Last summer, before the big move, I was approached by La Belle Assiette to try out a new chef who was being added to their catalogue of fantastic chefs who can come and cook in your own home. A first taste of private dining as it were.
I’ll be honest, initially I didn’t see the fit of this service for me, but I was pretty excited about having a dinner party with 6 of our friends and pretty surprised that I’d be approached. I’ll try anything once. At the end of the night my opinion changed, but read on for more on that.
A Private Chef In Your Own Home.
The first thing that struck me about have a private chef was the ease of everything. A few short e-mails with Rosie to finalise a menu and check I had enough plates and things, texts to my friends to get them over and my bit of the planning was over!
On the night, I arrived at home at 6pm for everyone arriving at 7, at the same time Rosie turned up with EVERYTHING! I got her set up in my tiny kitchen, got myself jazzed up the party and laid the table. no stress, no worries I was free to welcome my guests and enjoy their company.
All I had to do all evening was pour drinks and enjoy myself, no rushing back and forth from the kitchen, no slightly frazzled, distracted conversations.
Rosie even cleaned up after herself, us and the kitchen! She discretely left while we were all finished and enjoying a last glass of wine. When all my guests had gone, I was able to go straight to bed and just wash up a few wine glasses in the morning. It was like a dream! An even nicer surprise was the leftovers I found in the fridge – all the perks of having your own dinner party with none of the stress.
What Was The Food Like?
Fantastic, fresh, filling and something I wouldn’t cook if I was throwing the party myself. We had four courses and homemade bread, unattainable on a Friday night with a full time job. Unless you are superwoman.
Whilst I welcomed guests and chatted we had lovely pea puree canapes bought round, in our own time we sat down to the table and were served steak tartare ( I would never have made this myself) with some of Rosie’s homemade bread.
For main we had freshly fried fish (there is no way I would have time to fry fish for 8 people myself) with oodles of potatoes, greens, samphire and an INCREDIBLE sauce. Rosie’s skill as a chef shone through in this course, so much so I have no images! I was too busy enjoying the meal and experience.
Dessert was really two desserts, a chocolate whisky torte, semi freddo and marinated cherries on the side. This was a beautiful, sumptuous end to the meal and suited everyone with something fresher and something more chocolatey. I served up some coffees to accompany Rosie’s dessert and visited the kitchen for the first time all evening. The left over semi freddo kept David and I going for the rest of the week.
Is A Private Chef Expensive?
As we were testing out La Belle Assiette we had a good debate about the costs of a Private Chef at the table. For the time poor this is a perfect solution, you can have a dinner party without having to cook all day, and with no cleaning up.
There’s no fuss trying to get a booking somewhere, you can catch up with your nearest and dearest with your own music, no loud annoying customers on the adjoining table and no last orders!
No designated driver, no taxis home for the hosts and if you had children there’s no need to worry about the cost of baby sitters for the hosts or make it a sleepover and save everyone the money!
Aside from the convenience and loveliness of being in your own home, there are some obvious cost savings:
- Booze – you don’t have to pay the silly mark up for alcohol that you would in a restaurant, you’ve got options, make it a BYOB or stock up on your favourites before the party
- Treat – if you were planning on treating some friends for a dinner out this is definitely cheaper, no tips, a 3 course meal starts at £35 per head, you can tailor the menu to any dietary requirements and you know exactly how much it’s going to be.
- Or Split – La Belle Assiette gives you the option of splitting the bill on their website between your guests, next time you are thinking of going out for a group meal why not try La Belle Assiette and their bill splitting option.
As well as sit down meals you can also book a private chef for afternoon tea (perfect for a baby shower) or canapes (take the stress out of any party). We all agreed on the night that we would consider using La Belle Assiette for our next party. As the host I saw the most gains from having the chef, I felt relaxed and at peace all night and managed to actually catch up with my friends. My guests enjoyed having us more present as well and it stops the ‘oh no, let’s go out so no-one has to cook’ conversation. It also feels super luxurious to have a chef, so the perception of value on the night feels high.
Despite not thinking I would ever be able to afford a Private Chef this experience completely changed my mind and I’m costing up booking a chef at the moment for our house warming party.
Would you consider a private chef?