really really special. But how much is this luxury of a private chef I hear you cry? Well, La Belle Assiette has 3 tiers of pricing, the cheapest at £39. Which, I think, for a special occasion is totally reasonable. Given the service, the professionalism, the inventiveness of the menus? Bargain. I can imagine this being brill for people who can’t easily go out of an evening, maybe due to an injury or lack of a babysitter perhaps, but who still want to feel jazzed up and jingly.
Thank you La Belle Assiette and Patricia for a totally unforgettable evening!
If you’re interested in booking a Private Chef in London with La Belle Assiette, visit their website here!