MOM REVIEW: CHEF'S PLATE
PRODUCT REVIEWED ON: SEPTEMBER 1, 2016
PRICE WHEN REVIEWED: $49.80 (TWO RECIPES PER WEEK + DELIVERY)
I always loved food but was never interested in cooking. Growing up, my mom was a stay at home mom and made me lots of Chinese food that would take hours to make. My dad was a professional cook and made me gourmet lunches as soon as I started to pack lunches at school. I never learned how to cook because I thought somehow I would know through osmosis. It didn't.
After I met my partner, I cooked a lot more and my confidence grew. He told me he loved everything that I cooked. Much later, I realized he only said that because the more I cooked, the less he had to. When I became a mom, I became interested in cooking again for her. Sadly, no matter what I cooked, she would still push her plate away and say politely "no tank shoo."
When I learned about Chef's Plate, I was instantly intrigued. I imagined this service answering all my problems. I can learn different dishes with step by step instructions, be a tad bit more adventurous, and I don't have to worry about hunting down random ingredients that I never knew existed in the first place.
HOW WE TESTED
My Chef's Plate delivery was on a Tuesday and I specifically asked for it to be delivered to my side door because the front of my house gets a lot of sun. I had no idea what the packaging will be like and I didn't want my neighbors to see a box in front of my house. To my surprise, the delivery did in fact occur on Tuesday at my side door, only issue was the box was upside down.
When I opened up the box, turns out it didn't matter the box was upside down. The food was more an adequately protected and kept cold with ice packs in the best box I have ever seen in my life. (I'm never letting go of this box.) The first thing I saw was a welcome brochure, it felt very welcoming and my confidence level actually went up.
Then I saw my menu cards. I ordered the Pork Spring Roll Bowl and Piri Piri Chicken. The ingredients were packaged separately for each of the meals which I totally appreciated. Less likely to mix up the ingredients I am unfamiliar with. Not sure if it was written or not on the website but I was shocked that I actually had to cut up the ingredients. (Unreasonable? Probably.) All the ingredients were provided for the meal with the exception of cooking oil. If I was shopping for my own ingredients, I would have chosen some differently. I found the green onions a little over its prime. The portions also worried me a little bit. It didn't look like a lot of food and I was instantly thinking of cooking something else to supplement the meal. I didn't for the reason in the following paragraph.
The instructions were very clear and came with step by step visual instructions. Being a visual person, I loved that. I was a little confused with my menu card because it indicated a prep time but no cooking time. I assumed the time indicated was both combined. The Pork Spring Roll Bowl outlined 26 minutes prep time. I worked my butt off and prepped and cooked the entire meal in 23 minutes. I was cooking like I was on the cooking show, Chopped. Totally not relaxing and my kitchen was a mess. This might be due to my own inexperience with reading recipes though.
I didn't follow the steps exactly because I felt I could be boiling the water for the noodles as I was cutting up the ingredients and making the sauce as I was cooking the pork. It sped up the process by a bit but I don't really think I gained anything from it. Given the ingredients I was provided, I also cooked the green onions with the pork rather than putting them on top as a garnish. I knew I wouldn't like the taste of it.
MILK AND CONFETTI MOM VERDICT
The ordering process was very user friendly. I appreciated my instructions were followed and my package was actually delivered to my side door. Not a lot of companies actually provide that level of care.
The packaging was amazing. I could have come home two hours later and I am sure the meats would have still been kept chill.
Allows you to try new dishes with new ingredients. When I opened up one of my packages, I didn't know why I would need a plum. Turns out I made my own plum sauce for the first time.
The ingredients could have been fresher. I probably could have bought better ingredients if I had shopped myself.
Delivery on a weekday with recommendation to cook within five days is a little hard on a working mom with a needy child entering her terrible twos.
The instructions could be a little clearer in relation to the prep/cook time and the order of the steps.
In summary, I would definitely try Chef's Plate again. The things I would do differently is to order some menu items definitely outside my comfort zone so I can really follow instructions and learn; schedule the delivery for later in the week; plan to cook a meal with my partner like a mini date night (and to have an extra set of hands); and make another small dish to supplement the order because although it was enough food, we just like a little bit more food and variety.