La Belle Assiette
It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago (omg, thaaaanks I know I look v. good for my age) and to celebrate, I knew I wanted my faves around me, throwing back some booze and eating some delicious food.
However, I don’t know about you, but as I get older I am less and less bothered about going out and making a big fuss of my birthday. I like to chat to my loved ones, eat and drink lovely things, and at the end of it all, either roll into bed or into an Uber home. Luckily, La Belle Assiette were right on hand to ensure that this was exactly how I celebrated the big 3-1.
La Belle Assiette have an awesome concept. They have a whole range of private chefs on their books that specialise in all sorts of cuisine, and prices to suit most budgets. You choose your chef, discuss your menu with them and then on the night, they arrive at your house, prep and serve up a delicious 3 course dinner, and then tidy the kitchen and whisk themselves away into the night. The joy of restaurant quality food in the comfort of your own home. SOUNDS DREAMY RIGHT!?
I’ve actually worked with La Belle before and loved the experience, so was super excited to try out a different menu. Starting the evening as we meant to go on, I got my family round for some Pimms and beers in the garden. Look how lovely we are.
Then, our chef, the wonderful Matteo Casamichela arrived, and he and his assistant shimmied themselves into my kitchen to prepare our Sicilian Feast. We had discussed the menu earlier in the week and I was practically dancing with anticipation once I heard what he had it store. AND OH BOY did it deliver!
A silky risotto soon appeared in front of us, with vibrant red prawns sitting proudly on top. The prawns were PERFECT- a slight bite to them but not the rubbery pellets that you can often end up with. The lemon confit running through the dish pulled it all together and kept it super light, even though I usually think of risotto as being quite a rich dish.
Next up was a real showstopper- Smoked Wild Sicilian Octopus. Matteo had promised me that this particular tentacled treat was unlike any octopus I would have tried before. I smiled and nodded thinking, ‘I dunno mate, I’ve had me some pretty bitching fried calamari in my time,’ but after one taste, I was ready to eat my words (as well as the entire plateful of food)- he was totally right. The octopus was soft, buttery and delicate, with just that lovely suggestion of smoke. 12/10 would eat again. The roast garlic potatoes that the OctoYUM was sat astride were pretty special too.
Now, call us crazy, but we’re not massively ‘pudding’ people, so Matteo took this into consideration and very thoughtfully did us a cheese course instead, serving up three utterly spectacular Sicilian cheeses, all drizzled with basil infused honey (SUCH a game-changer by the way, so moreish!)
I loved how passionate Matteo was about the food from his home of Sicily. He was able to tell us about each ingredient and in particular, sang an absolute sonnet about the seafood. He painted an incredible picture of the food scene in Sicily- so much so that Ryan and I are spontaneously heading out there to check it out next week!
And then, just like that- it was done! Everyone was delightfully fed and watered, the kitchen was GLEAMING and once our Chefs had zoomed off into the night, we spent the rest of the evening declaring how fit the food had been and what a treat we’d had from La Belle Assiette. It may seem quite indulgent to book a private chef at home, but honestly? I don’t think it’s much more than what you’d spend going out for an (often average) dinner at a chain restaurant. And it’s certainly far more special.
Urrà per la Sicilia!
We were kindly gifted this experience by La Belle Assiette (thank you!!) but all opinions are my own!
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