Has the meal-kit trend reached your kitchen yet? The foodosphere continues to debate the pros and cons, while the still-new industry records galloping growth. Clearly, a lot of home cooks were waiting for just this sort of thing.
Recently, Chef’d, notable in the category for its no-subscription model, tapped a talent familiar to O.C. diners. SOL Cocina and Solita chef-partner Deborah Schneider designed meals for the service reflecting her modern-Mexican expertise. In other words, exactly the kind of food everybody likes to eat. “I wanted the recipes to be simple to make, yet really flavorful,” says Schneider. “SOL’s Mexican food style is fresh and quick, so the recipes translated really well to Chef’d.” Desmadres lime-garlic chicken with arugula-tomato-avocado salad and arroz dorado, for instance (dinner for two, $29).
Schneider’s firmly on the pro side of the discussion. “I love the whole idea of meal kits, because I really enjoy taking on a cooking project and I assume most cooks do, as well,” she says. “It’s a great way for people to gain confidence cooking. Everything is included, and the directions are clear, with each step illustrated.” Schneider is no stranger to writing recipes non-professionals can replicate. “After writing six cookbooks, I’m fairly adept at simplifying and organizing restaurant recipes for the home cook,” she says. “I just wanted to make sure that the recipes deliver the full, flavorful SOL experience—which I believe we have accomplished.”
Take a look at Schneider’s Chef’d options here—since next-day delivery is available for the $10 shipping fee, there’s even time to get one in for Cinco de Mayo on Thursday. Covering O.C.’s other favorite cuisine, cookbook author Andrea Nguyen, who grew up in San Clemente, has created Chef’d kits that include dumplings and caramel-sauce shrimp, among other Viet specialties. Nguyen’s currently at work on a book about pho.