Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Night Chef

I always try to support local businesses whenever I can and the yoga studio I go to is no exception.  She's a one woman show running her business and she does a fantastic job of keeping her fellow yogis aware of people and places in Wichita to support.  About a month ago, I noticed a new business card at the studio entitled, "One Night Chef." I was so excited at the possibility of having a chef come to my house!  However, I also knew a private chef = $. 

I looked up One Night Chef's website when I got home and I was beyond impressed.  Chef Surya has a heart for giving back, particularly in Nepal, and only charges for the cost of food.  (Initially, it's a VERY affordable evening)  Anything he "earns" beyond that is donated to Nepal and furthering education for children there.  It's up to you, the diner, to donate what you can. I could not wait to find an occasion to book him.  Well, actually, by now I didn't even need an occasion-I was set on booking him.  I was about to make a reservation for the following week to celebrate the third Friday of the month or something ridiculous, but then I came up with the perfect didn't think it would take me more than a few minutes to figure out a legitimate way to get him to my house, did you?  :) My dear friend Katie O was coming to Wichita in June with her husband and they were staying at our house.  PERFECT.  She loves food and cooking like I do so I knew she would be interested.  I sent her the information and we started picking our three course meal.  

One Night Chef offers an incredible selection of food ranging from well known appetizers like hummus to one called Momo.  (Although we didn't choose this dish I asked him about this while he was cooking and he explained it is a very prodominant dish in Nepal, commonly knows as Nepalese ravioli.)  For entrees you can choose from salmon, lamb, pork, shrimp, risotto and many others.  As for dessert, it appears there is no wrong choice, but I am a bit biased to the banana flambe.  Can you see why?!

Last Friday night was the big night for us.  I have to admit, as it got closer I was a little nervous because I had never used One Night Chef and now I was having out of town guests to try him out.  What if the food was not good?  What if he was socially akward and it ruined the evening?  Turns out, there was nothing to be nervous about.  Everything was visually stunning on our plate and equally delicious.  Furthermore, it was a pleasure getting to talk with Chef Surya all evening about food, restaurants, his life growing up in Nepal, and his passion for furthering education for children there.

Our first dish was the vegetable medley.  It was a wonderful combination of green and white asparagus, zuchhini and baby carrots.  He soaked these in a sugar bath (which i believe was honey water) and some fresh herbs.  He then sauteed them and served them alongside a sauce made of sweet peas, honey, and cream.  As you can see below, the presentation of the sauce adds so much to a simple dish of vegetables.  He was off to an impressive start.

Our main course was salmon with watercress salad.  The salad was topped with chopped oranges and a light vinegarette.  I love salad and this was no exception.  However, in my opinion, the salmon stole the show!  First off, I know a chef is not going to bring over frozen farm raised salmon (thank goodness, I hope you all know to stay away from that farm raised junk), but he went above and beyond.  He went to the local seafood shop and purchased fresh salmon.  He simply pan cooked them, but was able to get the crispiest outside layer, but oh so tender on the inside.  It was a spectacular piece of fish!  He topped it with an orange marmalade sauce and scattered a few shallots around the plate as well.  One bite of shallot with the fish and I was in love.  As I ate my fish I was already thinking of when I could book him again...Flag Day maybe?

I love how he put the orange marmalade sauce inside the shallots as well as drizzles it on the plate.

I am not a big dessert person, but I must say, watching him prepare the banana flambe was entertaining. 

Possibly the most impressive presentation of the night.  He used baby bananas to flambe with a cinnamon stick and pistachio's and then served them over butter pecan ice cream.  The dish was finished with a drizzle of chocolate.  Remember earlier when I said I was not big on dessert?  Well, I still ate every last bite.  It tasted as good as it looked.  And, I think it was all Katie could do to hold back from licking her bowl clean! 
Speaking of Katie, I have to credit her with giving Chef Surya the finest compliment of the night. I may have gone on and on about the delicious salmon, but at the end of our night Katie mentioned how she enjoyed everything coming full circle in the meal. For instance, our sweet pea sauce was served in an orange and then later the inside of the orange was chopped in our salad and we had orange marmalade salmon. Chef Surya was extrememly touched she noticed this. Good work, friend!  If I haven't convinced you to quit reading my blog and go visit One Night Chef's website here are Katie's notes from the night: "I loved everything about it! The main thing that was great was how flavors, colors, and ingredients were carried throughout all 3 dishes! Very impressive and so enjoyable. Plus for a great cause!"

I am looking forward to getting a group of people together to invite Chef Surya into our home again.  I may have decided against Flag Day, but Christmas in July is a real possibility.  (Yes, I am that girl who recognizes Jesus' half birthday each year, please don't quit reading my blog because of it)   As much as I enjoy dining out, I have this saying above my kitchen table:

Isn't that such a true statement?  We had an evening filled with remarkable food, but more importantly, a relaxing evening catching up with one of my closest friends.  Thanks for visiting Moses and Katie!

Katie wanted to make sure the pic of us enjoying our meal got posted.  You know, for all 3 of my followers.  :)
I hope you can check out One Night Chef's website and book him soon.

P.S.  If you are still debating if you want to book him I should also mention he cleaned up everything AND did the dishes. 


  1. Fun fun fun!!! I want to book him too!! :)

  2. You had me at the appetizer but he does all the dishes???? I wish I could afford him every meal!!!


I'd love to hear your comments!