After a long year-plus of not being able to socialize, we invited some close friends over to our new house for a dinner party. The last time I hosted something, I spent hours planning and prepping, and then more time over the stove than with the friends we had invited over. So, this go-around, I decided to hire a chef so I could spend all my time with the friends I've missed so much.
But I didn't just hire any chef. I hired Chef Ken Durbin, the founder of The At Home Chef. He's been voted Best Private Chef in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, and came highly recommended from a friend.
The At Home Chef creates an intimate, in-home dining experiences for everything from date nights to small gatherings like our dinner party. When you dine with them, there's no work for you. Chef Durbin's team does all of the menu prep, shopping, cooking and even cleaning.
All you have to do is set your table and they do the rest. I told him I wanted something summery but hearty, and he came up with the most amazing menu: Share cheeseboard and Blistered Shishitto peppers with whipped goat cheese for appetizer, Heirloom Tomato salad with Burrata and Reduced Balsamic Glaze for the first course, a wild mushroom risotto with Braised short rib and asparagus tips for the second course, and a Grand Marnier Crème brûlée with berries for dessert. So amazing.
Then, afterwards, they left my kitchen even cleaner than when they arrived. I almost cried when I walked in my kitchen, which is usually a mess and hours of work to clean up after a dinner party, and it was absolutely spotless. I couldn't believe it!
"If you use your china, we clean it, polish it, and put it away. We take the garbage out and everything," Durbin says. "It's like we were never there, the only things that remain after your dinner party are the memories made."
Chef Durbin's mantra is "Enjoy Life," which really hit home for me after the past year. "After a year of not getting to be around people we care about, I love that my work allows people to get together, celebrate again, enjoy life, just soak it all in even more," he told me.
Since he first started cooking dinners at the homes of his clients in 2014, Durbin has never repeated a menu. “I print it out, and they get to keep it,” he says. “Everything is unique to the client, and their needs and wants. The one-of-a-kind menu differentiates me, and it makes it feel personal to the client. There are no limits.”
With The At Home Chef, all I had to do was give a few ideas I had and Chef Ken ran with it, came up with an incredible menu, did all the shopping, prepping, cooking and cleaning at the party. It was the easiest, most enjoyable, definitely the most delicious, and memorable dinner party because I was able to actually spend time with our friends. I’ll never host a dinner party without The At Home Chef now! Highly recommended.