The care­free din­ner party

The Jewish Chronicle - - JC SPECIAL - BY VIC­TO­RIA PREVER

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

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