Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

La Belle Assiette

Cooking for guests is wonderful. Standing together in the kitchen, drinking a glass of wine and putting the finishing touches on individual courses together. But, in all honesty, if you have a lot of guests and are planning several elaborate courses, the stress on the host can be great. And the focus shifts, away from the guests, to the stove and oven, with beads of sweat on their foreheads trying to avert the very big disaster.

At least, that’s how I always feel in the last few moves of a menu. The timing must be just right, all components must be finished at the same time and distributed to the preheated plates. It would be ideal to have a professional in the kitchen to help with these steps and lower the stress level. Or, and this is the principle of La Belle Assiette, why not hand over the scepter to a professional who will take care of everything completely and all culinary matters. This gives the host time to devote himself exclusively and, above all, completely relaxed to his guests and to spend the evening with them in their own four walls, while everything in the kitchen takes its firmly planned course.

We recently invited some friends over to host just such a dinner. I was happy to hand over command of the stove to Marcel Weiland, who was our cook that evening. Using the online platform, we were able to select the five-course menu in advance and incorporate one or two special requests.

Explanation of the first course

La Belle Assiette is a startup from France that has now also gained a strong foothold in England and is also striving for internationalization in Germany via Hamburg. The cost of such an evening is comparable to a menu in a good restaurant. Whereby the range is quite large based on the chefs and menus available for selection.

In the run-up to the evening, I had exchanged ideas with Lukas, the German head of the platform, and arranged to have dinner at our place. In addition to the chef, Lukas and our guests, we had a visit from a photographer from the Hamburger Abendblatt who was able to take pictures of our evening for an article about the company. The detailed report can be found here (and via Google search also for free).

A total of five courses found their way to our table. Marcel always explained products and preparation to us from the open kitchen. Of course, we didn’t miss the opportunity to look over the professional’s shoulder on a regular basis to maybe learn a trick or two.

We started with small amuse gueule in the form of a fresh couscous with roasted pancetta.

Amuse Gueule

For the first course, Marcel served a great beef tartare, freshly cut with a sharp knife in front of our eyes, accompanied by a breaded and crispy fried oyster seedling.

Beef tartar / oyster saitling / truffle mayo / watercress salad
truffled herb soup / wholemeal soy crumble

The preparation of the herbal soup immersed the kitchen and dining room in an intense scent of herbs. An astonishing number of local herbs found their way into the blender – and then onto our plates or glasses, along with an extremely full and crisp crumple. Because even the dishes for the individual courses are brought by the rental chef.

Sea bass / salsiccia / vanilla carrot / Schupfnudel

The sea bass was a bit more complex and caused slight irritation for some guests. The pureed carrots turned out a little too sweet. On the other hand, this slight sweetness haromoned well with the strong salsiccia and the fish. But exactly these small questions and suggestions can be discussed very well in such a private setting. And in the end, both sides benefit. After all, where else can a chef get such immediate feedback on new creations, some of which can be implemented right in the kitchen next door?

Chocolate cube / almond earth / blackberry spuma

The culinary treat concluded with a great dessert of liquid chocolate cake and an almond soil.

It’s always fascinating to see the range of new companies and startups that are identifying and meaningfully filling new gaps in the food and hospitality space. La Belle Assiette combines online and offline experience very well and is a perfect alternative for small and large invitations. Either if you can not / do not like to cook yourself – or if you want to give your guests the full attention on a special evening without inviting to a restaurant, but rather seek the private atmosphere of their own four walls.

Rental chef Marcel Weiland in action

All photos are from Mira Cécile / La Belle Assiette

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