La Belle Assiette – ‘the beautiful plate’
Good food comes hand in hand with a birthday celebration, an anniversary or a special occasion with loved ones. For me, dining in the comfort of your own home with friends and family beats any restaurant environment – so hosting your own dinner is always a good place to start when party planning. The only downside: as the host it takes a lot of organising, particularly if you’re not already a pro in the field of fine dining.
Prepping for days, panicking about timing each course, flushing your face in the oven and burning body parts as you go; it’s not always the most enjoyable part of the evening for the host. The kitchen should be a place for unwinding. A place where you sit back, spend time with friends and family and enjoy good food – stress free. It’s a place for sipping wine, picking at appetisers and enjoying a bit of downtime in the heart of your own home.
We all love to check in at our local pub or book a table at our favourite ‘special occasion’ restaurant, but if you really want to do something special, those memories are quite often made in your own home.
That’s where La Belle Assiette comes in. A ‘sit back and let it all be done for you’ service where a local chef will turn up to your dinner party, prepare, cook, serve and clear away as if by magic. As hosts, you don’t have to lift a finger. But if you’d like to get involved, the chefs will be in touch beforehand with dietary requirements and foodie preferences.
We’re scooped away in a secluded Yorkshire cottage for the weekend. A family retreat, made even more relaxing by the efforts of our personal chef for the evening.
Timothy Hyde-Sykes, a local, Yorkshire-based chef with a wealth of experience both in and out of the kitchen. Having worked at some top hotels in London, Tim tells us how a humble move back up north has helped him enjoy more family time as well as experimenting with the very best of local, Yorkshire produce.
Putting us at ease and ensuring we sit back and relax, Tim prepares our dinner as we toast to the evening and chat over the menu. Every last detail has been considered; everything from twinkling candles and glistening table wear to printed menus and decorative touches to give that ‘special occasion’ feel. It’s a real treat.
We’re seated for dinner and our appetisers arrive: tian of peppered hot smoked salmon cauliflower purée and sultana and raisin emulsion. A fresh palette pleaser, perfect for kicking things off. All goes down well a glass of Chardonnay and freshly baked bread – crisp with a warm centre.
The starters are up next: buttered asparagus, poached Clarence hens eggs, pancetta, smoked hollandaise and smoked sea salt. The cured pancetta zips through the fresh asparagus and hens eggs. The dish really gets our taste buds going, preparing us for a main course of slightly richer flavours.
The main event is roasted honey and sesame seed duck breast served pink with fondant potato, confit leg, shiitake mushrooms and baby bok choi. This dish is a real work of art, a lot of thought and effort has clearly gone into the choice of flavours, ingredients and the pristine presentation. The shiitake mushrooms are a real highlight, oh-so flavoursome and a welcome addition to this rich yet incredibly well-balanced dish. And the duck, just perfect. Cooked exactly how it should be, benefitting from natural juices that really help to bring out the flavours.
Something sweet to finish. A fruity trio of a passion fruit panna cotta, toasted coconut and mango bomb, mango salad and crisp biscuit. The dessert really sweetens the deal, concluding an incredible, at-home dining experience with no fuss and no stress.
A bright and bubbly chef – and a real pleasure to welcome into our home. Tim was in touch prior to the dinner party to run through the menu choice, any dietary requirements or requests and also to suggest wine pairings for each dish. Tim doesn’t miss a trick – and that’s the key to this incredible service by La Belle Assiette. A friendly face, innovative food and a family-friendly evening thanks to Tim’s talent and hospitality.
Restaurant-style dinning in the comfort of your own home – what’s not to love?
Tim quietly slipped away, leaving the kitchen sparkling clean. We’re well fed with no washing up, no mess – just a gentle stroll to the sofas, continuing the relaxation into the night.
La Belle Assiette provides something unique – a guest in your own home. The service celebrates local produce, offers a bespoke dining experience and in this case, a lovely chef who becomes part of the celebration.