As a private chef and caterer in Oxfordshire, the ups and downs of the last 18 months have been exhausting and uncertain for everyone. But it is finally great to see a small glimmer of positivity in starting to turn a corner on the pandemic. The catering industry itself has taken a huge knock-on effect with many events and dinner parties being cancelled or rescheduled for an alternative date. Having to think on my feet became the norm over this period and it was wonderful being able to launch my didos @ home weekly dinner menu. As well as this, being able to collaborate with some other great local suppliers to bring a smile to people’s faces on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day with our dinner, table décor and gift packages was a delight! Thank you to everyone old and new who was able to support my business during this time – I really do appreciate it.
With restrictions loosening, I thought it would be fitting to write this blog on a dinner party I was recently commissioned to private chef for. It is always lovely to receive catering enquiries from new clients and even more of a pleasure to now be allowed to cook and cater at locations other than my own! Being a private chef can sometimes feel a little daunting, especially when there has been quite a large gap due to covid restrictions. When clients get in touch regarding my private chef service my first aim is to find out their likes and dislikes as well as any dietary requirements for their guests or themselves. The number of guests and courses is also important to enable me to work on accurate costings and come up with the ideal menu.
The next steps usually involve two or three rounds of liaising and tweaking the menu with my clients to ensure we have something that will delight them and their guests! In the run-up to the day, I also like to ensure I have visited my client’s home to see their kitchen and make sure I know the layout and how everything works, as well as agree on a mutually suitable time to start setting up at.
Living in Thame, Oxfordshire, I like to source as many ingredients as possible from other local Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire suppliers such as Waterperry Farm, Rectory Farm and Simply Microgreens to name but a few. Therefore, in the run-up to the event, you will normally find me placing and picking up orders from all these places. I try to do a lot of the prep work as possible off-site so on the day everything runs smoothly and it gives me enough time for any last-minute surprises!
Since restrictions loosened it was so lovely to get back into private chef catering again with a recent dinner party in Thame. Cooking for eight guests, my clients chose a menu of hot and cold canapes to start, followed by duck with sweet potato puree for the main and a raspberry cheesecake to end with. As with many dinner parties, I have catered for it is lovely to see my clients getting to enjoy quality time with their guests and not having to worry about cooking or tidying away.
Remaining discreet is always the aim of the job but at the same time ensuring that everyone is looked after and that the food still tastes amazing. There is a lot to juggle, but once I have finished serving the last course, tidied up and left my guests to their evening, there is a huge sense of achievement and job satisfaction.
If you would like to learn more about our Private Chef services from dido’s click here. I am able to cover most areas within a ten-mile radius of Thame or the OX9 postcode. For availability, price or menu enquiries please feel free to get in touch – I would love to hear from you! I hope you enjoyed this personal blog: A Day in the Life of a Private Chef and Caterer in Oxfordshire.