Neil and Pip were in for a treat after winning a personal chef for the night in Rudding Park‘s 12 Days of Christmas email campaign. The prize included dinner cooked for them and up to eight guests by myself in the comfort of their own home..what could be better I ask…?!
I was joined by Chris Root, a Management Trainee from Rudding Park, as we set off on a freezing cold Saturday night in January to hopefully surprise the guests with a memorable gastronomic food and service experience.
I had met Pip a week before to discuss the menu and I could tell that both the hosts and their guests were great foodies who really wanted to go all out with their selected dishes. In agreeing, I had set Chris and I a rather demanding challenge!
The evening began with canapés and bubbly on arrival before calling them through to the dining room for the main event. As the candles burned and the music played the guests had some homemade bread rolls and a seafood selection to really get the party started…
Whitby Crab and Lobster Celeriac Remoulade
layered with lobster bisque, king scallops, brown shrimps and rocket
The room fell quiet as guests began to sample the dish and Chris and I were busy preparing the main course. After a short while everyone started talking about the dish, the flavours they could highlight, the textures of the different ingredients and the feeling next door in the kitchen was that it went down well! Phew…round two…ding-a-ling!
The lamb was locally sourced and cooked with a confit lamb bon bon and slow cooked shoulder of lamb…
Roast Nidderdale Lamb
butternut puree, baby carrots and leeks, Bloomin White Cheese potato gratin
The carefully selected Fleurie red wine really hit the spot and complemented the lamb perfectly, especially as we had incorporated the Fleurie into the jus.
It is an unusual thing to cook in someone else’s kitchen but when the kitchen is as well equipped as this one it was a real joy.
Now the party was in full swing it all boiled down to executing a perfect dessert…
A Zesty Lemon Experience
lemon soufflé, lemon sorbet, lemon jelly, lemoncello shot with lemon foam, mini lemon meringue pie and micro basil
As you can probably imagine the guests were rather full at this point and so a cup of coffee and homemade petit fours went down a treat to finish off a great meal.
Chris and I really enjoyed cooking for these very appreciative guests and I was even given a bunch of flowers – a lovely gesture.
I guess i’m hoping that one day someone may offer to cook for me….!