Chef's Plate: Worth the Hype?

Ah, back to school! Back to living with your housemates, back to grinding out assignments, and back to having to go grocery shopping for yourself...or is it? Towards the end of this past summer I came across Chefs Plate. Having spent a significant amount of time last year meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up--and more money than I’d care to admit on Uber Eats--I thought I’d give it a try. 

Look, I’m not here to try and sell you on Chefs Plate (CP) or any other meal/grocery delivery service. What I am here to do though is tell you about my experience with Chefs Plate, what I like about it, and if I will be ordering through it again (spoiler alert: I already have another 2 weeks of meals ordered). 

I’d have to say that the first thing that drew me to Chefs Plate was its trial price; who doesn’t want to get 6 healthy, delicious meals for less than $30, the ingredients for which, I may add, get delivered right to your door? While this is 50% off the regular price, that is still around $60 per week, for two servings of three different recipes. In my experience, that isn’t half bad! I found that last year, I was spending an average of $100 per shopping trip, which would happen every week and a half or so, depending on what I had bought the week prior and how often I was ordering take-out. This also didn’t take into account the fact that my family had stocked my freezer with portioned-out meat or other easy-to-make meals. I recognize that this isn’t everyone’s situation and that Chefs Plate would still be out of your budget all things considered, but at least for me, it actually comes in cheaper! 

The other great thing that drew me to Chefs Plate was its convenience; last year I would spend a ridiculous amount of time getting to and from the grocery store and deciding what I was going to cook. With CP, it was as easy as going online, checking out the recipes offered for the next few weeks, and then waiting for the delivery box to arrive. Then, like magic, your fresh pre-portioned ingredients arrive with detailed instructions and pretty much all you need!* As someone who has always STRUGGLED with portion control and including more veggies into my diet, it was really great to have everything portioned out for me and for vegetables to be included into each and every recipe. Plus, with everything pre-portioned, you don’t end up with awkward bits and pieces left over that you aren’t sure what to do with.

The first recipe I cooked with Chefs Plate was a spicy pork bibimbap. Having had my fair share of Korean food, I was admittedly a bit skeptical of how it would taste and had picked out this recipe as a bit of a test. I can honestly say that I was shocked by the quality and freshness of the ingredients, and how the recipe and flavours came together. As I practise Intermittent Fasting and generally only have one or two meals a day--as per my doctor’s instructions--I did end up adding some extra vegetables to my plate to bulk up the calorie count a bit. And speaking of calories, the nutritional information per portion is available on the CP website for every recipe.

 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Julie (@passthekimchi) on

 

Another great plus with CP is that the portions themselves are certainly satisfying, and often pack up nicely for lunches to bring to campus! Whenever I didn’t bring a lunch, I would find myself almost wanting to wait in the miles long Tim Hortons line at the ARC. By being able to bring the second portion of my CP recipe, I’ve been able to save both time and money in my day-to-day. You can also choose between quick-prep meals, meals that come with dinner and lunch portions, and vegetarian meals. More than that, you can still make them your own by adding in extra vegetables or protein, or even switching up the spices a bit. Here’s the other awesome part of Chefs Plate: saving fridge space! A struggle that I’m sure we all know well is the fight for fridge space when you’re living with multiple housemates. With CP you get only what you need for the recipes; that means you don’t have to commit to bottles upon bottles of sauces which would take up valuable fridge space. It also means you can be a bit more adventurous with your palate without having to invest in a huge array of spices--gotta free up that cupboard space! From pasta to bibimbap, to meatloaves or curry, each week offers up a diverse array of recipes. As an adventurous eater and a self-professed foodie, this is beyond essential. 


For me, Chefs Plate has also provided an opportunity to bond with my housemates. By buddying up on a “Family basket,” we were more or less forced to get together and cook, and then unplug and eat together. With how busy school gets, it can be difficult to take the time to sit down with the people that you care about and just catch up. At the end of the day, it is so important that you do take that time, even if it’s only once a week or for a couple of hours. Plus, by centering that time around a CP meal, you save yourself from ordering pizza or munching on junk food the entire time. 

Finally, the thing that I love most about Chefs Plate is that they work with local and national Canadian farmers to provide the best quality ingredients. By choosing to consume foods that have been produced locally or within the country, there are fewer fossil fuels expended to get it to your table. As an Environmental Science student, I am always looking for ways to cut back my carbon footprint. Of course, the best solution would be for me to walk to the farmer’s market every weekend, but Chefs Plate provides me with a convenient compromise that still supports Canadian farms and families whilst emitting fewer fossil fuels in transit. And with 100% recyclable packaging, there isn’t much else I could ask for.

If you’d like to know more about Chefs Plate, I’d suggest visiting their website, or checking out my instagram (@passthekimchi) where I have added a story highlight of my first unboxing experiences with Chefs Plate, and where I have posted--and will continue to post--the recipes I cook with them. 

*With Chefs Plate, all you have to keep on hand is salt and pepper, cooking oil, milk and butter.