You Be Chef meal kit: “Michelin magic made easy at home”
You Be Chef was created with the idea of allowing everyone the chance to experience excellent food in their own homes. Michelin star chef Robert Thompson has worked alongside Ed and James – also awarded by the red guide – to create a weekly roster of dishes from their menus across the UK. The meal kit service allows eager foodies the chance to plate up fine-dining dishes from the comfort of their own kitchen; it’s made up of carefully selected ingredients and packaged up with easy-to-follow recipes and insider tips.
The kit arrived in a large box filled with an assortment of packages that were colour-coded and numbered, as well as sorted into fridge, freezer and counter items. The recipe cards for each course also include a handy QR code, which takes diners straight through to a demonstration video so they know exactly what they’re doing.
Now, the first thing to note is that there is actual cooking involved. This isn’t a case of throwing everything in the oven (although there is a bit of that) – instead, you’ll need to roll up your sleeves and unleash your inner chef. Although a lot of the prep work is already done, it’s down to you to coordinate everything and serve the dishes just as a chef would, complete with finishing touches.
To start, we had the Seaweed Focaccia with Whipped Yuzu Butter. Easing us into the experience, this was the simplest of the dishes to prepare and just required the focaccia to be warmed in the oven, then served with the butter. Warm bread and proper butter is always a winner, and the dehydrated seaweed in this instance provided a pleasant twist.
Next, we had the Mackerel Paté with XO-cured Mackerel. This required a little more action as we had to dress the compressed cucumbers and garnish the paté with pink radish slices, before finishing off with a spoonful of XO dressing. The tapioca crackers were warmed in the oven and then everything was delicately assembled on the plate. The finished result was impressive as well as being extremely tasty – even I struggled to believe that this had been produced in my own kitchen within a matter of minutes.
We then moved onto the Carpaccio of Aged Grass-Fed Beef with Slow-Cooked Short Rib Croquettes. We baked the croquettes in the oven and arranged the carpaccio on a plate before preparing a heritage carrot dressing. To finish we used a piping bag for sesame mayonnaise in a neat formation. Everything melted in the mouth and the rich beefy flavours commanded attention without being too overpowering.
After that, we had the Native Lobster and Crayfish Ravioli in Saffron. For this, we boiled a pan of water and gently cooked the ravioli before serving with a fricassee of baby gem lettuce and a lobster bisque. This delicate dish was absolutely delicious and we savoured every last morsel.
Next up was the Ballotine of Pheasant Roasted in Serrano Ham. This was heated through in the oven along with a gnocchi romaine and winter vegetables. Meanwhile, on the stove we warmed up a squash puree and dry sherry sauce, before plating everything up. The meat was sweet and succulent and all the flavours came together wonderfully for a hearty and satisfying main course.
To finish, we had two desserts. First off was the Banoffee Trifle, which was made up of roasted banana puree, miso caramel, vanilla cream and bitter chocolate curls. All that was required for this was a steady hand as some piping was involved. The end result was stunning and this take on a banoffee pie was a roaring success. Last but not least, we had the Piña Colada Parfait with a centre made with pineapple puree, pineapple and rum. Again, after a little piping work, this dessert proved to be refreshing and fruity with a sweet coconutty punch. It’s safe to say that we finished on a high.
A meal kit from You Be Chef really does let diners take the reins and cook up incredible food, while adding their own creative flair when it comes to serving it up and presenting it. Plus, it makes one fully appreciate the work and care that goes into each dish, which makes the finished product taste even sweeter.
For further information about You Be Chef or to order for delivery, visit their website here.