If you’re looking to throw a dinner party with a difference, why not impress your friends and family by hiring out your own private chef?
La Belle Assiette is a fab new website where customers can browse a variety of menus from freelance chefs and caterers, and then book them to come and cook a menu of choice in their own home. The chef then takes care of the rest; they buy the ingredients, cook and serve each course and even clean up before they leave – and the prices start from just £39 per head.
Before each chef can be allowed to cook in anyone’s home, each one has to undergo what is called a ‘validation dinner’ with a local foodie / blogger – meaning I was lucky enough to try out La Belle Assiette’s service for myself last month, free of charge. Lucky me!
Our chef in question was Cissy Dalladay, a talented cook who started her career in high end ski chalets. She started cooking from a young age and has always loved making people happy through food, and she’s passionate about using excellent quality and seasonal produce. Once I had confirmed the date and time with Cissy over the phone and discussed any special dietary requirements, she sent me the link to her La Belle Assiette profile, and it was up to us to choose a menu.
In anticipation of the excesses of the Christmas Holidays the following week, I decided to go for Cissy’s ‘Hearty and Healthy’ menu, normally priced at £39pp for the following:
- Starter: spiced butternut squash soup with toasted pumpkin seeds and corriander oil
- Main course: grilled lemon, garlic and dill chicken with herbed Quinoa and sautéed kale
- Dessert: guilt free chocolate torte with creme fraiche and berries
Then all I had to do was send out my invitations, stock up on the wine and after-dinner cheese, and make sure the house was clean and tidy!
Our dinner was scheduled for 7.30pm on a Friday night, so Cissy arrived at my house an hour and a half earlier to set up. After briefly showing her where all of my utensils, appliances and crockery was kept, I poured myself a glass of wine and left her to it. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it…
My guests arrived at 6.45pm and whilst we chatted over a glass of fizz, Cissy brought in a small plate of canapes – a little extra touch which made the whole occasion feel even more special.
Then, we were seated in my front room and ready for the meal to begin.
The dinner party
As our chef brought in each course, my guests and I were free to carry on chatting until all six plates had reached the table, and then she talked us through the ingredients in each dish and the inspiration for each one.
By far my favourite course was the dessert, a ‘guilt-free’ chocolate torte made with agave syrup and creme fraiche.
It was so rich and delicious, I even had the extra slice too – I’m such a shite host, haha!
By about 9.30pm, Cissy was all finished, and as I carried on chatting and topping up glasses in the front room, the kitchen was being cleaned and the dishwasher loaded. At 10pm, our chef slipped out of the house, and I was free to stay with my guests eating cheese and drinking wine for another few hours. In a nutshell, it was by far the most enjoyable dinner party I have ever hosted, and best of all there was no mess, no waste, and absolutely no stress.
It wasn’t until the next morning when discussing the evening with my other half that I realised just how much of a gem La Belle Assiette really is. For all of those hen-do and stag-do dinners, anniversaries, big birthdays and celebrations when you really, really don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen whilst everyone else is together – this is the definitely the answer. And with prices starting at just £39 per person, it’s affordable too. I can’t wait to hold my next stress-free dinner party!
If you think you might like to host your own La Belle Assiette dinner party, you can get £30 off the total cost of your first dinner by booking using this link. Enjoy!