So I got wind of this new company called Plated from a friend of mine that owns BlogCatalog, who subsequently knows a lot about new and innovative ideas. So thank you Tony. He got my attention when he brought up a new online food delivery service.
You know I am all about good food, but sometimes I get tripped up by the inconvenience of it all. You know, when you’re all ramped up to cook something yummy, and realize that you don’t have a key ingredient. Or – you’re just done with the same old, same old.
That’s where Plated comes in. And frankly, it’s a really cool concept, so I decided to give it a try.
With Plated, users ‘shop’ their online site (www.plated.com), browsing through a selection of available meals. Once you find the meal(s) that you’d like to make, you add them to your cart, Plate by Plate. You specify a delivery date, and a box arrives with every ingredient you need (less standard pantry items like salt, pepper, or olive oil), in just the right amounts.
So, no running to the store to buy a $10 jar of saffron that you will never use again.
Each Plate comes with step-by-step instructions (and pictures!) for easy preparation. At $15 per person it’s not cheap – but when you factor in your time, countless trips to the grocery store and volumes of unused ingredients cluttering your cupboard, it’s a really nice way to cook at home with much less fuss and muss. Plus – if you sign up for a membership, they discount it to $12. Membership is $10 a month, so if you can see yourself purchasing more than 2 plates a month – it’s a worthy investment.
For my first Plate I ordered one of our favorite Indian dishes, Tiki Masala. My husband and I enjoy eating it, but had no idea how to prepare it. He was leaving for a trip, and I thought we’d cook and eat a nice dinner together before he left.
So, I signed up for a Tuesday delivery since he was leaving on Wednesday; we anxiously awaited our delivery.
And waited… And waited…
Finally it came – on Wednesday afternoon, just before hubby left. Oh well. To their credit, Plated customer service helped me figure out that the food was safe to eat, as they had placed a sensor in the well-packed box that indicated if temperatures go above the safety zone. They did say if the food was bad that they would credit or replace it, but I was a little disappointed that they didn’t fall all over themselves with apologies, especially being a first-time customer who made it clear that it messed up a date night. Fun story though – immediately after I ordered, I saw the owners of Plated on the popular TV show “Shark Tank” (did I mention how obsessed I am with that show? Oh, that Mark Cuban!) so they were quite likely overwhelmed. But still!
Back to the cooking. Sans husband, I picked through all of the ingredients and got ready to rumble. The packaging is great, and the instructions were very easy to understand. I felt like I had my very own soux-chef in a box!
The resulting dish was quite delish – if a little SPICIER than I am used to! I kinda wish they might have given me heads up on that, and perhaps mentioned the option of, “if you prefer less heat, use ½ the amount of ______”.
All in all it was a positive experience.
Plated is perfect on a regular basis if you have a little more money than time, want to expand your culinary horizons, or just for an occasional break from the monotony of “What’s for dinner?”
Bon Appetite! XO.