Dining Out In Your Own Home, For That Special Occasion

Need a gift idea? Or, would you rather stay in on a special night like Valentine’s Day? A few years ago after leaving the restaurant industry, I had started doing private wine dinners and small parties for various clientele who I had met through personal training or networking. I had never really marketed it as most everything I did was word of mouth for which I received a fair amount of business! More recently, I have been asked about doing a couple more dinners for different potential clients. I keep being asked the same questions, so I wanted to take the opportunity to answer them here.

How does it work?

I’ll need to know how many people and what exactly they are looking for… There are certain things that cannot be done outside of an industrial kitchen or in a home kitchen. I will typically go and meet with the host to view their kitchen, work space, and equipment before I can come up with a menu, as much of the cooking and preparation needs to be done at that location.

When meeting with the host, I will find out if there are allergies and/or aversions to certain foods, and nutritional guidelines (if any). Once I have those specifics, I can then come up with a menu. I haven’t yet had to get an “approval” for the final menu, as I am usually trusted to stay within the guidelines I am given, if any. That way all the client knows is that they are getting seasonal food they like, cooked the way they like it, with proper technique. The rest is up to my own experience and knowledge with food/ ingredient pairing, flavors and culinary artistry.

Seasonal Winter Menu (for example)

Appetizer:
               Butternut Squash Soup; crisp pancetta, grilled shrimp, yogurt, herbs
First Course:
               Potato Gnocchi; mushrooms, herbs, parmesan
Second Course (Served Family Style): 
              Porchetta; brined, roasted with fresh herbs
              Sides: Whole-Roasted Cauliflower w/ lemon, garlic and olive
                             Braised Kale, onion, wine, raisins
Desert:
              Marscapone Mousse; coffee, dark rum, nutmeg

What is the cost?

The per person cost is based on the menu. For two people it can range from $100-150/person. Parties larger than that can be similar, but likely less per person. Smaller parties will have a significant amount of leftovers for one or two meals beyond the initial event, something which may be worth the cost!

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