It’s very nice to go out dining, but it’s oh so nice to eat at home. Catherine Whyte explores the renaissance of private dining services
You will have noticed that the dining out experience has been undergoing something of a revolution of late. From supper clubs to pop-up restaurants, there are now many more unusual, imaginative and relaxed ways of enjoying a meal.
Perhaps as a reaction to this growing trend for something a little different, companies offering private dining services are also on the rise. This is not a new concept – far from it – but it is clearly enjoying something of a renaissance.
And it’s not hard to see why. You’ll know from experience that hosting a dinner party involves a fair amount of tiresome yo-yoing from dining table to kitchen to check on the progress of the food you have painstakingly planned and prepared. Then, once your guests have departed – gorged and in a blissful boozy haze – you’re left to deal with the scene of devastation in the kitchen.
Book your own chef and you can say adieu to all that. Not only will your chef help you plan the menu, but some will even go out and do the shopping, before cooking the meal, serving it and then – this is the best bit – cleaning up afterwards! Someone pass the wine…
Chefs vary in experience – from recent graduates to Michelin trained – and prices range accordingly, so it’s easy to find someone to match your budget (and occasion). Naturally, the food and all beverages are extra.
Where to start? My Chef is a recently launched company (an offshoot of London recruitment firm Greycoat Lumleys) offering a diverse range of chefs with varying fees. Alternatively, why not support a truly homegrown concern? Eating In is a new private chef service that operates all over Surrey, catering for everything from three-course meals for four to larger dinner parties. There’s even a mixologist to hire for cocktails par excellence.