To be honest, this post should probably be called ‘A Private Chef at Haydy’s House With La Belle Assiette’ as she very kindly hosted, but I thought that title may be a little too long…
A few weeks ago myself, Haydy (of Squibb Vicious) and Nicki (of Nickikinickie) were offered the opportunity to have a private chef come to our homes and cook for a dinner party and, as all three of us are food lovers, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity for us to get together and combine our favourite things – blogging, eating and good friends. A winning combination, right?
Our chef for the evening was Richard, owner of Reem Catering and culinary extraordinaire. He appeared at Haydy’s door at the allotted time with all the equipment he would need for the night – pots, pans, utensils, and lots of other equipment that left me clueless but looked pretty impressive. He even brought his own plates!
While we all sat around the table drinking bubbles (or cider) and chattering away, Richard was busying himself in the kitchen and, I have to admit, it felt really odd to be sitting around while someone else was doing all the work. Every time I glanced over at Richard working away I thought to myself, “This must be what it’s like to be rich!”
First up was the amuse bouche – scallops with lime puree plus gazpacho shots. As I’m allergic to shellfish I couldn’t try the scallops (although everyone told me they were delicious!) so I dived straight in to the gazpacho. I’ve only had it a handful of times previously but every time I do I’m left wondering why I don’t eat it more often; it’s so good! Richard’s was fresh and vibrant with a little zing of a kick in it too; they were gone in next to no time.
Next up was the starter and I can honestly say this is one of the best things I have ever eaten. The asparagus was cooked in three ways, each of which was completely different to the others and brought out another flavour element of the ingredient, and the scotch-style quails eggs were unbelievable; I would happily eat them every day for the rest of my life. I was so, so disappointed when I cleared my plate and had nothing left!
The main course was always going to be a winner for Ben and I as it was one of our favourite fish to have – sea bass. Served with aromatic couscous with spicy pepper, chorizo and black olives, I dived in to this like it was going to be my last supper. A major brownie point was scored by Richard in that he adjusted this dish slightly for me (I have a nut allergy – yes, I know, I’m a pain in the backside!) but kept it the same for everybody else. Quite often when I have dinner somewhere I find I have to miss out on the food I want, or will be served a smaller portion due to part of the meal being removed, but Richard prepared me a no-nut version. Excellent customer service and something that was much appreciated.
And finally, the bit you’ve all been waiting for – dessert – an assortment of lemon treats! First off, LOOK at the presentation. It’s clear how much effort went in to not only making this course but also in presenting it in such a way that it looked like a piece of artwork. Delicious delicious artwork. With a lemon tart, lemon sorbet, lemon drizzle cake, lemon curd doughnut and lemon clotted cream, there was so much to choose from on this plate and I was at bursting point by the time I finished. Each component was completely individual and clearly separate from the others, but they all tied together beautifully with the lemon flavour running throughout. It’s almost impossible to choose my favourite part, but if pushed I think I’d have to choose the donut… or the cake… or the sorbet…
Having now experienced a private chef at home, I would definitely recommend it. If you have a special occasion or are hosting a dinner party, the last thing you want to do is spend all evening in the kitchen and miss out on quality time with your guests. The service we received was faultless, the food was out of this world and when he finished for the night, Richard cleaned and tided up after himself, leaving the room absolutely spotless.
Thank you Richard for your amazing talent, thank you La Belle Assiette for offering us this opportunity and thank you Haydy for letting us use your house for this little get-together!
If you want to hire your own La Belle Assiette chef to cook for you in your home, you can use the code ESSEXEATS to get £30 off your first booking! Let me know if you decide to treat yourself!
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