Tuesday, April 5, 2016

On the Market: Chef's Plate

Chef inspired meals at home with Chef's Plate



Recently I was able to try out the popular meal service, Chef's Plate.

As a foodie and homecook, I was so intrigued by their business model of restaurant meals in the comfort of your own home.

For a fee, the company delivers all the ingredients to prepare a gourmet meal at home. The package also comes with an illustrated and easy to follow recipe. 

The packages are available in 2 person ($49.80/week for 2 meals) or 4 person plans (87.60/week for 2 meals) and the price per plate works out to a very affordable $10.95. 


You can choose whether you'd like two or three meals delivered per week and you have the option of skipping any week or putting your service on hold/cancelling at any time. Currently, they deliver across Ontario- pretty amazing!


I thought I'd share my thoughts on this gourmet food delivery service here on the blog, in case any of you chefs at home were interested in giving it a try.



Overall Chef's Plate was:

  • delicious
  • easy to prepare
  • innovative
  • afforadable
  • fun

Below, I share more about my experience with the service.

The Chef's Plate Experience

What I love about Chef's Plate is that it's a great way to spice up your routine if you are in a cooking rut. Let's face it, after awhile we can all start to feel bored with our rolodex of go-to recipes. Chef's Plate provides six new meal choices each week so that you can mix it up in your own kitchen.

Recently I was able to test out the service and I wanted to share my thoughts. On my delivery day, I received two meals from Chef's Plate that I had previously chosen from their website.


Placing an order

The website was easy to navigate and the choices were great. They typically have vegetarian and meat entrees available to choose from. They change the options each week and I liked that they had interesting combinations to choose from. It's all about thinking outside-the-box so your everyday pasta and casseroles were thankfully not on the list!

I decided to go with:

1) Roasted Pork Tenderloin over heirloom purple potatoes, pears and figs

and

2) Glazed Chicken Quarter over spinach and red rice with apricots and almonds

I ordered dinner portions to serve two people.
My order arrived on time and was packaged nicely in a box with ice packs to ensure that my produce and meat stayed fresh. 



Delivery

Something I love about this service is the way that everything comes pre-measured and nicely packaged with labels. 

This makes it very easy for new cooks or people that don't have a lot of time to look up recipes and grocery shop before they prep the food.

If you ask me, this is a big reason why we tend to gravitate towards the same recipes over and over, getting bored and eating uninspired foods.





We cook what we know because it's quick, easy and we don't have to think too much. Chef's Plate does all the thinking for you, so it becomes quick and easy to prepare new exciting meals at home without the planning and over-thinking. 


Ingredients

All the ingredients I received were fresh and I only got the amount that I would need for each meal. The meat was also locally sourced, which is very important to me. 



Each set of ingredients are separated into large ziplock bags. This is great because it means that consumers can try ingredients that they usually don't buy, without having to purchase a large amount of it.

In my case, this was a good way for me to try cooking red rice at home without buying a big bag. The great thing is, in the event that you don't like an ingredient, you won't have any extras that you don't know what to do with. 

Personally, when I cook, I love having leftovers of the finished product and meal prep is a huge part of my life. After spending time and energy in the kitchen, I like to know that my efforts will result in at least two complete meals.

So next time I order, I would probably choose a meal for four people to ensure that there's enough left over for lunch the next day. 

The serving sizes were great and we were definitely satisfied with what we ate, but this is a case where when you order for two, you will be getting an exact portion for two. So take this into consideration when you place your order (if you like leftovers as I do).



Cooking

As a major food nerd, I really enjoyed setting out all the ingredients and starting the cooking process for my Chef's Plate meal. I found the recipe cards to be helpful and informative. The front of the card displays a photo of the finished product as well as a description of the dish, cooking tips and information on the level of difficulty, prep time and calories per serving. I thought the addition of this info was a nice touch, as so many of us are conscious about what we consume these days. 


In case you were curious, the Roasted Pork Tenderloin came in at 560 calories per serving and the Glazed Chicken Quarter was at 495 calories per serving. 

The back of the recipe card, showcases a list of the ingredients you need, as well as a list of the things you will need to provide at home and the instructions to make the dish.

In my case, for my first recipe I would need to provide things like a measuring cup, knife, cutting board, salt and pepper, a medium pot etc. They were all things that most people would have access to in their kitchens on any given day.






Instructions

The instructions were pretty easy to follow but I did feel the need to look a few things up online. I think this would probably be the norm for most people who are looking to the service to try new dishes that they don't normally cook. 

For example, I don't normally cook pork so I decided to look up what the internal temperature would be of the finished meat and what it should look like when its cooked through. 






I think it would have been helpful if the recipe card had included these few notes. It would have made the process just a little bit easier for new cooks or those who are not familiar with the ingredient. Even if you are, I think we can all sometimes use a reminder. 


Plus- knowing what you want the finished protein to look like in terms of colour and texture would also help with any differences in cooking time/temperature on different stoves and ovens. The card did walk me through the rest of the prep in simple terms and I feel most people would have no big problems working through the recipe. I loved that the card also gave plating suggestions for those really looking for the restaurant experience!






Taste

I really enjoyed both my meals prepared with Chef's Plate. For me, it was a chance to try some new recipes without the hassle of searching online and doing the grocery shopping. With a busy schedule, I'm sure that a lot of homecooks would love to be able to mix it up in the kitchen from time to time.




It was a great chance to get out of my comfort zone and try some new flavours. Some I loved- like the onion sauce and orange glaze. I will definitely use these in my kitchen. Others, I was able to try and realize I'm not a fan of- like the sherry vinegar. Either way, it was great to test out some new tastes in my kitchen and learn what works for me. 


Overall Experience

Overall, I really enjoyed working with Chef's Plate. Both the meals were innovative, different and easy to prepare. They also tasted delicious and made dinner time a little more special. 

I would use the service again as a way to mix up my usual fare in the kitchen and to learn something new from time to time. For me, once a month would be perfect- but this is a great service for those who don't have time to run to the grocery store. Everything arrives at your home and you can quickly get to the fun part- cooking!

I also think that Chef's Plate would make for a great date night. It would be really fun to work with your significant other to prepare a meal that is new and different for both of you.

You can make a whole evening of it by setting the table beautifully, putting on some music and perhaps even some candlelight! I think it would be a great way to spend some quality time together away from the tv screen.


This would also be such a fun activity to share with some girlfriends. Since the recipe is new to everyone, it would be an affordable way to hang out and enjoy a meal plus you'd get a self-directed cooking class. 

I am also a huge advocate of getting kids into the kitchen and feel Chef's Plate recipes can easily be read by a younger child who can then get involved by helping to direct the dinner process.

All in all, I really enjoyed my experience and can't wait to cook with them again!
If you want to find out more, read how Chef's Plate works by clicking the link. As a reader of this blog, you can even try your first two meals for free- let them know I sent you over and enjoy your experience!

Thanks so much to Chef's Plate for sending me some delicious meals to try out! As always all views and opinions are my own. 







3 comments:

  1. The food looked delicious - you have such great photos to show, thanks! I've been trying to lose weight for some time now and the 3 Day Military diet helped a lot. It's low carb and offers inexpensive food that can be sourced easily in your local store. Sugar was not permitted for 3 days so I was detoxed and lost my sugar cravings. I've learned portion control, calorie counting and to incorporate exercise in my daily grind. If you need to lose weight, why not follow this link and see how the military can help: http://3daysmilitarydiet.com/diet-plan/military-diet-day-2.html

    ReplyDelete