There is a chef who cooks at my place!

By Margherita Nasi

Posted today at 6:00 p.m.

With the Kuhns, the years pass with panache. In 2020, Thierry celebrated his 60th birthday with his wife, son, and mother at Jules Verne, the starred restaurant perched on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. A year later, the family reunites to celebrate Madame in a more familiar setting: a small flower-bedecked house located in Châtillon, south-west of Paris. In the shade of a tree of champagne flutes, the silver cutlery rests on embroidered napkins. “It’s a legacy service, I never take it out”, says Florence Kuhn. For her birthday, the sixty-year-old donned a blue dress, a crystal necklace and called in a chef at home via the La Belle Assiette platform.

“Can’t we go out because of the confinement?” The restaurant is moving! At first, we thought of renting a hotel room to take advantage of the catering service. But it was complicated. With the chef at home, we put our feet under the table, without stressing about transport. Despite the epidemic, even my very old mother can participate ”, rejoices Thierry Kuhn.

Chef Nacer Aouni (center) brought to the Kuhn family all the ingredients (left) and utensils needed to prepare a restaurant-worthy meal.

Three suitcases overflowing with food and utensils transform the home’s stoves into a gastronomic laboratory. In a kitchen jacket and black apron, Nacer Aouni pulls out a rib of Simmental beef. “It must temper three quarters of an hour before cooking”, explains the chef, while preparing the accompaniment to the centerpiece of the meal: caramelized onions, zucchini duo, piquillos, eggplant caviar, siphon potato and its thyme juice.

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Enticed by the smell, the guests regularly pass their heads around the room. “We are reconnecting with tradition. In the past, large families had a person in charge of the kitchen ”, recalls Monique Kuhn, the grandmother. “This is an initially expensive and confidential service. But it has become more democratic in recent years, especially with the coronavirus ”, specifies Nacer Aouni.

While a chef at residence follows silver guests as part of an upscale stay, the chef at home targets, for a meal, a more varied clientele. On the Belle Assiette, the menus start at 39 euros per person, and climb to several hundred euros for the more elaborate. ” We always meet new people, it’s very convivial ”, continues the chef. Barely has time to serve some gourmet pieces for the aperitif – crispy shrimp, artichoke cream, salmon gravelax, tsatsiki and mango – when it is called for in the dining room: “Are you coming to drink with us?” “

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