TRAVEL HERE: HOME CHEF STARTS OUT ON THE RIGHT FOOT
Well, here we are, trying out meal kit company number four. A blogging friend told me to give it up and go to the grocery store, but obviously he’s got a better grocer than I’ve got out here in the boonies. Hubby thought it was good advice, but I’m not giving up yet.
The Home Chef Vibes are Good
The proof might be in the pudding, but I have to admit, my scrutiny begins when my box of groceries arrives on the front porch. Home Chef (HC)arrived before 11 AM. That put it on par with Blue Apron (BA) and Sun Basket (SB). I even liked the box. Nothing fancy, just a logo and line drawings of fresh produce. A box isn’t everything, but it’s something. So far, my least favorite box is Hello Fresh (HF). It seemed as if if were trying to hard to be happy and fresh.
Opening the HC box, I was glad to see someone had thought it through. On top were recipe cards, my preferred format, just like with BA and HF. SB’s recipe magazine was not my friend. What’s more they provided a binder for the recipes and hole-punched the cards. You’d think they already knew me. Their packaging materials were customized and attractive.
Comparing the HC recipe cards to BA and HF, put HC somewhere in the middle. BA has remained my favorite recipe card and one reason is their pictures of the finished plates. Each photo is a mini-masterpiece with an attention to every item in the shot. Without resorting to fine china, a unique place-setting is created for each meal. I appreciate that. These’s really nothing fancy in the photos, but someone with an imagination set them up and they use a variety of table accouterments.
HF has unique shots for each plate, but the settings don’t inspire me. The only tables HF seems to have are distressed wood, which might be in vogue, but are a bit depressing to me. When plates, cutlery and linens are in the shot, they aren’t to my taste, either. Chances are the millennials out there might approve of the sleek minimalism, but it just looks boring to me – and careless. The picture of my favorite HF meal featured a wrinkled napkin, but at least it had a napkin! When HF has sandwiches they forego a plate altogether and set the sandwich right on the counter. Maybe they’ll add a napkin or some white butcher paper – or maybe they won’t.
HC uses the same depressed wood table and plain white plate in every shot. Talk about boring. But they have other things on the recipe card that keeps them out of last place. They have the nutrition information right on the card, rather than sending you a separate card with the weeks nutrition information all in the same place as HF does. HC’s pans and utensils are a little more upscale than the HF choices. If I can get past the same boring plate every day, I might end up enjoying the service.
Move over BA, you have some competition. The ingredients for each HC meal are packed together in their own clear bag, stamped with the name of the meal. The clear bag gives you an exciting peek at what’s in store, unlike the brown paper bags of SB and HF. I can already tell the ingredients provided do not have the quality and uniqueness of BA, but that uniqueness is what got me in trouble with my husband. The crisp, clear packaging doesn’t put HC ahead of BA, but it puts them ahead of SB and HF.
So how was it to cook and eat their meals? Come back next week and I’ll tell you.