Che­f4U: Pri­vate Din­ing Per­fected

Howler Magazine - - Community -

Chef Nico­las Devenelle once showed up to serve a pri­vate catered din­ner for four at Punta Cacique, be­tween Coco and Hermosa. A huge ex­tran­jero an­swered the door, saw a chef, and hap­pily wel­comed him into his home.

Nico­las won­dered where the other three peo­ple were, but he fig­ured they were in their rooms, per­haps show­er­ing and dress­ing. He started the din­ner prep and set the ta­ble, ob­sess­ing as usual over the per­fec­tion that he re­quires of him­self and his staff at Costa Rica's finest pri­vate cater­ing ser­vice, Gua­nacaste Che­f4U.

Then the wife fin­ished her shower, came out to the kitchen, asked the chef his name, and said, “We never or­dered a din­ner tonight.”

It turned out Nico­las had the wrong ad­dress. D'oh!

It's all in a night's work for Mon­sieur Devenelle, 42, a French-born chef with a lengthy pedi­gree un­der Miche­lin-starred men­tors on two or three con­ti­nents. On any day of the year, any­where in Gua­nacaste, Nico­las is pre­pared to serve up a five-star, four-course din­ner at a three-star price for groups as small as two, some­times with only one cook — usu­ally at the right ad­dress.

On the day af­ter Valen­tine's, Fe­bru­ary 2018, Nico­las and his chefs Priscilla and Maykel found their way to our home and served a suc­cu­lent sup­per for my girl­friend, Guiselle, and me, and we dined like roy­alty.

For the oc­ca­sion I had bought a bot­tle of de­cent Chilean wine, but it turned out that we didn't have a corkscrew. Guiselle asked Priscilla if by chance she had one, and Priscilla went down­stairs — I thought to look for a corkscrew in her car. Priscilla came back with a brand-new corkscrew she just bought at the Lu­perón next door.

This is not nor­mal, I thought. This is ex­cep­tion­ally ex­cel­lent ser­vice, above and be­yond the call of duty.

Once the food started com­ing out, the ser­vice only got bet­ter. By now Chef

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