Enjoying a cooked meal in the comfort of your own home versus going out to eat is a classic debate. But now, there’s also an option to have a bit of both.
What COVID-19’s quarantine brought for many of us was the pleasure of dining indoors with so many new features. A lot of restaurants and eateries made pivots, began offering more to be taken out, began offering specialty services — and the list could go on and on. And it’s that idea of an elevated dining experience in the form of meals brought to your doorstep that CookUnity, a Brooklyn-based food tech company, introduced. But they’ve now expanded widely outside of the Big Apple, including to Philly.
“CookUnity is creating a world where people can have the convenience of a subscription service with the excitement and quality of the best restaurant food in the country — this is an entirely new culinary experience,” said Rebecca Liu-Doyle, principal at Insight Partners, who will be joining the CookUnity Board of Directors, in a statement. “With CookUnity’s unique revenue-sharing business model showing rapid growth, the data is clear that this is what consumers want and what talented chefs need. We look forward to our partnership as CookUnity continues to serve eaters and creators across the country.”
As a release states, CookUnity is democratizing the ready-to-eat meal category with a chef-powered business model that offers consumers elevated, restaurant-quality meals at home while also being an ally and partner to chefs with a first-of-its-kind technology and operational infrastructure. With the tools and resources to diversify and create a scalable, digital-first business, best-selling chefs on the platform are earning upwards of $1 million a year. The expansion has also grown recently as the meal subscription platform announced that it has closed a $47 million Series B funding round allowing these new kitchens to service 88% of the U.S. population. The company will also increase its culinary talent through the scaled on-boarding of more notable chefs, rising stars and established restaurateurs from across the country.
That’s where one local restauranteur, in particular, comes into play.
Iron chef, James Beard Award-winner, entrepreneur and food innovator Jose Garces is known around the City of Brotherly Love and beyond for his many establishments including Spanish tapas at Amada, his first restaurant, to the playful Japanese street food at Okatshe in Atlantic City. But, he’s also known for his menu and dishes with CookUnity (which are a best-seller), and he plans to debut a new dish.
Garces’ menu is as vibrant as always, and that’s not surprising for the chef who draws from his personal experience with food and culture in different parts of the world as navigation when crafting meals. His life experience also guides his mission to put the focus on bringing restaurant-quality experiences to the homes and businesses of culinary enthusiasts, which he does through a series of virtual online cooking demos, live online cooking classes and beyond.
Through CookUnity, however, Garces can cook for just for you.
Each dish combines fresh and indulgent ingredients, but in a way that blends quite tastefully. Whether it’s his butternut squash relleno with chipotle sauce and crema, or creamy poblano shrimp with toastes fideos, or even Maggie’s short rib with roasted potatoes and asparagus — which was affectionately named after his late mother — the food is paired together with intention. And the outcome is delicious.
There is one new dish as well, which will also be available soon in his West Philly hotspot, Distrito, in addition to CookUnity. The blackened mahi-mahi paired with coconut rice, mango-habanero salsa and toasted coconut is the latest addition and based on its flavor palette, it’s been well worth the wait. Savory treats however are not the only pull when it comes to the menu. Those with a sweet tooth will also enjoy churros stuffed with chocolate with a side of caramel sauce and chocolate-covered strawberries… and that’s just to name a few of the standouts.
Philadelphians can try Garces’ meals and more from other spotlighted chefs through a rotating menu of hundreds of dishes starting at $10.49 per meal with four, six, eight, 12 or 16 meals-a-week subscription plans. As the company keeps growing and growing, so does the list of options for hungry consumers.
“CookUnity has grown 6.5-times and we’re forecasting an even more significant year ahead with continued talent and market expansion,” said Mateo Marietti, Founder and CEO of CookUnity. “With the expansion of our board and expert funding in place, we’re in a strong position to solidify a new ‘Chef Direct Subscription’ category, the first marketplace concept that supports both the chef creator and food enthusiast equally.
For more information, visit cookunity.com