Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – Babes, aren’t you about budgeting and hostels and backpacking and all that? What’s with living the high life with a private chef?
It’s my first time experiencing something like this so I thought I should definitely write a separate post about it.
What’s it like to have a private chef?
Initially I found it all a little weird. The cabin had a kitchen/dining area that was quite small so we could see everything as our chef Jamie Raftery prepared the food. And I’m not accustomed to being cooked for like this so I felt uncomfortable at first. Like, can I help with anything mate??
But actually it was a really relaxed environment and Jamie made us all feel really at ease.
He was really good at reading the room, like if we were talking about boys he’d let us do our thing and if we were talking about a destination, he’d get involved and tell us about his experiences there or food from that country. It was a really good balance and he is such a nice chap.
Jamie also set the table, brought his own table trinkets, served the food and even did the washing up! I mean that’s got to be the highlight right there y’know?
It was also really cool that because Jamie was using so many ingredients that we had never heard of, he brought them over to the table and described them and let us taste some. It made it feel a little like a workshop and I’m totally here for that.
What did we eat?
We had a mix of dietary requirements in our gang, with two vegetarians and two of us that don’t eat seafood. So Jamie prepared a vegan tasting menu!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. As a firm cheese advocate the word ‘vegan’ scares me a little.
But the 8 course tasting menu we were served was insanely delicious. Like, you never would have even thought about the fact that it was all plant-based, it was just delicious food. Simple as.
First up, we were served 3 very different appetisers – a tofu sushi bowl, a jackfruit pot-sticker with slaw, and hazelnut ricotta in an endive leaf. All were delicious and such varying types of cuisine. I think that’s what’s so awesome about a tasting menu, that you get to try lots of different things.
As someone who doesn’t eat sushi at all, I was pleasantly surprised by the tofu sushi bowl. It’s got me thinking that just because I don’t eat seafood doesn’t mean sushi is off-limits.
Next up, we had a rich and festive pumpkin soup with truffle oil and home-made sourdough bread.
It was so good I was tempted to have seconds but Jamie warned me that there were 4 more courses to come… and I was like yeah babes you’re right. So I held back. But I seriously could’ve demolished another bowl.
For starters, aka our FIFTH course lol, it got super Mediterranean up in herrre with crispy panisse (kind of like polenta) with salsa verde, black garlic and tomatoes. Oh baby, this was totally my jam. I just love Mediterranean flavours.
And hello black garlic, welcome to my life, what took you so long? Black garlic is actually fermented garlic, which sounds gross but let’s face it fermented things are the best things (wine, cheese, etc). YUM.
The main course was a festive feast – celeriac terrine (basically tasted like dauphinoise potatoes) with sprouts, roasted chestnuts, cooked apples, wild mushrooms and a mulled wine reduction.
It was epic.
Like how has Jamie managed to create a vegan dish that tastes like Christmas without turkey or gravy or yorkshire puddings?
Dessert was a chocolate and orange mousse with iced bananas, tigernuts and amlou. The amlou is like an almond butter and tasted exactly like the bottom of a cheesecake. So y’know, the best bit. And the mousse was really light and delish.
The girls RAVED about the iced bananas but I don’t actually like bananas so silently moved them to the side of my plate. But I thought you should know that they were apparently the best thing ever if you’re into bananas.
Surely that’s it, right? NOPE. Vegan mince pies and mulled wine tea by Born Wild. What a way to end such a great meal.
And actually, because it’s all fancy and that, they were the perfect-sized portions and I ended the meal feeling full and satisfied without clutching my stomach in the foetal position. Y’know, how I usually finish a big meal.
Would I use a private chef again?
Absolutely. The whole experience was so much fun and let me try foods I never would have otherwise. And I think hiring a private chef in conjunction with a trip like this really makes it feel special and like you’re treating yo’self.
Plus after the meal you can literally just take a few steps and veg out on the sofa and not have to worry about getting home or anything. Dream.
I feel like I should also say that this isn’t sponsored or anything, I just really enjoyed this meal and thought it would be cool share with you!
Would you hire a private chef?