Step into the delightful realm of "Chef at Home," where we invite you to witness a behind-the-scenes journey from the crack of dawn to the moonlit hours, this article will be your exclusive pass to explore the world of passion, creativity, and dedication that goes into crafting your events.
Throughout this thrilling week-long adventure, we'll accompany the chef through their daily rituals – the early morning market escapades to pick the freshest produce, the rhythmic clinking of knives as ingredients are skilfully chopped, the tantalising scents wafting through the air as recipes come to life.
A week in the life
Work begins in the office as the team catch up from the previous weeks events and a look forward to the coming bookings. Special attention paid to any bespoke menu requests or recipes that will need adjusting to consider dietary requirements.
While Rebecca & Tom break off to attended to clients via telephone and emails, the Chef's take to a white board and plan the weeks menus and speak to the local suppliers. Once all the planning is done, the deep cleaning begins so everything is ship shape & shiny for the week ahead.
Just before tea time, James will move to a desk and set to work on either writing some recipes for his cook book or putting together articles for the website (How meta?).
It's now time to wrap up for the day and relax before a busy week in the kitchen.
Tuesday starts with a chef's visit to the local suppliers to pick up ingredients for Wednesdays events. James prefers to collect the ingredients rather than having them delivered because he likes to use the chance to walk around the butchers, or market stalls to be inspired and to talk to the suppliers about what is happening seasonally with ingredients, what's coming to its best soon and what is coming to an end in terms of its peak quality.
By lunch the chef's are in the kitchen and begin the preparation work. James believes in "prep hard, serve easy" style. So before events the kitchen is busy making; bread doughs, pastries, pastas, stocks and anything that would take a long time to produce or what is considered "messy jobs".
Prep usually concludes a little after tea time and the team sit down for "family tea". The meal is the commis chef Callum's pet project. It is important to give commis chefs a chance to flex their creativity and practise key skills in an unpressurised environment. It's also a chance to make suggestions for the next set of seasonal menus.
We start Wednesday by finishing any preparation & packing up ready for the days event.
Tonight we are celebrating a 21st birthday at a lovely cottage on the Norfolk coast.
The chef's arrive at the property and begin to set up the kitchen for how they like them. Once set up is complete, they now have 2 hours to get ready for service which includes the final preparation of the dishes, setting the table & wearing away pots.
On to service, Chef invites the guests to take their seats. A moment is taken to make sure we know where the birthday girl has sat and make sure she is served first for every course. After all, she is the VIP.
After service is complete, it usually takes around an hour to fully clean down. We aim to leave the kitchen as clean or cleaner than when we arrived, which is often a comment our clients make! Once James is satisfied the kitchen is up to his standard, they say their goodbyes and head off home.
Much like Wednesday, the chefs are preparing for the evenings event. This time they are off to a to cook for a corporate client who have chosen Chef at Home to end their away week with a bang.
Tonight is a 5 course menu so it will be a long night for the chef's, but that's what they love!
Chefs arrive to get set up for the nights tasks. The bread course is first on the agenda, followed by desserts to allow time for cooling and setting.
Time for service, chef invites the clients to the table to dive into the warm bread board as we finish the courses to follow.
By this time all course are served and enjoyed and the chefs complete the meticulous clean down.
The weekend begins with a trip back to the local suppliers to pick up the final orders for the upcoming events.
Chefss begin work on preparing for Saturdays big bbq. Meats into marinated, burger mix seasoned and shaped, breads baked & sauces mixed. A full brisket is placed onto the bbq for long and slow braised and smoke. It's a long day but the chefs enjoy a sing song to keep themselves entertained.
Now the beef is out the Bbq and into the fridge to set, the chefs can finish up for the night.
The chefs set off early to Chesterfield to for days event. Today is a golden wedding anniversary, so the pressure is on to make sure it was worth the wait!
Chefs arrive at the property and get the bbq hot to trot. we are also serving canapés so Callum is hard at work preparing them ready for 14:00.
The main BBQ is served to the 40 guests. The showpiece being the beautiful brisket that has been a labour of love, a combined 13 hour effort to reach the perfect, melt in the mouth, juicy joint of beef to please the crowd.
By tea time the party is in full swing and the chefs are ready to serve some light garden desserts.
Once all is cleaned down, it's time to head home.
After a busy week, it's time for the team to take some rest. James chooses to relax by preparing a roast dinner for family & friends at his home before.