When we were offered the chance to experience eho chef – the matchmaking platform connecting diners with chefs – my first thoughts were – how awkward! A stranger, in my home, making us dinner whilst we, what, sit a few feet away making small talk!? So to make it feel less awkward we invited a friend round too. A dinner for three seemed less strange in my mind.
eho (pronounced eee-hoe and short for eat out at home) asks you to begin by submitting a proposal on the website. I included the date, time, location and number of guests, along with dietary requirements. Then you specify how many courses you’d like to be served (we went for the standard 3 but you might prefer a tasting menu) and whether you’d like it plated or buffet/sharing style. You can also select the type of cuisine you’d like or leave it open which we did. There’s a basic package which doesn’t include cleaning up or premium which does. Then you set your budget!
Nicusor got in touch a few days later proposing the following menu…
To start – salmon tataki with mango and red pepper basil salsa, avocado, pickled onion and Asian dressing. Our main course would be corn-fed chicken ballotine with potato puree and glazed root veg served with a tamarind sauce. And finally – mango, lemongrass and coconut pannacotta.
You can chat back and forth making tweaks and changes if you like. And you can also wait to see if anyone else makes an offer. However, this guy had experience working at Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, the Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, Savoy Hotel and Hide at 85 Piccadilly – oh and he was also a finalist in the Romanian MasterChef 2013 – so I thought it was best to just go with his suggestions.
I presumed he’d need to arrive hours before to start prepping but he calmly arrived at 7pm for an 8pm start with just a small backpack. He changed into his apron and started unpacking beautifully prepared food and cheffy-looking squeezy sauce bottles.
I showed him where a few bits and pieces were but otherwise, I genuinely didn’t lift a finger. In fact, I sort of forgot he was there. We have a dishwasher but he insisted on washing, drying and putting absolutely everything back where he’d found it. I offered him a glass of wine but he only accepted once he’d finished everything and we had a lovely little chat before he went on his way. The whole experience was just so easy. For just £50 a head, we had this incredible guy do all the shopping, cooking and tidying without us even having to leave the house. It felt a bit magic. The food was really beautifully presented with decorative swirls and edible flowers – a far cry from anything I’d bother attempting when I’m hosting.
Obviously eho chef would be great if you’re after a romantic night in but I could also see it being amazing for new parents (restaurant-quality food whilst the baby sleeps upstairs!), or for groups of friends where none of you wants to be stuck slaving away missing out on the gossip. No boring takeaways, no washing up – just quality food, freshly prepared in the comfort of your own home. I enjoyed it so much I’m thinking about getting him back to cater for my birthday party!
If you fancy giving eho chef a go too, you can use my referral code:
CRUMMBS2020 which will get you £10 off when you book before 31st May!