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Personalized Attention of a Personal Chef

I first have to say that I love being a personal chef. I recently was hired by a lady in California, whose parents live in Phoenix, and she wanted to give them a lovely anniversary gift. They were celebrating 48 years of marriage, which is impressive in its own right. So there is nothing more fitting for a gift than to treat them to an intimate dinner, with their meals cooked on-site in their own kitchen, and served to them at their dining room table.

The daughter called me and requested an Italian-themed evening. I worked with her on the menu selection, from appetizers, to entree and sides, dessert, and even an aperitif to enjoy with their hors d’oeuvres. She then reached back out to ask if we could add two more people, as the parents wanted to enjoy this special occasion with their close friends.

Day of the Dinner

I arrived at their home, and was greeted with warmth and excitement. The hostess showed me around her kitchen, we talked about the set up, she showed me where they were going to have their appetizers and aperitif, and where they planned to have their dinner and dessert.

The dinner table was set with lovely dishware that they wanted to use.

I completed the hors d’oeuvres and got them ready for when their guests arrived. Once they did, they sat in the living room and I brought over the trays of charcuterie board and Caprese bruschetta.

Caprese bruschetta with fresh mozzarella, sliced tomato, fresh basil leaves, with pesto spread on artisanal sourdough bread, drizzled with a balsamic reduction

While they enjoyed their appetizers along with a Negroni aperitif, a tasty drink made with gin, campari and sweet vermouth, I proceeded to make their entrée.

Making pasta carbonara requires accuracy in the steps, so it has to be served hot, to preserve the flavor and texture. For those of you who haven’t had carbonara before, it’s a rich, creamy dish made mostly with pancetta (bacon bits) and lots of parmesan cheese, tossed in spaghetti. One of the guests told me that they have had pasta carbonara before several times, but never this good. Mine was light and flavorful, not too heavy or too creamy. Also, it had the perfect amount of garlic. That’s always good to hear.

Pasta carbonara, made of tossed spaghetti in parmesan and pancetta, an Italian cubed bacon, topped with shredded parmesan and fresh parsley.

As everyone was enjoying this savory dish, I topped off their wines (yeah, they switched to red wine, a very appropriate beverage to accompany this delicious Italian meal). While they competed their dinner, I was getting their dessert ready. I cleared the dinner table and told them they are in for a treat with the dessert: A home-made chocolate mousse with fresh whipped cream, topped with fresh strawberry.

While they were having their dessert, I overheard multiple “mmmm”, “mmmm”, “this is so good” coming from the dining room.

When everyone was nice and full, I cleared the table, cleaned the kitchen counter and did the dishes, and headed out, leaving them to enjoy the rest of their lovely evening, that is sure to be one to remember.

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