Sunday, 1 May 2016

La Belle Assiette: restaurant luxury at home

A very scientific straw poll of a handful of my friends has revealed that not many people know about La Belle Assiette. But I get the feeling that's going to change.

Never heard of the company?

Well it is my great pleasure to introduce you two.

La Belle Assiette was created with the intention of helping people rediscover the pleasure of entertaining at home.

I love a dinner party. Or any sort of gathering really. I like to host my friends and family. Isn't it just lovely to bring everyone together in the relaxed environment of your home over good food?

But then: you know when you host a dinner party and you spend most of the night in the kitchen and it's actually all a bit stressful? Not ideal.

Enter, La Belle Assiette.

And now take your dinner up a million notches.

Through La Belle Assiette, a professional chef comes to your house with the finest ingredients, cooks a fantastic dinner in your own kitchen, serves you and washes everything up afterwards.

I had the pleasure of experiencing La Belle Assiette myself on Friday night, and it was fantastic.

There are lots of different menus at varying price levels from which to choose (all on the website, btw), and I liaised with our chef, Cesar, in the weeks leading up to our meal to create the perfect menu for me and my flatmates - I was after something on the healthy end of the scale, not necessarily veggie but meat-light.

And I was so excited by what we settled on.

Cesar arrived bang on-time on a sunny Friday evening at the start of the bank holiday. After donning his chef's get-up, he settled into the kitchen and got to work whilst the girls and I settled on to the sofa to make a start on our Prosecco and nibbles (not part of La Belle Assiette but I highly recommend.)
Also, strawberries in Prosecco is amazing. You must do it. They both slightly infuse each other thus significantly improving the taste of both the strawberries and the Prosecco.

I was very impressed by how Cesar just got straight to work. If it'd been me trying to cook in someone else's kitchen I swear every few minutes I'd have been like "How do you work the oven?" "Do you have a whisk?" "Where are the chopping boards?" But no. He just did it.

And an hour and a half later, he'd laid the table and was ready to serve us our starter. Yippee!

It was grilled asparagus and slow cooked egg with wild garlic and morels.
And my days, it was good. I don't know how Cesar did it (probs should've asked but was too busy eating), but he said he'd cooked the eggs for one whole hour. The yolk was just fabulous as a result.

I'd never had morels before but they were great, and the tender, garlicky asparagus was just divine.

We all agreed it had been an utterly scrumptious starter and didn't have to wait long for out main to appear: chicken ballotine, crispy chicken wing, charred onion petals, truffled cauliflower purée and flowering courgette.
Just look at that presentation! Far superior to anything any of us could do. The chicken - both ballotine and wing - was lovely and juicy (does anyone else always end up with dry chicken when cooking for themselves in an attempt to be safe rather than sorry?)

But for me, the real star was that truffled cauli purée. God, I love truffle. It was so smooth and creamy and Jess actually thought it was potato at first!

The whole plate was perfect - there was such a mix of textures and flavour sensations. And it wasn't too heavy either, which was just what we wanted.

Of course, there was definitely room for pudding... chocolate ganache with shortbread, white chocolate, pistachios and edible flowers.

The ganache was so smooth and it actually wasn't overly sweet so went beautifully with the shortbread and white chocolate. And doesn't it look so pretty with those edible flowers? We were all simultaneously thrilled and not-so-thrilled to learn that Cesar had left a vat of leftover chocolate ganache in the fridge.

It was a fab way to finish off our dinner without leaving us feeling too stodgy to go out dancing afterwards... It was Friday night after all.

Aaaand what happened when we got back at 3.30am? The leftover chocolate ganache, of course.

It was a fantastic evening and I feel so privileged to have been able to enjoy an evening of exceptional food and service with my lovely flatmates. We all loved it and couldn't recommend La Belle Assiette more.

Obviously it costs more than cooking for yourself, but you get so much more. Think about it: you pay restaurant prices for restaurant quality and service, but then you get the relaxed environment of your own home and can wear slippers. And I don't know about you, but I think the best parties often happen at home because everyone feels properly relaxed.

It's a great idea when you want something a little more special.

What do you think? Would you use La Belle Assiette? Let me know!


  1. Wowweee! I'd love this - might be a bit odd as my kitchen is also my lounge? Haha! Also, I have to recommend frozen blackberries in prosecco as well - too good! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Food, Travel, Italy

    1. Oh no it's the same for me - we have an open-plan kitchen/lounge/dining room. Poor Cesar had to listen in on our stupid girly conversations all evening haha. Thanks Lucy, deffos going to try that! x


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