My house turned into a private dining experience one recent winter’s evening with the spread of culinary creations presented by a new private chef service called La Belle Assiette.
La Belle Assiette takes practically all of the hassle out of the catering so you can stay focused on keeping your guests fully entertained. The shopping dash for ingredients, sweating over stoves, serving up and clearing away is all taken care of, so you can simply sit back and enjoy hosting your party. Now that’s a real treat for my heavy-duty kitchen, especially with the feast-frenzy of Christmas being just around the corner.
Part of the long list of La Belle Assiette’s trusted talent, Italian chef Francesco Pais and his assistant Joanna were welcomed into my home, effortlessly familiarising themselves with my kitchen to prepare the three-course meal. This left me with oodles of time to go and get dressed and set the table without the usual fret before my guests arrived.
With over 200 vetted chefs to choose from on the website, there is a plethora of menus to flick through too, based on type of cuisine and price range, as well as yours and the chef’s residential location. The service also customises menus to suit your preferred tastes and whims as well any dietary requirements so you’re every culinary wish is at their command. Our menu ensured my pescatarian best friend (who eats seafood and eggs but not meat) could enjoy the same meal as the rest of us. We also switched the proposed dessert of lemongrass Brulee to a chocolate-based pudding instead – all with zero fuss.
Sardinian chef Francesco Pais was born in Alghero with a culinary passion since he was a child, following in his family’s footsteps. As a self-taught cook, he progressively improved his skills and experience. His culinary and creative journey brought him to work for some world-elite figures such as Irina Abramovich and Queen Rania of Jordan and several highly influential figures in London. Seeing the high demand for fresh products, chef Francesco decided to personally bring to your table the best of the daily catch in Alghero, where the uncontaminated nautical nature preserves and guarantees the best of the fresh fish available. Chef Francesco recently won an award (il riccio d’oro 2015) for best Sea Urchin dish in Sardegna. Suffice to say, we were extremely excited and intrigued to sample his menu.
Prompt with timings yet cognisant of keeping a steady pace throughout the entire evening, our starter was served soon after we all sat down at the table. Described as ‘catch of the day,’ we were presented with fresh skate fish cooked in an aromatic broth and marinated in chef Francesco’s signature spicy sweet and sour sauce bursting with tangy citrus flavours. We then moved on to our mutually decided favourite dish; main of Borlotti bean veloute scattered with fresh seafood, handmade pasta, cherry tomato confit and a delicately perfumed herb infusion. To finish, we were presented with glass jars filled with chocolate, mandarin and cardamom mousse and a layer of Croquant biscuit.
So, as the last guest left with praise to the chef and feeling utterly spoilt in the comfort of our home, we retreated to the kitchen expecting to have to do a bit of a tidy up, but it was, with great relief, absolutely spotless.
La Belle Assiette – Where and How?
For more information on La Belle Assiette, visit www.labelleassiette.co.uk