Best Private Chef Services & Caterers in London
Not ready to eat out at restaurants yet? Bring the dining out experience to you with one of London’s many private chef services. Whether you’re looking to organise a special date night, a family reunion or even a small wedding reception, these catering companies will do the hard work for you. And with experience cooking for everyone from Michelle Obama to Kate Moss, you’ll know you’re in good hands.
Peapod & Co
Peapod & Co is the Net-a-Porter of canapés, delivering ribbon-tied boxes of immaculately turned out morsels to the door. Previously at Rocket Food and Rhubarb, Henrietta Russell launched her boutique catering company last year to bring creative, seasonal menus to Hampshire, London, Surrey and beyond. Ballymaloe trained, she combines her love of flavour with a stylist’s approach to presentation. The canape selection includes salt-baked cauliflower and roast quince; asparagus roll, cured egg and lemon mayo; beef cheek croquette and Comte and truffle toastie. Each is a work of art and, almost, too chic to devour. Peapod also offers accompanying wine and champagne from Maisons Marques et Domaines. Canapes cost around £1.90 each, peapodandco.com
Sophie Wright Catering
Aged just 20 years old, Hackney-born Sophie Wright became head chef at stylish Notting Hill restaurant Beach Blanket Babylon. Not long after she turned to private catering, opening up her own company – which quickly came onto the radar of royals and A-listers aplenty. Sophie Wright Catering has upheld its esteemed reputation for over ten years, with top-quality food, knowledgeable chefs and beautiful table arrangement a given. Events are tailored to clients’ preferences, but an example menu could include pan seared scallops to start, a miso glazed sea bream main and vanilla panacotta with peach and basil salsa to finish. sophiewrightcatering.co.uk
Claude Bosi, Skye Gyngell and Jackson Boxer are all among the star-studded roster of chefs available to hire with new private dining concept APT, born just a few weeks ago as a response to the pandemic. Dinners will take place in an apartment at Bethnal Green’s Town Hall Hotel, with the option to cater for up to 10 guests. Minimum spend of £800. townhall.com
Gigi Hadid, David Attenborough and Hilary Clinton are all among the clientele of London caterer Social Pantry, founded in 2011 by Alex Head. Seasonal, fresh food is the core focus: an example menu could include whipped ricotta to start followed by roasted sea bass, with a dark chocolate mousse for dessert. Aside from the impeccable food, the business has a social conscience: Alex works closely with London prisons, charities and enterprises to recruit ex-offenders both from behind bars and on release. socialpantry.co.uk
Rose & Food
Sustainability is at the core of Rose & Food: free range meats are sourced from local butchers, while fruit and vegetables are hand-picked from local grocers and growers. Headed up by private chef Sophie Rose, the company caters for everything from boutique weddings to intimate dinners – they’ll do afternoon tea, canapés, sit down meals or whatever you’re after. Presentation is also a key focus, so you can expect Instagram-worthy creations. roseandfood.co.uk
The Hampstead Kitchen
You know you’re in good hands with private chef Saima Khan, who has cooked for the royal family and the Obamas in her time. Her most recent initiative is Social Bubbling: an evolution of her catering company The Hampstead Kitchen which offers a bespoke food delivery service for the age of social distancing. This involves personalised platters featuring international flavours – Persian banquets, Mediterranean feasts, Nordic smorgasbords – all plated up on grand silver mezze platters. There are no set menus, though you can pick from Saima’s selection of signature dishes, such as ‘The Obama Dip’, a creamy yoghurt dip with rose petals named after the former first lady, who claimed it as her favourite after a catered event at The White House. Guests can also pick a theme, such as date night, celebration, garden, surprise or Sunday roast. From £350. thehampsteadkitchen.co.uk
By Word of Mouth
Family-run caterer By Word of Mouth may have been around since the 1970s, but it’s by no means behind the times. Menus are seasonal, ingredients are responsibly sourced and food presentation is key. Having decades of experience has also earned the brand a trustworthy reputation, so you can guarantee restaurant-style dining – whether it’s a party, wedding, event or simple dinner. In fact, the company prides itself on flexibility: their chefs have cooked everywhere from tiny boutiques in Bond Street to a marquee 1800m above sea level in the snowy Alps. bywordofmouth.co.uk
Since being founded six years ago, West London catering company George’s Kitchen has built up a base of long-standing clients. And while a commitment to outstanding cuisine has always been fundamental to the brand, in the past couple of years sustainability has an become increasingly important part of their ethos. ‘We endeavour to work with suppliers who are focused on sustainability as an issue, founder George Rouse tells C&TH. ‘To save waste we tell all our suppliers not to bother wrapping anything, and we donate food we don’t use to a homeless charity in London.’ Menus are highly dependent on the seasons, but previous dishes have included homemade potato gnocchi with purple sprouting broccoli, pigeon breast with haggis scotch egg, slow roasted pork belly with black pudding, and a rhubarb and custard tart. georgeskitchen.co.uk
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