Translated for you: CookUnity, the new food delivery by subscription

Translated for you: CookUnity, the new food delivery by subscription

In the US, a community of chefs has come together to create CookUnity, a subscription food delivery service.

The original article “The fantasy of a personal chef with CookUnity” by Hannah Goldfield appears in The New Yorker. The author talks about her experience with this new type of subscription delivery: we have translated it for you.

Last Monday I saw a huge shopping bag delivered home with a dozen sealed boxes inside, each sealed in a paper bag: it was my first order placed at CookUnity , the new subscription delivery service . Once a week, users select, from a menu that offers 300 options, from 4 to 16 one-course meals, already cooked and ready to heat – and in some cases ready to eat – designed to be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. .

In my head I used to connect subscription delivery, which is certainly not a new thing, to the various types of strict and specific diets, from those without meat to keto (for years Instagram has been hammering me with sponsored ads of Sakara Life, a plant-based diet program, complete with Gwyneth Paltrow’s stamp of approval); this type of service is usually linked to various types of diets, such as the keto dietand the strength of this type of service seemed to be to make counting calories and excluding certain ingredients as simple as possible. I have never felt the need to follow any diet, and to be honest, planning, shopping and cooking meals are operations that fill me with joy. But I never struggled to understand what advantages such a service could offer . Especially since the marketing that usually characterizes them often evokes the widespread fantasy of having a personal chef at your disposal.

CookUnity, beyond any doubt, is ready to satisfy all sorts of dietary needs and offers a range of paleo, vegan and gluten-free options, together with the guarantee that the meats offered are humanly bred and that there is no shadow of GMOs. throughout the menu. The reason that inspired me to try the service is the same that distinguishes it from all the others of the genre . The company, a three-year-old start-up that has accumulated a capital of 15.5 million dollars in a short time and which delivers in twenty-seven states, identifies itself as a collective of independent chefs , among which the most prominent New York restaurateurs stand out. . In a recent interview with Forbes, Matteo Marietti, CEO and founder, explained that part of the original idea was to create ” opportunities that went beyond the confines of restaurant cooking and lifestyle – opportunities that would allow exponential growth ” for chefs .

So I filled the cart with meals that matched my current diet, while supporting New York chefs as they try to make it through the delicate phase of the pandemic . Among the courses I chose was slow-cooked salmon with quinoa, pumpkin and coriander vinaigrette made by Dan Kluger of Loring Place ; lamb sabzi braised with caraway seed rice from Einat Admony from Taïm and Balaboosta; the cabbage salad with fonio, mango and tomatoes by Pierre Thiam del Casamance , which also features on his Teranga menu; and Ester Choi’s classic wild mushroom bibimbap from Mökbar. Each of these chefs personally supervises the preparation, in CookUnity’s laboratory or in their own kitchens, and by doing so, some of them have been able to recruit staff laid off during the pandemic.

No one can accuse CookUnity of selling a romantic dream. Government regulations require meals to report calorie content. It’s a system that can’t take into account impulsive decisions : at the end of the week, I found myself faced with a course I had chosen at a time when I was feeling particularly virtuous – the spiced Indian cauliflower with RightRice coconut yogurt and rice. by the chef of Alta Calidad Akhtar Nawab, in reality a protein bomb, stuffed with ground lentils and chickpeas. It was really the last thing I wanted to eat at that moment.

Yet, if being confined to their homes for a year now has led people to be tired of having to organize and prepare meals, it has also made them need to bring some variety back into their diet, CookUnity solves in one sol blow all these problems. the variety of the choice of dishes made by the chefs is not reminiscent of home meals of dietsFor five days I fed on a variety of dishes ranging from truly satisfying to extremely interesting at worst, and which required minimal effort to turn the knob to turn on the oven and no other worries whatsoever. As Barry Estabrook points out in his fantastic new book Just Eat , the problem that many diets have is precisely that of debasing or eliminating the important sensual role of food . But maybe, if an experienced chef is involved, this doesn’t have to happen .

Nawab’s cauliflower – vegan, low in fat and calories – was extraordinarily persuasive; the perfectly marinated cauliflower, the accompanying rice with a perfect consistency. And it was one of a dozen meals anyway. Admony’s lamb sabzi – the tender meat with undertones of mint, dill and Persian lime, the rice that heated in the oven just became crunchy – was worth all the 930 calories it claimed. And the Ode to Chicken under the Brick by Marc Forgione, a nice leg surrounded by Yukon Gold potato wedges and broccoli sprouts, a reinterpretation of one of his most classic dishes, was delivered to me with the icing on the cake: a cube of butter. Subscriptions start at as little as $ 53.96 for four meals.

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