Chef at home
A couple of weeks ago we had a special dinner to celebrate with some friends. Occasions have to be celebrated with amazing food, by my rules, so I was racking my brain trying to figure out how to make an amazing dinner for our friends, after a full day of work… and then one of the guests suggested “hiring a chef to cook in home”.
Amanda and Rick Herrara, owners of North Market Almonte, have just launched the next phase of their business. They have had a food stand at The Almonte Farmers Market in Almonte for several years now, offering breakfast and lunch items. Their focus is to use ingredients that they have grown themselves, or sourced locally. They also sell preserves and sauces and homemade hand-cut pasta.
Amanda has just recently left her employment to become a complete entrepreneur. She has rented a commercial kitchen space and has plans to prepare “pre-ordered take-away” meals for pick-up at her new location, 3 days per week. She is keeping some availability open for the rest of the week to be able to focus on her “in-home chef” side of the business – and that’s what we had hired her for!
She prepared an amazing meal-plan for us, after some consultation about preferences, and then sent us a customized quote based on our wants and needs. Here is how it played out…
I arrived home at 5:00 p.m. to find Amanda already settled into my kitchen, comfortably working away on our dinner. As our friends arrived, and glasses of wine were poured, a fire in the fireplace (okay – it was a gas fire but still you get the idea) – Amanda served up a Charcuterie Board featuring local cheeses from Peche and Poivre (mainstreet Almonte) including Elizabeth Blue from Quebec, Lankaaster Aged Gouda from Ontario and Ash Veined Brie (nutty and dirty – just like one of the guests), with crostini and a home-made fig/cranberry chutney and pickled asparagus previously prepared by Amanda. This plate alone would have made me happy – it was both beautiful and delicious!
Then we moved to the table where she served a Cured Rainbow Trout Arugula Salad with pickled red onion, cucumber and the most delicious lemon-poppy seed vinaigrette I have ever tasted. She cured the rainbow trout herself – using cumin as the feature spice. I can’t wait to try this myself!
Finally, she served us plates of Sage-Butter Mashed Potatoes, Honeyed Carrots, Roasted Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Brussel Sprouts and Apples, with a Whisky-Mustard Gravy.
The dinner was amazing, the experience was even better. I would highly recommend Amanda and this experience. You don’t even need to have a special occasion to hire her! Her contact info is attached. If you do decide to try her out, tell her I sent you!
63 Mill Street Almonte ON