A personal chef for your holiday - all or some of your meals taken care of: breakfast, lunch, childrens meals and evening meals are all possible - you decide how much you want us to do. It's like being in a hotel but with the flexibility of your own home. No taxis to restaurants to organise and no baby sitter needed for the children - and it doesn't cost as much as you think!
We have menu ideas using the links below, but are happy to make whatever you would like - after all it's your special holiday! Previous dishes made to request can be seen here: Special request . You can also find dishes we have served in the past by clicking on starters, main course, dessert etc on the right sidebar or by using the search engine on the top left.
Sunday 25th - Friday 31st May 2008, Derry House, Downderry, Cornwall
Thank you so much for a week of fantastic food!
Every meal was fabulous and yet again you have converted the boys to new foods. On the Saturday morning the boys asked what was for breakfast and were most disappointed with the choice of cornflakes or rice krispies!
We all had a great time especiallly Dad who was over the moon with his surprise chef!
Thanks again, you played a huge part in making Dads birthday week the success that it was.
Annette, Graham, Suzanne, Matt, Dan, Hayden, Lauren and Joshie.
This was where I came in, cooking again for a family of 10 (incorporating 3 generations). They had all enjoyed it so much when I had cooked for them last year while they stayed in Gloucestershire, they wanted me to do the same this year in Cornwall.
08:00. After finishing off the wedding which closed at midnight, unpacking, then re-packing for Cornwall (8 checklists and half a kitchen), and driving through the night, it was time to set up for breakfast.
There was apple and berry compote with greek yogurt, my speciality museli (easier to say what isn't in it), and a large selection of freshly cut fruit as seen here.
There’s a few rules of childrens cooking I‘ve picked up -
- If it’s meat it has to be bland, if it’s a vegetable it has to have serious flavour
- Don’t let different foods touch each other
- If it looks appealing, there’s a higher chance that it will be tried - think shapes, colours, & glossyness (if that’s a word)
- If you’re serving something they aren’t used to accompany it with something they are used to - one old, one new
- Don’t use hot plates
- Don’t serve the food too hot
- Don’t put too much on a plate - think small portions: they can always come back
- Don’t add much salt.
Yes you read right - it was butternut squash, not carrots - but you liked it!
Monday adults dinner menu
The chocolate bread I made and toasted went down well - it was the first request at breakfast on Tuesday morning as soon as everyone had sat down. I still had a couple of bananas I had brought with me and thought these might go down well - chocolate toast with bananas. Bananas on bread and butter had been a favourite for my grandfather, so this was just taking it a little further. They all went pretty fast.
This was pronounced the best meal they had ever had. Playing around with old favourites is always fun. Having read about the black farmer brand in The Sunday Times, I was interested to try something out, and those were the sausages I found, pork and bramley apple. Perfect. Outside the kitchen door was a herb garden at arm level - perfect for picking and adding to whatever I was making. Here I used chive flowers, as they were in the peak of their all too short season.
I knew I wanted to use courgettes some time this week but was looking at various ways of doing them. I ended up adapting Tanya Ramsey's parmesan courgettes - in her book she sautés them and sprinkles in the parmesan at the end so it melts. I roasted thinly sliced courgettes (boiling courgettes is a criminal offence), sprinkled some parmesan on top and finished them under the grill. Perfect round shapes look much more edible.
Pork and bramley apple sauasages with cheesy mash, sweet corn and parmesan courgettes. Gravy served on the side.
Tuesday adults dinner menu
Starter of smoked duck and mango salad with coriander dressing - again using some of the chive flowers from the garden.
Main course - Fillet of cod topped with rarebit served with watercress creamed potato, spinach and a tomato and herb dressing
The reception to this dish as I served it was rapturous. I invented it one evening at The Lygon Arms, and still like it. You may say it is a bit like fish pie re-incarnated. The cod is grilled skin side up so the skin goes crispy before being finished with the welsh rarebit.
Served here with roasted courgettes, red peppers and asparagus.
Dessert - Tarte tatin with madagacan vanilla ice cream and toffee sauce
For easy ice cream serving tip see here.
The apples bubbling in caramel earlier in the afternoon.
Wednesday night is buffet night
Wednesday is a nice day for a suprise birthday party. Although, admittedly, the other 6 are good too.
As soon as breakfast was clear, it was time to start preparing for the evening buffet. Good food takes time.
Open sandwiches on French baguette:
1 - Smoked trout with capers
2 - Coronation chicken - tikka sauce, mang chutney, fresh coriander et al.
3 - Prawns with marie rose
4 - Plum tomato, mozzarella, basil and olive oil
Avocado (in sesame) and cucumber sushi with soy, wasabi and pickled ginger. The wasabi is hot so only take a tiny bit. I did say tiny.
Confit of duck, apple and hoi sin spring rolls - the first thing to be made that morning.
Mini Broadway sausages from Collins of Broadway with grain mustard mayonnaise in one corner and tikka marinaded chicken skewers with coriander yogurt in the other.
Tiger prawns in filo with cocktail sauce
Mini tomato, mozzarella and basil pizzas (some with olives - as not everyone is an olive fan)
Barbecue flavour chicken legs - using the organically reared free-range chicken from the Smallholding in Chadbury - this is the most succulent chicken you will ever come across.
Glazed lemon tarts and strawberry and champagne tarts (the champagne is in the crème patisserie and the glaze) - again all made in the afternoon for the best freshest taste.
Thursday childrens tea
Sole goujon with chips, glazed carrot batons and mange tout sautéed with soy (not shown) Fruit trifle - freshly made as soon as the main course has gone out, so it remains light and fresh.
Thursday adults dinner menu
Chicken liver parfait - made fresh that afternoon with elderberry chutney from Dove Cottage in Broadway made from elderberries picked from the fields around the village and my homemade poppy seed bread toasted.
My personal favourite - roast saddle of lamb with sun dried tomato and basil stuffing, nicoise vegetables, grilled new potatoes (luckily it was a fine day, so all the doors could be opened to let out the smoke made by the grill pan) and a light balsamic jus.
After the saddle has rested out of the oven I pour the juice from the roasting tray into the sauce - to give it the extra flavour. Grilled polenta with nicoise vegetables and pesto dressing for one non-lamb eater.
Dessert on this day was glazed cheesecake, similar to that seen last year, but taller and with a new improved recipe. The base was made in the morning after breakfast, left to set in the fridge and the middle cooked first thing that afternoon)
Friday - the last supper
With both menus served together in the rush I missed the photos, apart from this.....
Childrens menu - Chicken in a basket with rosemary roast diced potatoes (more rosemary from the herb garden), creamy peas with bacon and sautéed baby corn with sesame (not shown, but very tasty)
Knickerbocker glory - similar to the one you saw on Monday, but with orange jelly inside this time instead of raspberry. Save the best till last.
Parma ham salad (adults starter) - as seen before
Grilled fillet of beef with sautéed bok choi, rosti potato, beetroot and a red wine sauce - similar to the beef dish seen here.
Blackberry crème brulee - similar to this version photographed at Upper Court in September 2006