I like to think of myself as a dab hand in the kitchen but I’m under no illusions that my meals are no where near “gourmet” standard. I’m really missing dining out and celebrating special occasions with beautiful meals. I’m no stranger to meal kits now and have been using the time in lockdown to broaden my horizons and what better way to complete a year of lockdown with fine dining at home?
I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to try out Haworth@home – from the renowned chef Nigel Haworth winner and judge from the Great British menu.
“Each week a new five course menu for two of draws on Nigel’s 20 years holding a Michelin Star and his passion for the finest, ethically produced ingredients, packaged and delivered nationwide for you to finish and plate at home
The box arrived packed full of fresh ingredients, insulated and chilled for delivery and complete with a handwritten note and an instruction booklet. At first glance I have to admit I was overwhelmed with the descriptions of the meals. How on earth would I be able to create a citrus sauce? Then Irealised that all of the hard work had been done. The meat, fish, vegetables had been prepared already using a “sous vide” cooking method.
So all I had to do was follow the instructions.
Each week a new menu is created and you can register to be alerted as to when order slots are open – only a limited number are available on a first come first served basis and these are delivered on a Friday by courier. I have to say that the packaging for these is second to none in terms of quality and everything was very clearly labelled – I popped everything in to the fridge ready for when I was ready to start cooking.
The bread and hummus eased me in gently. All I had to do was pop the bread in the oven for six minutes before we could dive in. The bread was fluffy with the butter melting in to the air pockets. I spread copious amounts of the lightest hummus ever on top of my torn off chunks and was delighted with the slight hint of heat lingering. The best thing about preparing all of this at home was that I could space out the preparation and so I didn’t mind that full up bread feeling, and waited a little while before preparing the fish dish.
The Dorset Char was roasted in the oven with the fennel it’s balanced on and served with wild garlic Mayo, I couldn’t resist taste testing this first of all and it was incredible. The flavours of each individual component really shine in this dish and the quality of the ingredients is second to none. I began delicately trying each part separately. Putting it all together for a “fork-full” however is a bit of a taste sensation, the citrus sauce was a delight.
Then it came to preparing the main course, I followed the instructions to the letter, carefully basting the beef as it sizzled in the pan. I have to say I usually shy away from cooking beef at home like this as I’m no expert but after preparing and tasting the Char I found my new found culinary confidence, and I was delighted to slice the meat apart and reveal a perfectly cooked pink interior. The attention to detail with the preparation of the carrots didn’t go unnoticed. There’s absolutely no shortcuts taken here. It really is gourmet quality food.
Arranging everything on the plate is an art form in itself and so I was pleased to have the instructions available to give me step by step guidance. I only wish I knew how to replicate the bordelaise sauce. I’ve never tasted anything so beautifully rich in all my life. At this stage we were feeling quite full and so we paused and decided to come back to our dessert. That’s the best thing about preparing these meals at home, in a relaxed environment you can take your time.
The caramel sauce nearly didn’t make it on to the plate – I had to take a little sample again as later on I began preparing the final course and oh my gosh I just wasn’t expecting it to be so good. Carefully balancing all of the components together again following the guide and creating this beautiful dish was quite literally the icing on the cake. The coffee flavour in the sponge and the texture of the aero chocolate and the juices flowing from the pear were a delight.
I really enjoyed the entire process, from opening the parcel as it arrived to plating the food – never mind devouring it all. This is the ideal meal kit to order for a special occasion or as a gift for another couple. I almost forgot that the box also included artisan chocolates, as I had put these to one side. I opened the little box to find four chocolates with the most beautiful shine on them. I popped one in to my mouth, crunched down and let the caramel ooze out.
The meal kit was kindly gifted for the purposes of the review however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.