{product review} ReadyChef: the delicious convenience of a chef at the ready

Lockdown left us with cravings for our favourite restaurants, our comfort food staples and very little inspiration in the kitchen. Not only does ReadyChef bring best-loved dishes to your dinner table, but it also supports the re-build of the hospitality industry.

Introduction

I used to dine out two to three times a week. Even though I love to cook at home, I hedonistically enjoy being cooked for. I love the element of surprise, the first look at your plate, and that first bite of your favourite food. Still incredibly weary to eat out due to COVID19 and tiring of banana bread recipes, ReadyChef came to my rescue like clockwork and generously offered to fill my freezer with a selection of their frozen meals.

But before you ask why I’m so excited about this, and how this ties in with dining out, just leave your apron on a bit longer. ReadyChef has basically rounded up an impressive army of local restaurants and caterers to pack your date-night food into freezer portions, ready to deliver to your door. Pizza from Massimo’s? Just stick it in your oven. Italian feast from La Cuccina? Take your pick!

Convenient, fresh and fully in support of our local food heroes, get ready for a convenience meal revolution. Who said frozen meals have to be boring?

Background

Recently launched by serial entrepreneurs and foodies, Graham Cherrington and Andrew Watson, ReadyChef leverages local restaurants and caterers to build a curated collection of quality frozen meals, offering a huge variety to the end consumer while supporting the hospitality industry which has been devastated by the Covid-19 lockdown and ensuing recession.

Says Andrew Watson:

“Lockdown radically changed humanity’s habits in many ways, not least of all our attitude towards cooking and eating. After we’d all had our share of baking banana bread and experimenting in the kitchen, we soon realised that we can only be so creative before our own cooking becomes boring. At the same time, housebound South Africans were looking for ways to avoid the shops while keeping themselves well fed – a convenience that looks set to stay now that we’re used to it. Hence the rise of curated meals delivered to your door, and we felt that the time was right to launch ReadyChef.”


Out of the kitchen, back into your life

Admittedly, lock-down had us all pull closer a few recipe books and dust off our whisks and bread pans. In the beginning it was fun, novel and a great way to escape our confined reality. But as time went on, we realised that we need to somehow return to aspects of our previous lives, with more serious challenges like education, work, travel and just keeping healthy.

Cooking became a chore again as we rode out the waves of COVID19, but we didn’t have the convenience of dining out or most of our take-away deliveries. And this is where the joy of ReadyChef begins, encouraging you to get out of the kitchen and back into your life again.

With more than 80 meals on the menu including vegetarian, vegan and low-carb options, they offer the greatest variety of delicious and nutritious, quality, freezer-friendly meals.

A freezer-friendly life

We often underappreciate the value of a good freezer meal. Saving on time and effort, ReadyChef’s meals are made with the best quality South African produce and flash frozen to lock in flavour and goodness.

Perfectly portioned and ready in less than an hour (mostly!) it fits beautifully into our very busy, hustling lives. It takes the worry out of indulging in convenience food, because it’s made by professional chefs in their very own kitchens.


My heat-and-eat order

For just over R600, I ordered the following:

2 x Margherita pizza’s from Massimo’s
1 x Beef bobotie from La Cuccina (500g)
1 x Aubergine, spinach and butternut bake from La Cuccina  (500g)
1 x Spinach and ricotta canneloni from Gia’s Kitchen (approx. 1.1kg)
1 x Butternut and lentil bobotie from Zest Catering (800gr)
2 x boxes Triple chocolate brownies from Leo Foods (2 per box)

With free shipping for orders over R650, your order arrives in an insulated ice box, and mine was still completely frozen, ready to pack away straight into the freezer. Each meal beautifully presented with a full ingredient list, allergen notices and everything else you’d need to know about your food, this order kept us going for a good, long week.

All the items above were enough to serve 2 – 3 adults (sometimes even four!), and often I just added a salad, vegetables or oven-baked chips to the meal.

I loved every single one of these – nothing tasted stale or soggy, I didn’t have any issues with cooking them once thawed, and most just goes into the oven with just a pop of the lid. No messy pots or pans or stove tops, just utter deliciousness and unparalleled convenience. Even the brownies from Leo’s food – a quick blast in the microwave straight from frozen delivered warm, gooey and intensely chocolatey brownies in minutes.

You can handpick a virtual shopping basket full of your favourite meals, or if you have to scrimp on time, just choose one of their meal bundles, which includes 6 different meals, available in meat and non-meat options. Eating wholesome, scrumptious meals have never been this easy…or professional!

In conclusion

We all sometimes need a bit of help. ReadyChef chop-chop takes care of nutrition and accessibility with their impressive range of freezer-friendly meals. And whilst they help us to lessen our daily load, in turn we are helping to lift our devastated hospitality sector back onto its feet, through our purchases. This way you can still support your favourite foodie hang-outs, without leaving your home.

Thank you, ReadyChef, for taking the lead on a frozen-meal revolution that extends a helping hand both ways. I’ll definitely be stocking up my freezer again in the new year, ready to tackle 2021 with my favourites to hand!

The fine print

Orders can be placed again from 14 January 2021.

The service is only available in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands for now, but will be hitting Jozi soon. Delivery takes between five and eight days as each meal is made to order, and delivery is free for orders over R650.

Disclaimer: I was given this product(s) as part of a press drop in exchange for my honest and truthful opinion and review thereof. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.

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