FOOD: Private chef takes all the stress out of throwing a dinner party.

Chef Karl Tyler plates up

Chef Karl Tyler plates up

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Fancy hosting a dinner party without having to toil over a hot store? Find out what our reviewer thought when a private chef took our his family kitchen for a night...

A fantastic meal shared with friends or family is one of life’s great pleasures. But sorting baby-sitters before you can book the restaurant can be a headache and if you take up the chopping knife yourself,you spend half the night sweating over the stove - not enjoying time with your guests.

Textures of sweetcorn with bacon popcorn

Textures of sweetcorn with bacon popcorn

La Belle Assiette now provide the solution - offering a private chef to come to your home and cook for you - leaving you free to enjoy the occasion.

Not only do they bring all the ingredients, prepare and serve the food - they even wash up afterwards!

The chef for our evening was Karl Tyler, who called to discuss menu options, dietary requirements and likes and dislikes before putting together his four-course dinner.

He kicked off with a deliciously light appetiser of chilled crab and watercress veloute with pickled kohlrabi. It had a surprising depth of flavour and set the bar very high for the rest of the plates to follow.

Chocolate and raspberry fondant

Chocolate and raspberry fondant

Before the meal, we’d discussed that we’d like at least one course to be quite experimental and Karl didn’t disappoint with his starter ‘Textures of Sweetcorn’ that included sweetcorn puree, panna cotta and beignets, served with chicken skin and bacon popcorn.

The main was much more traditional fare, though certainly of not less quality. Roasted rump of lamb with braised potato, red cabbage, wild garlic, baby vegetables with a red wine jus, really hit the spot. As did the dessert, warm chocolate and raspberry fondant with white chocolate and vanilla puree, honeycomb and ice cream.

Prices for La Belle Assiette dinners range from £39 per person to £89 depending on the ingredients and menu sophistication. That price doesn’t include drinks, but then you can pick up a decent bottle of supermarket wine for the same price a restaurant would charge for the use of their corkscrew.

The food was fabulous and the kitchen spotless when Karl left. Having a professional chef in my kitchen had also pricked my conscience and made me give our oven a much-needed clean out too. Brownie points all round.

RATING: 9/10

CONTACT: La Belle Assiette, www.labelleassiette.co.uk, 020 3318 5003.

For more details of their local service CLICK HERE