Friday 12 June 2015

samshimi x Chef's Plate :: Overall Review + Discount Code

Hello Everyone!

Are you a busy individual who would love to cook more at home but simply doesn't have time to plan meals and buy groceries to do so? Are you someone that wants to start cooking but doesn't have any direction in what to make? If these thoughts ever pass your mind, then Chef's Plate may possibly be your solution!

Chef's Plate is a Toronto based meal delivery system. 

How it works is that they plan and create a bunch of delicious and nutritious recipes every week. Then you go on their website and choose which recipes you are interested in trying out the following week. Next, they deliver your chosen recipes the following week in a refrigerated box (which keeps food fresh for 12 hours, perfect for individuals who don't work from home!) with fresh pre-portioned ingredients right to your door. Lastly, you just follow the recipe card and you will have a fresh home cooked meal!

Recently, a member of Chef's Plate reached out to me and offered me 2 free plates to test out and review. I don't really cook often (but I wish I did!) so I was super excited to try it out! I live in a busy household with long work hours, so 95% of the time I usually eat out since I don't have time to prep to cook meals at home. 

What I really enjoyed was how nicely packaged everything was. In the cardboard box, there was an aluminum bubble wrap bag with reusable ice packs in it to keep everything fresh while it waits for you to come home and bring it in. Everything was neatly packed and labelled so it's super easy for someone to come home to and start cooking. 

The recipe cards are super easy to follow and have photos for guidance.

The ingredients are all labelled and are separated by what dish they are for.

Box contents for 2 dishes.

I choose one fish and one meat dish of "medium" since I figured it would give me a good basis to provide my opinion on the service. 

I made the Pan Seared Cod with Fennel & Linguine first since fish doesn't stay as fresh as long as red meats. Click here for a more detailed post of how how it was cooked.

Made the Pistachio Crusted Steak near the end of the week. It was pretty fresh! Click here for a more detailed post of how it was made.

Overall here's what I thought about Chef's Plate.

What I liked:

  • Convenient: It's definitely a great way to motivate busy individuals to cook more since the dish is already planned for you and the ingredients are already pre-portioned and delivered to your door.
  • Fresh ingredients: Ingredients are fresh and are ready to go, so no waiting for things to ripen - like green bananas from the grocery store. This is also great cause you exactly what is going into your food.
  • Less food waste: Since everything is pre-portioned to your meal, you end up with less food waste then if you were to go out to a grocery store and purchase food for a particular dish.
  • Customizable: You get to pick what you want to eat before you get it. Also, since you're cooking your own food, you can tweak the dish to exactly how you like it by take out or adding some ingredients - or cooking particular ingredients more or less.

What I thought could have been better:

  • If you live by yourself and don't have a stocked kitchen, then you might not have all the ingredients required for Chef's Plate. Despite giving you pre-portioned ingredients, they do not provide oil, salt, or some other basic ingredients (very few is not provided).They also do not provide the option of providing cooking tools. This can be inconvenient if you plan to go home to cook a meal and you don't have a particular ingredient or tool to cook your dish. 
  • Although it's super convenient and organized, there is a lot of plastic wrap waste. They do use reusables (ie: reusable ice pack, reusable white wine bottle) but most of the packaging is clear plastic bags. I'm not sure what other alternatives they can do but this service does have an ecological footprint. 
  • Despite the recipe cards are clear and concise, there were times that I wasn't sure if I was carrying out the recipe correctly and wanted to consult the photos for clarification. The photo on the recipe card is on the smaller side and difficult to see how small or thin ingredients needed to be cut (ie: wasn't sure how small to cut the fennel in the cod dish). 
  • It would be kind of cool if they also printed how much of each ingredient is included with package so then people can pull out the recipe card and remake the dish later on (though this may be a business conflict of interest)
  • Cost may be an issue for some people. The smallest order you can make for a week is 2 meals for 2 people. This costs $49.80/week + $6 shipping. Upside all other menu options provide free delivery. What is nice though is they have a referral program where if you refer your  friends you will get credit to your account.

Overall, I do recommend Chef's Plate to busy individuals interested in leading a healthier lifestyle and trying to cook more often. You can even use Chef's Plate as an easy way to impressively cook a meal for a date so then you don't need to do grocery shopping and meal planning!

I was quite happy with the service myself and fully intend on purchasing another week subscription of Chef's Plate in the future! Just be aware, the website advertises that meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, but if you are not an experienced cook (like myself), more difficult dishes may take you longer to prepare. I tried 2 medium dishes and they took me about 45 minutes or longer to prepare (probably because I was documenting each step too! haha).

If you want to check out Chef's Plate, you can follow my referral link to be directed to their website (though you are more than welcome to simply to go to to check it out if you don't want to use my referral link). If you end up trying out Chef's Plate, tag me in your photos (@samshimi) on Instagram or use the hashtags #samshimixChefsPlate and #ChefsPlate so I can see them too!

The folks at Chef's Plate also provided an awesome coupon/promotional code "SAMSHIMI" that you can use when checking out to redeem 2 plates / 1 meal for free with your first Chef's Plate order!

Thanks for reading!
- samshimi

Disclaimer: Two ingredient meal sets were sent by Chef's Plate for review purposes.

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