The carefree dinner party
ABY IT’S cold outs i d e . S o d o n ’ t bother leaving the house. Invite your friends over and have your meal delivered to your door.
We have sussed out a range of ways to eat restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of your own home — whether you plan to show off the personal chef who is slaving in your kitchen or pretend you yourself have been toiling all day over a hot stove.
You might, for instance, call upon the Silver Bell service, from Chris Kitch, a café in Muswell Hill, north London. Aussie owner Chris Honor’s cooking is in the Ottolenghi vein — hearty, punchy salads packed with zesty flavours and chunky doorsteps of cakes. Silver Bell ( lets you pretend you did it yourself.
Assemble a meal from the lists of starters, mains and desserts or pick one of the set meals. We chose a selection of dishes — blueberry, apple, cashew and kale salad; baked salmon with hummus, pearl barley and pomegranate and two puddings — cinnamon poached pear with salted caramel, pralines and vanilla Chantilly, plus spiced sticky toffee pudding. The meal arrived in eco-friendly chilled packaging with full instructions for each dish plus an easy to follow preparation time plan. Every dish was delicious and ordering was a doddle.
Next up is La Belle Assiette, an internet chef service that has been in the UK for about a year and styles itself as Uber or Airbnb for chefs.
It has 250 chefs across the UK and can, at 24 hours’ notice, provide you with one of them to cook a meal to your specification — kosher, veggie, gluten-free, whatever you wish.
All you need to do is register and log on at then input your location, the time you want your meal cooked, how many of you there are and dietary specifications. Meals can be tailored to the sole vegetarian/ pescatarian/dairy-intolerant member of your group.
If you want the chef to use only kosher ingredients, that’s fine, or if you are five vegetarians and two fisheaters, it is no problem — just let the chef know. Then sit back and enjoy being served in your own home.
Prices start at £39 for a three-course meal, rising to £59 for four courses, or you could splash out on an £89 tasting menu, which will include between five and seven dishes, depending on your chef. Once you have booked, your chef will contact you to sort out the details.
If you want supervised kosher, there are a few options, depending on the length of your guest list, size of your wallet and style of food you are after.
One possibility is the home-dining service from 1701 kitchen in Selfridges — the last remaining retail outlet from the team behind Adafina and 1701 restaurant (which served Michelin-rated food). The 1701 chefs bring restaurantquality meals to your table, or deliver home-style dishes. The cooking is modelled on 1701 restaurant’s menu and your food arrives sealed, labelled
and on fine china or disposable plates. On the menu are starters such as
(a filo pastry parcel) of braised lamb neck with spiced nuts, celeriac purée, capers and a golden raisin jus; or a smart spin on a lox salad, which contains house-cured salmon, served with heritage beetroots, lime and cardamom (soya) cream cheese, baby leaves and bagel croutons.
Main courses include a traditional Friday-night roast chicken with trimmings, or — a lamb shank with potato gnocchi, artichoke, capers and button mushrooms — as well as a range of fish or vegetarian dishes. Desserts (all parev) include
chocolate flower cake and
The service is available for any size of party — from the individual who wants a kosher meal while dining with work colleagues at a function, to the family Friday-night gathering to larger crowds of 24-plus, for whom 1701 will create a pop-up restaurant, including menus, waiting staff and fine wines. Order online (
or at the Selfridges counter. If you are feeling more casual, you can order Soyo’s colourful salads; fish dishes (which include salmon
and salsa tuna) and parev pasta (from simple pomodoro to sweet-potato ravioli), as well as soups and even breakfast, all available to be biked to your door via Deliveroo.
Those who are on a health kick may welcome the supervised kosher vegan and vegetarian food from Fresh Wholefood ( Julius and Devori Nussbaum and their chefs prepare macrobiotic menus which you can order for a single day — they send breakfast, lunch, a snack and a healthy drink — or up to 30 days.
Breakfast might be fresh berries, coconut cream and sprouted buckwheat granola, or savoury pancakes with hummus, fresh greens, pickled vegetables and alfalfa. For lunch, tuck into aduki bean curry with sesame and rice tortilla chips and superfood salad, or chickpea and barley salad with caramelised onions and roasted and fresh veggies.
My day of wholefood (which arrived with its own eco-friendly cutlery) was colourful, healthy and deliciously satisfying.
No effort needed to stay warm and eat well — you don’t even need to take off your slippers.
Silver Bell’s colourful food and recipe cards
Finishing touches from La Belle Assiette’s chef