A Personal Dining Experience on the Isle of Wight
A personal chef is just for the rich and famous. Well, so I thought.
If you are of the same opinion, might be worth a little read.......
The Wight Place were lucky enough to be invited by La Belle Assiette to try a private dining experience with Chef Vanessa Rousseau Richardson.
Arrangements made, guests invited and menus discussed.
We were offered a choice of dishes – all of which sounded amazing. The husband declared he could eat all of them - and I think he probably could have!
4 adults, an 8 year old, and a rather small house. Would this work?
On a stormy November night, we huddled around the table and were ready to sample the delights and smells that had been wafting from the kitchen all afternoon.
Between our party, the starters included Crab Parcels, Thai King Prawn Skewers and Asparagus, Mozzarella and Proscuitto Parcels.
Being served by someone in your own kitchen, bringing food to your own dinner table, is quite a strange concept.
Strange until these beautifully presented starters came out and it was pretty obvious they were not something I had rustled up in the kitchen!
I opted for the Crunchy Crab Parcel on Cucumber Julienne which was tasty and light. So light, some of it appeared to disappear to the right as my 8 year old enjoyed the crab too.
I never enjoy a starter that is heavy and fills me up before the main course. The starters presented by Vanessa were perfect. Light but plentiful.
The Main Course
Monkfish, a Roasted Veg Terrine and Peri Peri Chicken between us.
Little Miss Wight Place was offered a burger as an alternative, which she accepted, and devoured.
I went for the Roasted Veg Terrine with Isle of Wight Griddled Halloumi and polenta.
I am not a vegetarian, but I do enjoy roasted veg and Halloumi is one of my favourites foods. It was a winning combination for me.
I heard lots of ooo’s and ahh’s from the guests opting for MonkFish. I may have also indulged in a sneaky taste from the husband’s plate.
We have a rule in our relationship. When eating out (or eating in, in this case) we are never allowed to eat the same food. This means tasters from the other persons plate is fair game (within reason!).
It appears our daughter has also followed the tradition. Although, maybe not so good at sharing her food with us.
A little break before Desserts
Despite a busy kitchen, Vanessa cleared the table and had a little chat in between courses.
Little Miss Wight Place decided to help out with the clearing of the table. She is not normally this keen to help, so I am guessing that a quick peek at the puddings was the real reason behind it!
The Puddings; Tarte au Citron, Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake, Tarte Tatin and Profiteroles.
Let's not count the calories on this course!
I opted for the Apple, Rosemary and Vanilla Tarte Tatin which was gorgeous. I savoured every mouthful, whilst I watched profiteroles disappearing quite quickly next to me. To say the 8 year old was pleased with her pudding was an understatement. It appears the swapping of tasters didn’t work in my favour again.
The Overall Dining Experience
With limited space in our 2 bed house in Ventnor, Vanessa managed to pull off an amazing 3 course meal.
I am sure it was pretty stressful at times with the limited space to prepare and cook in, but Vanessa remained happy and calm and delivered great food.
I loved the fact that local Isle of Wight produce was included. I have a slightly random intolerance and the use of fresh produce, particularly local, is important to me.
I always thought hiring a chef for an evening spent with friends would be out of our league.
However, for a special occasion, La Belle Assiette offer meals starting at £45 per head. For the drinkers amongst us, this could be offset against the cost of wine in a restaurant (should you need to justify the expense!).
Our dining experience with Vanessa Rousseau Richardson was amazing. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
If it felt slightly odd handing over my kitchen to a stranger to cook in, I soon got over it when I found all the washing up had been done and the kitchen was sparkling clean!
Vanessa, clear the diary. I could get used to this.
A word from Little Miss Wight Place aged 8.
“I enjoyed my first grown up dinner party. The adults were only slightly boring. My burger was amazing. I was full up - but not full up that I could pop! I had plenty of room for pudding.
Did you know you can fit a whole profiterole in your mouth in one go?”