I can’t cook to save my life. Sometimes I wish I had that Martha Stewart gene where I loved being in the kitchen all day long, but I just don’t. When I decided to host a dinner party at our new house for five of my favorite girlfriends I immediately went into a panic. I started researching easy recipes trying to figure out what I could make that wouldn’t offend anyone. Then I remembered the last dinner party I hosted where I barely sat down because I was running to and from the kitchen.
In the spirit of wanting to be able to enjoy my own party I started glancing over the menus at La Belle Assiette. The website lists dozens of private chefs and their menus at varying prices. I found a menu that sounded delicious, but with some of my girlfriends being super picky- you know who you are- I was worried at the amount of changes I was going to have to make to ensure the dinner was perfect.
La Belle Assiette put me in touch with Chef Elia Carulla and I started to explain to her that while her menus sounded incredible, I had a tricky bunch of ladies coming over. “Can you make the meal gluten, diary, and sugar free, and there’s also one girl that doesn’t eat fruit. Instead of the champagne cocktail can we do espresso martinis with dessert, and by the way can you do canapÃ©s as well?” I thought poor Elia was going to put the phone down on me but instead we chatted about how we could make all my dinner party dreams come true.
And they did. Chef Elia walked into the house and told me to pour my self a glass of wine and relax, she had everything handled. The one thing I do know how to pick is wine, so I was very pleased when she told me to have a glass! I had ordered some simple wines that would pair nicely with any dish so that all of my guests would enjoy each glass. I find it much easier to order wine online because I can do it from the comfort of my own home and I can spend some time researching each wine before purchasing. It’s important to get the right wine for the evening, that can really make or break the evening for some people. After doing my research, I was able to organize a case of wine delivery just in time. Elia started cooking in the kitchen like she had been here a thousand times before. My two children were intrigued and I kept scolding them to go upstairs so Elia could cook. Elia commented “Don’t worry, I love kids, and they can stay with me to help me cook.” So I thought, “This woman isn’t just a chef, she’s actually a saint.”
The girls arrived and I didn’t have to worry about a single thing. We chatted while Chef Elia passed around stuffed mushrooms and other culinary creations. We then sat down to our starter, parma-ham wrapped asparagus with one of the most beautiful duck poached eggs on top I’ve ever seen, or tasted. Our main course was grilled sea bass with fresh king prawns and baked ratatouille, which all of the girls raved about. For dessert Chef Elia prepared fresh seasonal fruit with citrus curd and gluten free crumble. She made a special dessert for my girlfriend that doesn’t eat fruit, and complimented our final course with the requested espresso martinis.
The champagne and wine kept flowing and the evening ended up in a Lala Land soundtrack dance party, with a side of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits. The kitchen was spotless before Chef Elia left. It was such a fun, and delicious evening that I never EVER would have been able to pull off on my own. Thank you to Chef Elia and to the great team at La Belle Assiette for helping me create the perfect dinner party for my girlfriends.
Setting The Table…