I am certain, after being told numerous times, that buying Christmas or birthday gifts for me is near to impossible. Despite that, I know my parents always put great care into thinking of gifts that are shippable, useable and wanted. This year, that led them to purchasing a gift certificate to a relatively new service in Ottawa called Chefx.
The basic premise of Chefx is that they provide and deliver all the ingredients you need to make a great meal after working with local chefs to develop easy-to-follow, step by step recipes which are also provided. I remember reading about it when it was first started; I believe the entrepreneur is a former public servant who had the guts to strike out on his own with this new idea.
There are two meals offered each week and you are able to choose which one(s) you would like by selecting through the website. I found the website a little confusing, but part of that was because I was using a gift certificate rather than traditional ordering. For our first meal last week, I ordered the Lemon leek lamb patties, a recipe developed by Marysol Foucault from Chez Edgar. This is a great little restaurant on the Gatineau side of the river that I would recommend to anyone visiting Ottawa – I have been a few times and it has always been stellar so I expected that her recipe wouldn’t let me down either.
The ingredients are all delivered in a cooler to prepare the meals for that week. The delivery came on Sunday and after unpacking, it was clear that they think of everything. All the ingredients are clearly labelled and the only thing missing was the salt and pepper. (which was noted on the recipe)
Putting the recipe together still involved some chopping, various steps of cooking, and messing up the kitchen a bit so it is certainly more involved than ordering take-out but I’d say it is much more satisfying as well, and healthier I’m sure. I had my sous-chef, Lil’ E, to help me through the process. The ingredients were all top-notch, clearly they have a better source of produce than I do for the middle of winter in Ottawa.
We were so eager to eat that I forgot to take a picture of the final result but it actually came together pretty much like the picture on the website – I was impressed with that! The recipe was delicious and a departure from what I would typically cook. The portions were also very generous – I ended up eating it in my lunch the next day as well.
Although I meant to post this last week, after doing another meal this week (elk burgers with pistachio winter green salad) , I think this service is certainly something that I will do on an ad-hoc basis. I am not sure that I could always keep up with a subscription that included one or two meals each week.