With fewer people venturing out to restaurants and shops due to COVID-19, home food delivery services have exploded and evolved from focusing on just calorie-controlled diets and detoxing. Reena Patel takes a look at some of the options available.
Rising in popularity in light of lockdown measures and the ‘new normal’, there’s now a world of flavours to tempt different tastes and a multitude of choices catering to different dietary needs.
So whether you want to save yourself the time and effort of heading out to the shops, to curtail the endless kitchen duties, or you’re simply craving a culinary meal whipped up by a chef to enjoy from the comfort of your home, we’ve compiled our list of favourites for you to explore.
Popping some pasta on the boil might not sound so gourmet, but these large letterbox-friendly kits contain the ‘real deal’ pastificio-style, restaurant-quality recipes inspired by different Italian regions. With its limited-edition range of dishes, you can venture to Venice with duck ragu with thick ribbons of pappardelle and crab ravioli tossed in sage butter and samphire, or sail your senses away to Sicily via a fennel sausage rigatoni.
Seasonable and sustainable produce used includes San Marzano tomatoes sourced from growers near Mount Vesuvius, toasted hazelnuts from Piedmont and black truffles from Umbria. Look out for truffle week happening from 3rd-9th August, which is being held in collaboration with world-renowned truffle specialists, Urbani Tartufi.
Co-founded by some of the biggest names in British food, Prue Leith, Giles Coren and William Sitwell, you can also find Pasta Evangelists within the Harrod’s food hall. More information: www.pastaevangelists.com
The Smith & Brock wholesale produce business has branched out to offer its ‘Knock Knock’ concept – premium grocery boxes containing the best seasonal goods that chefs in top-end restaurants are accustomed to having access to. Rare varieties of fruit, vegetables and artisanal products that never make it to the supermarkets are parcelled up and presented to London homes.
Grown for flavour and not commercial yield, you can expect to receive ingredients such as wild garlic, pink radicchio, or courgette flowers along with a note to share the origin and some recipes that Michelin starred chefs would create using them.
You can choose from a Barbeque Box – a variety of quality meats and poultry along with vegetables and fruits, or a Cheese & Charcuterie or Posh Picnic version, as well as so many more. Specially created bundles are also available in partnership with local London restaurants and suppliers including Randall & Aubin.
If you’re not in the London region, then check out Abel and Cole and Riverford Organic for greater delivery options geographically. More information: www.knock-knock-groceries.com
Royal Warrant holding butcher Donald Russell is renowned for the quality of its hand-cut steaks and roasts. Started as a collaboration between an Aberdeenshire farmer and a master butcher 40 years ago, it has grown into Britain’s leading online and mail-order meat supplier, delivering award-winning products to the most prestigious hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide, as well as to homes throughout the UK and beyond.
The meat is professionally frozen at its optimum maturity with no artificial preservatives. This process results in less waste, with the meat, cut into convenient portions. We like the sound of the Barbecue Box to take your summer garden party to another level. More information: www.donaldrussell.com
The Cookout Club
Posh hot dinners to your door don’t seem to get any better than this. Stripping out the tablecloths, fancy glassware and sommeliers, this on-demand home dining experience focuses solely on sending you a fully cooked, Michelin-quality two-course meal.
The Cookout Club has been set up by three founders – Gordon Taylor, Mark Gubbins and most notably, Philip Britten – an acclaimed chef who has worked in some of the UK’s most eminent restaurants including Chez Nico and The Capital (where he received a Michelin star in each along with countless other accolades). Provenance and seasonality of ingredients are of course paramount.
The menu includes Sunday roast specials, such as pulled pork slow-cooked for eight hours with maple syrup and whole grain mustard, côte de boeuf served with vegetables and mash, and glazed Barbary duck with red wine, celeriac purée and glazed onions. The only catch is that you must live within a three-mile radius from their Central London kitchen in order for them to ensure the meals arrive ready for you to enjoy just as they should. More information: www.thecookoutclub.com
Leith’ s-trained founder Ruby met her creative co-founder Milly whilst working as a head chef at Finn’s. They soon realised that however much of a foodie you are, sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking from scratch. byRuby gives you ‘freshly frozen food with a conscience’ – the chance to open up your freezer and discover a library of wholesome, homemade and nutritious meals that are ready to pull out and heat up in a hurry.
The company sources local, ethical ingredients, cooks dishes in small batches in order to minimise food waste, and uses planet-friendly packaging. The genius fact that they arrive frozen means you can stock up and eat them as and when you’re ready.
Catering to most dietary needs, dishes range from fragrant chalk stream trout with pak choi to free-range roast chicken, bacon and leek pie and Claire’s slow-cooked lamb with salsa verde, caponata and jumbo couscous. They also offer healthy and hearty accompanying sides.
More information: www.byruby.co.uk