Chef Louisa Ellis, from Wollaton, launched her ‘Heat at Home’ service through her website in 2020 to continue cooking through lockdown.
Louisa, 26, was working from home and cooking at private dinner parties when the UK first went into lockdown in March 2020. Sadly, Covid-19 meant she had to stop the private dining services she offered and find an alternative.
The chef, from Wollaton, decided to use the time in lockdown to experiment with a new business venture and offer ‘meals from home’, making fresh pasta and sauces every morning from her home kitchen.
Louisa, who won ‘Masterchef: The Professionals Christmas Special in 2020’, quickly noticed a gap in the market and utilised her experience as a private chef to offer fine dining at home.
“At the beginning there wasn’t many options to have fine dining takeaways… I decided to do it and it expanded from there into what it is now.”
Almost a year on, Louisa now provides weekly five course ‘Heat at Home’ menus, available for delivery in and around the Nottinghamshire area.
Consisting of a bread course, starter, main, dessert and sweet treat; the menus run between £35-£37 per person, depending on whether you chose the meat or vegetarian option.
To further expand on what she can offer her customers, Louisa has teamed up with independent baker, Amy’s Bakes, to offer celebration cakes alongside the menu.
“A lot of the time people are ordering for special occasions like birthdays, as they can’t go out to celebrate…
“I’m a small business myself, so I wanted to hire different companies in the same situation as me…it’s great to be able to support other businesses. I’d tried her cakes before and she ordered a menu from me so it was just a perfect match for us.”
Wine pairings and a cheese board can also be added to orders.
Whilst the heat at home option isn’t quite the same as having Louisa cook for you in real life, the alternative option still provides great flavours and a fine dining experience within your own home.
She promises the reheating process isn’t too complicated either…
“You don’t actually have to do anything stressful, it is just putting things in the oven at the right time. You can just sit back and relax whilst everything cooking, it takes away the stress you’d have if you were doing it yourself.”
As for the future, Louisa is keen to get back in peoples kitchens but would like to continue the home deliveries alongside other commitments.
“I would definitely consider building a team in the future. I know what it takes and I’ve built a base now, so growing it from here will be a lot easier. Having to do it all myself has set a good benchmark.”
For now, if you want to try Louisa’s incredible menu, you’ll have to keep an eye on her Instagram for when they become available. Be warned: you’ll have to act fast to get your hands on a Heat at Home experience like no other before they sell out.
By Dolores Hancock