Holiday chef

Tuesday, July 21, 2009
'We take the catering out of self catering, leaving you time to spend on your self'.

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.

For weekends we also have weekend catering packages here: Benson of Broadway weekend catering pacakges and special offers

If you are interested in just one night - ideal for a celebration because you can spend your evening with your guests rather than toiling in the kitchen - we have menus here: Benson of Broadway menus.

We can either cook you meal in your home with chef and waiting staff or deliver it chilled with simple instructions for you to heat and serve.

You can see our previous clients' feedback here: Benson of Broadway recommendation letters.

See a previous holiday chef menu post - click here


11 - 16 August 2009

Last week we cooked for a lady celebrating her 70th birthday at Wellacres. Adam cooked for them on Saturday when her family were there while I was barbecuing in Stroud. Then the family left on the Sunday and Monday, and her friends arrived on Tuesday and I cooked for them on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

It was a week of bistro menus. They chose the Saturday menu but left the rest of the days to me so I tried out a few new bistro dishes.

As always there were different chocolates to go with the coffee & tea each day and different flavour bread rolls, but this time even different shapes for the rolls.


Homemade sundried tomato, olive and basil bakers knot rolls

Asparagus and gruyère tart

You can see more about this on a previous post.

Slow cooked shoulder of pork with lentils, spinach and chorizo......

Pot roasted for 6 hours - like the pork belly. The foil is taken off the top for the last hour so the crackling can crisp up. There is some spinach hiding underneath the pork.
..... and turnip and carrot salad

Cut on the mandolin. Bound with mayonnaise and vinaigrette a bit like coleslaw, but with turnips. Salted over night and then drained the turnips take on a new character - you could just mix them with olive oil and lemon and use them like celariac.

New York vanilla cheesecake with cherries in cherry brandy
I took the cherries raw and whole, and pitted them when I got there. Dropped in a little thickened sugar syrup with a good amount of cherry brandy and cooked for just a couple of minutes till soft (but you don't want them to puree!). I left them to cool naturally while we served the rest of them meal so they could remain at room temperature.

Coffee, tea and handmade white chocolate and blueberry fudge

Homemade onion bread rolls
Smoked chicken and orange salad with orange dressing
Donnington trout fillets in cider and apple sauce with baked cannellini beans, runner beans, broad beans and mangetout

When I was updating a few pages on the website recently I came accross this long forgotten dish, something I did in the months before I started. I thought it was time for a revamp. This is after all a sustainable fish - and in the Cotswolds about the only local fish, although I saw they had eel there as well.
The trout were still alive the morning before we served this. I had picked them up at Donnington on the way the previous evening - you have to let them rest overnight so the bones relax enough to pin bone them. I still can't forget the night I tried to pinbone them a few hours after they had been caught. The fillets are cooked skin side up (you need to scale them for this) so you can eat the crispy skin with a ladle of cider on the tray as well which poaches them from underneath.

Banana tarte tatin with homemade rum and raisin ice cream
After the success of the barbecued bananas recently I thought it would be good to try a banana tarte tatin. I still had some caramel left from cooking apples for tarte tatin and pineapples for the barbecue. All the flavour from cooking those was imparted to the bananas. The combination of this and the rum and raisin ice cream was just pure decadence.

Coffee, tea and handmade chocolate and coconut fudge


I had saved the lamb and lemon tart till the last day - everyone's favourite. Always good to finish on a high note.

Homemade pesto bread rolls
Pearl barley risotto with wild nettles, roasted purple sprouting broccoli, artichokes and nettle pesto

After so many days in the kitchen it was nice to get out in the morning to pick nettles along the river. I found the first blackberries too - just a single bush that was directly in the sunlight, while the rest were still bitter green or still in flower. I sautéed the nettles and used some in the risotto itself and some to make pesto to go with it.

Shoulder of lamb with tabbouleh and grilled vegetables

Exactly the same as this one pictured a couple of months ago.

Glazed lemon tart with raspberries and raspberry sorbet

Coffee, tea and handmade elderflower Turkish delight

There is more on the turkish delight here.

"We have to go home tomorrow" said one guest at the end "and cook our own meals again - it just won't be the same". "Well you'll just have to come back again" I said. One of the other guests was already noting down our details and those of the house to do just that......


Jan said...

Yum - loads of lovely food there! Everything looks so good.

Sam said...

Everything sounds amazing! I really like the sound of the pork shoulder, that's my kind of dish!

James said...

Jan - thanks. I think the nettle risotto was my favourite. Just been out picking more nettles because I'm making it again tomorrow.

Sam - Thanks. You should try the pork shoulder. It's a cut most people pass by - but it's great when it's cooked slow. I came accross a Tanya Ramsey recipe for pearl barley, chorizo and spinach soup, and thought those ingredients would work really well with the pork and just changed the pearl barley for (green) lentils. If you've got any chorizo left it goes really well with the beer baked beans.

Julie said...

There's a whole lot there to like! Where to start??

Maggie said...

Great selection of food!
Wouldn't mind trying something from every plate.

Marta said...

That asparagus and gruyere tart just calls my name! What a nice menu you offered! Really nice presentation and very diverse.
I'm catering a wedding on Saturday. I'm so nervous! It's the biggest event I've done, 50 people! That's a lot for just lonely little me!

James said...

Julie - Thanks. If you only make one thing - probably the rum and raisin ice cream. I used 1.4 litres of cream, 200g caster sugar and rum to taste, and a handful of raisins.

Margaret - Thanks. Maybe a tasting menu?

Marta - It's amazing how just two ingredients (asparagus and gruyere)can taste so amazing together. I did it again a couple of nights ago for myself with left over pastry and courgettes instead of asparagus and that worked well too. 50 people is a nice number actually. Not much more than 30. Won't be long till it's all over and you'll be wondering what you were worrying about. It'll be 150 next time. Good luck and let us know how it went!