La Belle Assiette was founded in Paris in 2012 by friends Stephen and Giorgio. The concept, which consists of hiring a chef to host a dinner party in your home (including sourcing all of the ingredients, preparing the meal and doing the washing up afterwards) was a resounding success and they are now Europe’s leading chef service with more than 800 chefs on their books.
As a child, I always had lofty aspirations that one day I’d be in the financial position to have my own private chef (a girl can dream, right?!), however, as an adult, I realise that it’s just not feasible unless I win the lottery, so to be able to get a taste of the life of the rich and famous – even if it’s just for an evening – is a winner in my book. Plus, it provided a great opportunity for me and my friends to get glammed up for once, which is always fun!
You start by visiting the La Belle Assiette website, where you can read about the available chefs and their speciality dishes. After you select your chef and the date / time for your dinner party, the La Belle Assiette team gets in touch to confirm the details and to arrange a chat with your selected chef who can discuss any special requirements you might have.
We selected chef Fabrizio Ricotta who specialises in my favourite cuisine - traditional Italian. Coincidentally, he also has a pretty fabulous surname for a chef! Fabrizio has always had a passion for food since a very young age; one of his fondest memories is spending afternoons podding peas with his grandmother. Fabrizio has more than 10 years of experience in hospitality working for renowned restaurants such as Novikov, The Darwin Brasserie and Texture, currently holding 1 Michelin star.
As our dinner party was scheduled for 7:30pm, Fabrizio arrived at 6:15pm to begin set up. He came armed with a portable cooler (which held all of his ingredients), his own knife set and of course, chef whites, to ensure he looked the part! We provided use of our kitchen including all of the pots, pans and dishes he needed to prepare and serve the food.
After Fabrizio laid out his ingredients, he talked us through the courses he’d be preparing later on, all of which sounded superb. It was nice to be involved in the process at every step of the way and to learn about each of the dishes he was preparing and the provenance of the ingredients.
When my guests arrived, we enjoyed a glass of champagne and a cheese board, while Fabrizio busied himself preparing the starter - fresh bruschetta made with bulls heart tomatoes. Although it’s a simple dish, the tomatoes were gorgeous and the grilled sourdough was a nice touch.
Starter: Handmade tortellini filled with spinach and ricotta, served with sun-dried tomato pesto
We loved this dish, which was perfectly cooked al dente and you can never go wrong with tomato pesto, in my opinion.
Mains: Roast loin of pork with a red wine jus served with roasted tenderstem broccoli and mashed potatoes
Pure comfort food at its finest - this was a hit with all of the guests and it was lovely paired with a medium bodied red wine.
Dessert: Cannolo with ricotta cheese, chocolate and pistachio
I love desserts, however, I found this one a bit heavy going, but the few small bites I had were lush.
Having a chef prepare a meal in our home felt like the ultimate extravagance but it was also very convenient as it meant we didn’t have to leave our home to enjoy a restaurant quality meal, or source a babysitter for our children (although they did crash our dinner party a couple of times throughout the evening)! Good thing they're cute!
We’d definitely recommend La Belle Assiette for anyone looking for a wow-factor foodie experience that’s certain to impress your guests.
To book your dinner party, visit www.labelleassiette.co.uk. For more information on chef Fabrizio Ricotta, view his profile: