How to organize a party dinner without going out to a restaurant ? Make the most of your apartment rental in Nice or around in the French Riviera: experience a private Chef dinner during your vacations! I tested 3 Chefs thanks to La Belle Assiette !
La Belle Assiette
Thanks to the web labelleassiette.fr, it is now very easy to organize a stylish diner at home with your friends. The chef is in charge of everything : buying the food, setting a nice table, service, dishes, clean up…. Resulting in a first class homemade catering, from the appetizers to the sweets that are served with the coffee… You just have to choose the Chef that better suits your tastes and one of the menu he or she offers (starting at approximately 40€ per guest). If you can’t make a choice, a Conciergerie service is at your disposal.
La Belle Assiette is specialized in private chef hiring, and a leader in Europe. The company works everywhere in France and in 4 other countries. You can find 16 Chefs in Nice with La Belle Assiette, but the network is growing constantly. If you wish to organize a typical meal from Nice, you can contact for example with Chef Yohan Rossi.
Quality is guaranteed by the « validated by the jury » label, awarded after the test dinner that each chef has to accomplish for former clients and gastronomy specialists.
One further reason to hire a private Chef is that beverage is not included. This means you can save an interesting amount of money compared to what a restaurant charges for a good wine… but you need to keep this in mind to work out your budget. The Chef can advise you a good wine match for his/her menu, and also buy it for you if needed.
I had the chance to be part of this jury for 3 test dinners to validate the performances of Chef Daniele Mundo, Chef David Cahen and Chef Monika Pinter.
Daniele is a young italian Chef who comes from Toscane and has lived in France for 8 years, where he is learning traditional french cuisine. He owns the restaurant l’Ardoise, 31bd Grosso, a place I shall discover very soon to try the suggestion of the day, from 10 to 16€, open for lunch during the week…. So Daniele is beginning as a private Chef, offering his services after working at his restaurant. Let’s try a dinner with a charming Italian accent!
For his test dinner, Daniele succedded to seduce our taste buds with a seafood style menu.
We started with a tapas assortment from the Mediterranean, the time to discuss with the jury members before we sat for dinner. The fenel gazpacho (cold soup) was a refreshing way to whet my appetite.
The main course, a pollack with bacon, was a surprising combination perfectly cooked, with a good choice for sides : a so french gratin dauphinois (potato gratin) and grilled vegetables. The desert, a pear, apparently unsophisticated, was quite a surprise with its salted fudge heart, showing the inspiration of Daniele who spent some years in French Brittany.
The Chef was able to adapt to a new environment, cooking in an american kitchen in front of the jury, and was charming and inconspicuous all along the dinner.
Chef David Cahen went for a spring menu, dotted with comestible flowers, constructed around seafood and local and seasonable products. But don’t you make a wrong interpretation: David is not a traditional Nice cooker, he represents the typical French cuisine. To get to know more about him, please read my article in the “meet “ section: Meet David Cahen, Chef at le Petit Gari.
The appetizer is a different version of the local sandwich called pan bagnat, with a shortly roast tuna fish slice and tasty crudités… a tribute to David’s new home region had to be made.
The salad course invited us to know David’s culinary world: fried asparagus with a ginger seasoning, a perfectly poached egg and crusty bacon. The combination of green and white asparagus, the creamy and slightly acidulous seasoning , and the bacon grilled on the host’s barbecue at the last minute reveal the know-how of our Chef…. At this point of the dinner, the Chef gave us some advice on how to cook perfect eggs, as some of the guests were not familiar with the golden rules of French cuisine.
The main course was a tasty flounder skewer, handled with a rosemary stem. The natural stem gave a nice perfume to the fish, served with a lobster sauce, and grilled baby vegetables. We experienced for the first time baby eggplant and desert carrots that grow in the sand, showing a choice of high quality products.
We ended the dinner with a sweet chocolate flavor, based on a 70% cacao product : the chocolate fondant with a speculos heart, its chocolate cup stuffed with small fruits and raspberry sorbet. Here again, we enjoyed a reference to molecular cuisine (that I won’t reveal in order not to spoil the surprise). This conclusion confirmed if necessary the extensive experience and know-how of Chef David Cahen.
Chef Monika Pinter
Monika is one of the lattest chef working in Grasse and surroundings in the Belle Assiette website for 2016. This young hungarian decided to settle in the South of France a few years ago to work as a private Chef. Monika showed a really hard culinary work for her validation dinner and paid special attention to all the details such as the table set up.
I especially enjoyed the starter, an original and easy recipe that I hope I can do myself: some minced green apple and fenel salad with lemon juice, coriander and almonds.
Monika proposes different menus from various inspirations (Hungary of course but also Thai) and the average price per person for 6 guests minimum is 35€.