A novel ap­proach to fine din­ing

The Beacon Herald - - LOCAL NEWS - GALEN SIM­MONS STAFF RE­PORTER For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.Dinewell.ca and check out pic­tures of some of the meals pre­pared by Pow­ell on Face­book and In­sta­gram. gsim­mons@post­media.com

It’s no se­cret there are plenty of great restau­rants in Strat­ford, many of which of­fer fine din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences that ri­val some of the best in the coun­try.

For those who en­joy go­ing out to eat on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, the city is a true par­adise. Yet for peo­ple who would rather en­joy a five-star meal in their home with­out hav­ing to cook for hours or clean up af­ter­wards, there hasn’t been a lot of choice in the mat­ter – un­til now.

“I’m of­fer­ing a fine-din­ing meal in your home,” said Chef Chris Pow­ell. “Where a lot of cater­ers do the ba­sics, where it’s like sal­ads, meat and pota­toes for large-scale events, I’ll lit­er­ally come into your home and cook three-course, five-course meals, rang­ing from filet mignon to sous-vide pork ten­der­loin – all tai­lor-made to the per­son’s needs.”

Sup­ported by his busi­ness part­ner, Blaine My­ers, Pow­ell, a clas­si­cally trained chef from the U.K., re­cently launched Dinewell, con­nect­ing din­ers with the food and din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences they would en­joy at a five-star restau­rant in the com­fort of their own homes.

“I will li­aise with the cus­tomer and we’ll tai­lor make a menu to what they want, to their spec­i­fi­ca­tions, and then I’ll price it ac­cord­ingly and I’ll go in their home with ev­ery­thing. I’ll bring the plates, the cut­lery, a server – ev­ery­thing. I’ll go in and then come out and the kitchen is as clean as it was when I got there,” Pow­ell said.

Hav­ing trained for five years in Bri­tain, trav­elled around the world study­ing dif­fer­ent culi­nary tra­di­tions, and worked as a chef at the Lon­don Hunt and Coun­try Club, Pow­ell uses his ex­pe­ri­ence and train­ing to pro­vide his clients with a list of meal op­tions based on their in­gre­di­ent pref­er­ences. The din­ers then have a chance to mix and match cour­ses and dishes un­til the meal they want is the meal they get.

“I have the back­ground and I have the ex­pe­ri­ence to serve fine din­ing food. It’s the ex­pe­ri­ence of go­ing out for a meal with­out the fuss of ac­tu­ally go­ing out,” Pow­ell said.

Although Dinewell is still in its in­fancy, Pow­ell said he has al­ready served din­ner for five sep­a­rate clients, all of whom fin­ished their meals sat­is­fied with their din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We had the din­ner our­selves – we were the ini­tial start of it all – and it was un­be­liev­able. It was amaz­ing, ev­ery­thing about it,” My­ers said. “I sat de­lib­er­ately so I couldn’t see Chris work, so I couldn’t see what was go­ing on and it was per­fect. I never heard anything, just con­stant food, the flow was amaz­ing. I couldn’t be­lieve that he did it by him­self – there was 10 of us, I think, that night.”

To en­sure his din­ers eat on time with­out hav­ing a stranger in their kitchen for most of the day, Pow­ell com­pletes much of the prep work be­fore­hand, chop­ping veg­eta­bles and mak­ing dishes like ice cream that can’t be made in a home kitchen ahead of time.

As Pow­ell also works as a cook­ing in­struc­tor, he doesn’t mind if his clients join him in the kitchen for a les­son.

“It could even be a bit of a les­son. I don’t mind the in­ter­ac­tion,” Pow­ell said.

Pow­ell is also avail­able to cook brunch as well as din­ner.

GALEN SIM­MONS/THE BEA­CON HER­ALD

In prepa­ra­tion to cook for Dinewell’s fifth client, Chef Chris Pow­ell gets a head start by chop­ping some turnips.

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