I love hosting dinner parties. I always have, and since moving in with Ed (who luckily also really enjoys hosting) we’ve done it quite often.
The only thing i’m not great at when it comes to dinner parties is getting the menu/timings right. So often i want to try and make something new and elaborate because i also love cooking, but it means i end up spending 95% of the evening slightly stressed, slightly sweaty, running round the kitchen the entire time and then the biggest load of washing up to do at the end, not actually spending any time with the people I’ve invited over. Bit of a fail.
Well the fantastic guys at La Belle Assiette have come up with the most amazing solution for that. With their incredible 3 levels of service, you can hire a private chef who will do everything, and i mean everything, from the shopping for all your ingredients to doing all the washing up, and all the important bits in between (the actual cooking!) They will even send out invites to your guests when you make the booking, including a map of how to find your place (if they’re new friends).
Their 3 service options, Temptation – £39pp, Prestige – £59pp or Signature – £89+pp, also means its completely affordable or gives you the option of going super fancy for a special occasion, think Michelin star quality food, served in the comfort of your own home. No faffing around trying to find parking spaces or running out in the pouring rain. It combines all the positives of having people over without any of the mess or hassle.
It all sounded a little too good to be true, so the team at La Belle Assiette sent me Eugen for the evening to get the full Signature service for myself and 5 of my lucky friends. And boy did he deliver! I quite literally didn’t have to do anything in advance other than let Eugen know if anyone had any allergies or things they didn’t like.
Dinner was due to be served at 7:30pm so Eugen arrived promptly at 5:30 to get everything going. I met him at his van to see if i could help bring anything in and was amazed. His van was like a travelling catering service, full of everything you could ever dream of needing for a dinner party, from crockery and cutlery to pots and frying pans as well as every ingredient needed, he even brought his own salt and olive oil! As soon as we had everything in he was off, instructing me to sit and relax while he got everything underway. Other than asking once how the oven worked, i barely heard from him, he was just in the cooking zone!
Everyone arrived and the 8 course feast began. We started with the smoothest foie gras parfait topped with truffle (something i’m currently somewhat obsessed with!)
Swiftly followed by a deliciously fragrant duck bao bun, a serious hit with the group.
Our third course, a lobster and Cornish crab salad, was perfectly light whilst still packed full of flavour. The mixture of textures was also fabulous.
Most people would think this was enough food, and it probably could have been given how surprisingly large the portions were, these weren’t tiny little tasting portions, each one could have been a full main course. But we weren’t even half way through! Our first of two “mains” was possibly my favorite course, duck leg with celeriac choucroute, bulgur wheat (something i’d never had before but really loved) and confit figs, plus a juis to die for.
This dish was just everything as far as i was concerned, the flavours, textures, presentation and colours of the dish were all just incredible.
Our second “main” was a beef short rib with heritage carrots and another incredible juis. This one was a huge hit with the boys in the group, give boys a huge chunk of meat and it’s a sure fire way of putting smiles on their faces!
At this point everyone was fit to burst and we still had another 3 courses to go! Most of my guests were dubiously looking around to see if they could take home doggy bags for the desert! When it came out everyone suddenly managed to find room though! The Pistachio, cherry and mascarpone tart was a work of art! Surrounded by beautiful edible flowers it almost looked too good to eat.
Finally the meal was finished with possibly the world’s biggest cheese board and an incredible selection of petit fours.
To say this would have been good value for money would have been the biggest understatement known to mankind. The sheer amount of food alone, let alone the eye wateringly amazing ingredients used made it a serious night to remember. So next time you want to impress some guests/friends/family/work colleagues definitely look at the array of chefs La Belle Assiette has on offer, it really will WOW.