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6 reasons The Kitchen Secret will change your life

I’ve always dreamed about being that woman at the dinner party who swans around with a Dirty Martini frolicking with the guests because all of the cooking has been done by a private chef. And I really did think it was just a dream, because how could I afford someone to come round and cook roast chicken & rice for my guests (and Yotam Ottolenghi’s chicken yah, not just any foodie fair here)?

Well that was before The Kitchen Secret, brainchild of the scrumptious Tash Perkins, who comes to your kitchen, chops, dices, steams, stirs, whisks, frys and roasts you up a storm with only the freshest ingredients. Oh and did I mention she does all the food shopping too (calm down Mudsters, I can hear the excited screams from here)! Basically The Kitchen Secret is a cooking service used by busy couples, young professionals and families who want something healthier, less expensive and more satisfying than takeaways, ready made foods and cupboard scratchings. Tash’s glowing skin is testament to her good cooking, and there are no unnecessary sugars, salts, gums, preservatives in sight; but it’s not all health-nut food. I had some delish banana bread and chocolate chip cookies too; the kids keep asking when she’s coming back, and I think it’ll probably be in the run up to Christmas! Which is why part of me doesn’t want to tell you about The Kitchen Secret, because once it’s out, she might not be available for me (doh, occupational hazard of having to write about what I try)!

Six reasons why The Kitchen Secret is your secret weapon for 2017 (or Xmas 2016 if she’s not booked up)!

2a3df984-f7d3-4bf9-9c56-ef6b86456a4c1) Goodbye hassle

The Kitchen Secret – also known as Natasha Perkins – isn’t the type of chef you keep tucked away for special dining occasions (although she does do that). No…this lady will cook you up a storm for the whole week, taking away the hassle and time it takes to plan, shop and cook for your weekly family food (or whatever the make-up of your family is; she has single clients, working parents, professional couples *insert your family here). I used her dishes to feed the kids, the hubby and for a dinner party. I also had some left over for a casual supper with an old friend. The point is, I didn’t have to cook once that week!

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All the shopping done while I finished some work on the laptop

2) You know it’s all home cooked and fresh (and caters to allergies, intolerances, food preferences)

Tash is a big advocate of home cooked, fresh food and believes that is the answer to healthy family eating (and making sure that no unnecessary sugar, salts, preservatives or unwanted ingredients slip into your mealtimes). She tailors a menu to suit your family food preferences (you fill in a questionnaire beforehand). She then plans your food shop, goes and gets it (I know right!? No more battling in the supermarket aisles) and cooks and prepares it all (we opted for four evening meals and two healthy sweet treats for pudding or after school). Each will serve around 8 people (sometimes, we made two meals out of one serving), and every single thing she made was delicious – she also does side dishes like crushed potatoes and brocolli with orange and hazelnuts.

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Hands off the sweet treats Grand Muddy!

3) She’ll work to your budget and taste requirements

Ingredients and cost? You can tell her where you like to source your ingredients. She can go to Aldi for those with many mouths to feed, or Waitrose and local butchers for those who want to guarantee ingredients’ quality. Any carrots leftover from a soup or any apples from a crumble are left in your fridge and she often comes stocked with homegrown herbs and spices too. The ratatouille she made, amounted to about 16 portions, so great as a side or main meal!

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Bloody Mary beef brisket, Ottolenghi chicken and various sides

4) It’ll work with staples you already have in your cupboards

Tash will do the lion’s share of the food so what you have to do to get the meal on the table is kept to a minimum. You may have to boil some pasta or rice, but she makes sure no chopping, mixing or assembling will ever be needed.

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The most delicious pesto turkey burgers with pine nut, fresh basil and parmesan

5) No more fretting over the shop or cooking after you’ve been on holiday

Saint Natasha (as I have now dubbed her) can come to your house while you’re on holiday so that you arrive home ready to go for the working week ahead. Everything is labelled, frozen and stacked neatly in the freezer ready for you to come home with your cheap Spanish plonk and pretend you’re still on hols.

d551151b-04a8-480f-a02b-98b05182177c6) She even washes up

Tash uses a combination of your kitchen equipment and hers. She can bring knives, boards and freezer trays but it helps her if she can use things like your food processor, pots and pans. She will always take great care of your kitchen and as you can see above, no reason for kids to have a mahoosive argument about who’s loading the dish washer! It’s all done.

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So there you have it, The Kitchen Secret! The cost for shopping and her time to cook four huge main meals, sides and two sweet treats was £100. Ingredients are on top, but mine came in at £47 quid. Yes, £47!!! I kid you not, I would have spent three times that if I’d have gone shopping! There’s a mileage fee applicable if further than 20 miles away, but hey, what price delicious convenience?

The Kitchen Secret

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