Peter Morrell and three dining companions enjoy a stress-free, restaurant-quality meal at home
Socialising is something that we all like to do, but the harsh reality is that it can be very hard work. If my wife and I entertain friends at the weekend almost the whole of Saturday is devoted to preparing for an evening dinner.
There’s the menu planning, the shopping and the preparation. When people arrive there are still frantic scenes in the kitchen as dishes are being cooked, and then during the meal one of the hosts is always jumping up to get the next course ready. This all impacts on the main objective of the evening which is to enjoy your guests’ company.
We all have very busy lives so anything that can make them easier and better is worth trying. I was therefore intrigued by a service I came across recently offered by eho chef. This is an online facility that helps you connect with a private chef who will come to your home and not only cook and serve a restaurant-quality meal but also clear up afterwards.
The process of finding a chef is quick and simple, you fill out an online form with your location, date and time you want to eat, and your budget per head. Then from a long list, specify the type of food you would prefer, and if you want to eat buffet style or in courses at the table. There is also an option to choose the service level, the basic covers shopping, cooking and serving and the premium level adds the clean-up at the end of the meal.
Once your request has been posted you sit back and wait for the private chefs who are signed up to eho chef to make contact. I soon received an offer from an Italian chef called Daniela and we exchanged a couple of messages. Daniela then gave me a choice of two starters, two main courses and two desserts. After a chat with my wife and our two guests we chose squid to start, a seafood risotto for the main and Baileys Panna Cotta for pudding.
Daniela and I then exchanged more messages privately with information like my address and telephone numbers. We agreed that she would arrive at 4:00 pm, and we would eat a 7:30. I thought this was quite early but it turned out, given the amount of preparation needed, to be just right.
Our private chef arrived equipped with all the ingredients and after a short intro to our induction hob and combi ovens was soon busily preparing the food. I was impressed that she made a fish stock from scratch for the risotto as well as cleaning the mussels, creating a sauce for the squid and whisking up the Baileys panna cotta.
As Daniela cooked we planned the format of the evening. It would start with a glass of bubbly when our guests arrived before sitting down for dinner. With bubbly poured, Daniela had a very pleasant surprise for us, a delicious amuse-bouche of crab meat and pate in the shell.
Our dining space adjoins the kitchen and by the time we started the meal Daniela, who was charming, had almost become part of the family.
The squid was excellent, it was very tender in tasty tomato sauce and garnished with croutons. The seafood risotto, which had been cooked with the stocked Daniela had prepared earlier, was packed with salmon, prawns and freshly steamed mussels, we were all delighted with it.
The Baileys panna cotta which was served with a tot of the Irish cream was also a pleaser.
We got to the end meal and Daniela cleared everything away and loaded the dishwater – absolute bliss.
Hiring a private chef had been a very positive experience, we didn’t have to go shopping, it gave us the opportunity to spend the entire evening chatting with our friends, and we weren’t faced with all the washing up the next day.
My budget was £50 per head, so it also made financial sense compared to eating in a restaurant. Our friends live a walk away from our house so there were no taxis to pay for getting to the venue, we drank wine that would have cost £40 a bottle for a fraction of the price, pre and after dinner drinks were much cheaper and the sparkling water was a quarter of restaurant price.
I can highly recommend the eho chef service.
AboutMyGeneration/FoodNewz has arranged an attractive special offer for readers. The first 20 people who book and confirm their eho chef experience before 31st May 2020 will receive a £10 off their booking. To take advantage of this offer use the code ehochef2026F when booking.
For more information and to post your request for an eho chef go to