Sometimes there are a few wonderful opportunities my blogging activities have offered to me and my family, but I think the email that popped into my inbox a couple of weeks ago has to be my personal favourite!
If you are new to my blog, you should know I am a huge party entertainer. I love nothing better than getting my family and friends together, around the table for good food, good drink and great craic (as my Irish pals would say).
When La Belle Assiette asked me to host a ‘validation dinner’ for one of their new chefs on their list I absolutely jumped at the chance to have a dinner prepared and served by a professional chef.
La Belle Assiette is a company, which through its website provides profile links to private chefs that are local to where you live and who will cook for you in the comfort of your own home.
The website is easy to use and with such a wide range of chefs available with different styles, the menu choices are endless.
Once I had arranged the date through La Belle Assiette, Daniel, who was our recommended chef, texted me confirmation details of our booking and asked if any guests had any dietry requirements ( of which there were none). He then put together for my reaction an incredibly tantalising menu, which left my mouth watering and excited in anticipation to try such imaginative dishes.
I dressed the table ready for my guests (my parents, brother and sister in law and my mother in law with her partner), then sat back with a Gin and Tonic and watched Daniel professionally prepare dinner in my kitchen.
I am not going to be modest, my kitchen does look the part. It was designed by Mike and I, particularly with entertaining and family at the heart of it.
However, with six children in the family it is certainly not organised in a fashion that would be fit for a professional chef!
When you open our cupboards you should always stand back and be prepared for an avalanche of pots and pans falling on you, every knife i own is blunt, i struggle to keep a matching set of plates and glasses because the kids manage to smash them on a regular basis and don’t even mention the missing knives and forks!
Mike and I have decided the same fairy that comes in and steals random socks also helps themselves to our cutlery drawer!
I mention this, because when Daniel arrived, none of this phased him in the slightest. He quickly made himself at home and became accustomed to where i keep everything (which should be a test for mensa) and he did all this in a very non-intrusive manner.
His presence was special, he was willing to chat to us and discuss anything we wanted to know about the menu but kept himself away from the party so that he could get on and we could catch up with each other as we would if we had chosen to go out for dinner.
So lets talk about the food. WOW. Our starter was Thai Veloute, Tempura king prawn, Lime foam and fresh coriander.
John, my brother in law cannot stand coriander. He can smell it as soon as he walks into my house and always makes sure I keep it well away from his plate! Nevertheless he enjoyed his starter so much he said it was his favourite course and probably the best food he has ever eaten! All the flavours were so subtle but worked perfectly together.
The next course was a palette cleanser and to bring a little relief from the starter (which had a great kick of chilli) of
Pineapple sorbet, charred plum and thai basil salsa.
Our main course was Roast Seabass, coconut and lemongrass dhal, tomato and chilli, spinach and nigella pakora, with rainbow chard and puffed wild rice. It looked good and tasted even better.
This plate was a game changer for most of us. Mike and I are not huge fish eaters and were not sure what to expect from this dish.
It proved to be imaginative, colourful and absolutely delicious.
Our dessert went down a storm, Caramelized pear millefeuille, lemon thyme and BlackBerry ripple ice cream. My parents are both diabetic and have swerved puddings for about 7 years now, but they couldn’t resist Daniels creation. They were in heaven, and although they probably won’t eat dessert for another 7 years, Daniels pudding will be on their lips for a long time to come.
It was when the dessert came out that my oldest children, Mikey and Harri, wouldn’t be held back anymore.
They had watched the chef arrive, prepare and serve our dinner, whilst they had been given chip butties before he arrived (from the chip shop! I am not that mean).
But they would not be silenced anymore! And I thought they deserved a taste for being so understanding and helping with the younger children.
They adored it, so much so that they asked if we might be able to arrange to book Daniel for their birthday in a couple of weeks!
So now I have told you about how efficient La Belle Assiette was, how lovely Daniel is and what incredible food he created, cooked and served in the comfort of our own home. But now let me tell you about the cherry on the cake………….
He left my kitchen spotless. Everything was washed up and cleared away leaving the kitchen tidier than when he arrived.
We have used private chefs a couple of times in the past for very special occasions.
La Belle Assiette is definitely the best value, and honestly, with Daniel the best quality and service we have had the pleasure to be involved with.
Take a look at Daniel’s profile who I thoroughly recommend, especially if your are local to Caterham/Warlingham and surround areas.
However, if you are much further afield than Croydon, take a look at La Belle Assiette to see what they can suggest
Whether it is an intimate family get together, friends over for cocktails or New Years dinner, it is certainly a touch of luxury we should all experience xxx