A couple of weeks ago, we posted an article about the fantastic new trend of fresh food delivery. Our article focused on national delivery services such as Blue Apron, Plated and Hello Fresh. We loved the portion size, healthy food options, ease of cooking the meal, as well as the packaging. However, we were thrilled when one of our readers told us about a local company, Chef Ami, that provides the same service but with some great new twists! We contacted Chef Ami and they provided us one of their fresh food delivery boxes to compare with our Blue Apron experience.
The owners, Matt and Johana Dickhaus.
Let’s start by saying that the owner, Matt Dickhaus, personally delivered our box of three meals to our door. How great is that? It was so nice to not just have a UPS guy deliver the food, but the actual person who develops the recipes, builds the relationship with the farmers, and oversees every aspect of the business. Can’t get anymore local than that! Matt was very kind to offer to answer any questions we might have and mentioned that the Chef Ami Facebook page offers various tips on food preparation. Matt and his wife, Johana, brought Chef Ami to Gainesville in the hopes of providing fresh, local, healthy, and easy to cook food for those with a busy schedule. They also wanted to do more in the community, so they have invested in the Feeding Florida Program. Every time you cook with Chef Ami, a meal is donated to Second Harvest to aid in their fight against child hunger right here in Florida (or equivalent dollar value). For example, if you order a box of 3 meals for 2 people, Second Harvest will be able to provide 6 meals to children in need.
Everything inside the box was so well-iced and sealed that it could have been outside on the porch for 2-3 hours and everything would have been kept nicely cool.
All of the ingredients to prepare the Chicken Manchego
The first meal, Chicken Manchego with Herb and Feta Couscous, was prepared in 30 minutes from start to finish and that was with two children biting at my heals. It was so nice to be able to use no more than 2 dishes to cook in, and to have everything pre-measured and set. I also enjoyed knowing where my food was sourced from.
Chef Ami’s philosophy is that it’s important to know what you’re eating. They believe the foundation of a great meal begins with high quality, fresh ingredients which is why they work directly with local farmers and only the finest suppliers in the area, making sure all of the ingredients arrive farm fresh to your plate. They want their customers to benefit from in-season, local, and organic ingredients and they make sure to include it as much as possible. During the summer months and for some of the more exotic ingredients, imported produce will be included to ensure their menus are full of exciting and diverse flavors year round.
So although not everything in every box is 100% organic or 100% local, they make it a priority to ensure most of your ingredients are.
How cute is this box that the egg from Rainbow Star Farms came in!?
Like many other national brands we reviewed, Chef Ami also includes a pre-printed card with a picture of your meal, an ingredient list and detailed instructions for the meal preparation.
In terms of price, Chef Ami is comparable to national brands like Blue Apron. Their current prices are as follows:
– 3 meals for 2 people for 1 time delivery : $75
-3 meals for 2 people for a weekly delivery: $65 (This would come in a little higher than the Blue Apron price point, but you are getting locally sourced food, supporting a local company, and you are providing meals to hungry children- not bad for a few extra dollars).
-3 meals for 4 people for weekly delivery: $123
-3 meals for 6 people for weekly delivery: $179
We found that the 3 meals for 2 people had enough for just that, 2 people. The protein and starch portions were large enough for two adults and two small children (ages 2 and 5), but we did have to supplement vegetables as there just were not enough to stretch the meal.
Menus are pre-determined each week and substitutions at this time cannot be made. There is discussion of a vegetarian option in the future, but for now each box does contain meat. Deliveries are made on Tuesdays and you may pause, cancel, or skip upcoming deliveries directly from your account with 6 days notice. Delivery at this time is free.
Please feel free to reach out to Chef Ami with any specific questions. We have found the staff to be accommodating, genuine, and nice.
All in all, the meals were delivered in a timely manner, were well-sealed and organized, included very easy recipes to follow and cook, even when children interrupt the process, and were all really tasty. We also cannot express enough that we support their fight against child hunger and are encouraged by their meal for meal campaign with Second Harvest. Our Loopsy families really enjoyed what Chef Ami had to offer and look forward to using them in the future.
If you would like to try Chef Ami, they are offering a $25 off code for all Loopsy readers; just enter Loopsy during the order process.
Cheers and Bon Appetit!