At home with Daniel Galmiche
It's not often you get invited to a Michelin-starred chef's home. And when he is going to cook for you too, well that's some experience.
But that's what happened to lucky H&D who were invited by TV chef Daniel Galmiche to his home in Berkshire to get a preview of his private dining experiences which he has just launched.
A glass of beautiful gin and tonic in hand, we chatted with Daniel and his lovely wife Clare. His kitchen is very neat and we tried to spy what utensils, pots and pans and brands a top chef uses.
It was hard to be nosey as Daniel is so entertaining and we laughed a lot as he cooked a three course meal which he had prepped thoroughly.
To start we had a pan roasted turbot, wild mushroom, roasted onion, chargrilled baby leeks and lemongrass infused jus - the flavours worked so well, the lemongrass jus perfect with the meaty turbot. We watched as he grilled the fish and learnt how to test fish for readiness and how not to overcook.
Main was Chicken Basquaise with griddled new potatoes and courgettes - a Basque region dish with a tumble of red peppers and tomatoes surrounding chicken on the bone and giving the dish a real earthy sweetness.
And no secret to the accompaniments, just boiled new potatoes griddled and herb-flavoured raw and thin strips of courgettes put in the griddle pan.
Our wines from Daniel's cellar were amazing - and French of course like our host. We had a debate about the cheeseboard - should we be British and have at the end of the meal or French and have before dessert? Well we had to honour our host and have a la Francaise. In fact, Daniel produced an entente cordiale board with both French and British cheese and some good Scottish oatcakes which we loved.
Our dessert - which by the end of the evening was confirmed as the dessert for this year's Pride of Reading Awards' lunch - was a chilli and lemongrass infused chocolate tart with orange and cardamom salad.
A divine chocolate pastry that was rich and buttery was filled with a thick chocolate delice-like filling which you could practically see your face in it was so glossy and which gave just a hint of heat and lemongrass. The orange and cardamom salad was refreshing and perfect with the tart and the candied orange peel gave a hint of sweetness.
Daniel and the Royal Berkshire Conference chef Allan Townsend worked all day on the Thursday before the Friday event, ensuring the tarts were just perfect for around 320 people. That is a lot of pastry, filling and orange salad to make but the chefs ensured they were all like the ones we had in Daniel's home - just superb.
So as if eating the tart in Daniel's home was not enough, we got to have it a second time at the awards.
As we said before, lucky us! This was a real treat money can't buy we thought. But in fact you can pay for Daniel to come to your home with his private dining service.
If you would like to experience private dining with Daniel or to enquire about prices please email firstname.lastname@example.org and put Galmiche Experience in the subject line.
If you'd like H&D to photograph your food - Michelin star or not! - contact us here at this website on the contact page.