Food heaven inside a box: The Chef Box

Growing up the one day that I always looked forward to was my birthday. The day when I would jump out of my bed and mum and dad would immediately burst into Happy Birthday to you, hugging and kissing and giving a beautifully wrapped gift. The excitement of what was inside that shiny gift wrapper, the impatience of hurriedly getting past those zillion pieces of cello-tape and the hope that perhaps the box contains exactly what I had been wishing was that made the day even more special.
And then like all children do, I too became an adult. Most wrapped presents started getting replaced by let’s go and buy what you want taking the surprise out of the box and replacing it with the practicality of “doesn’t it make more sense that you choose what you want”. Yes, it does and a part of me would love you to buy me that blue bag I have been secretly eyeing but another part of me what a surprise inside the box. Like the good old days when I was four feet something.
Come this June, when the team from The Chef Box got in touch with me, “We are putting together this surprise box for food lovers across the city and the box will contain several handpicked food and beverage products based on a theme. Would you be interested in trying it out?”
What kind of a question was that I thought? I am the kind of a wife when asked by her DH what would she like for her anniversary says my dream is to own a grocery store, can you buy me one? Really I said exactly this. And if you don’t trust me I could pass on my husband’s contact number.
So my answer was a resounding yes. New ingredients always come with both an element of surprise and a chance to be creative and I couldn’t be happier.
Here’s what worked for me brilliantly and what I would like a little different.

Things that worked:
  • Loved the little note on top that read “Inspiring creativity”
  • It was like my birthday/Christmas came early. The excitement of what was hiding in that box under all those wood shavings had me dancing with joy at seven in the morning.
  • A great concept where you get acquainted with ingredients that are new in the market or what may be new to you. Food lover’s idea of heaven is meeting new ingredients and making friends with them, right?
  • An interesting mix of ingredients. From some that could be eaten/drank straight out of the box, to some which helped me prepare a meal in minutes (bottled sauces) to even basics like lentils.
  • The quantities of each of the products were very generous. Frankly speaking I had expected sample sized products to just introduce the subscriber to the products and help us make up our mind if we’d like to buy them the next time we are out shopping.
  • The box also contained a little booklet carrying a introductory note on the theme of the box, recipes that one could try with the enclosed products, product ads, contests, etc
  • The team asked me what time I would like the delivery to be made and the box was in my hands in the time band I had requested. Very impressive.
  • But most importantly new ingredients always help you get out of a cooking rut and bring back that excitement both in the kitchen & on the dining table.

Things that could definitely be spiced up a bit
  • Much as I appreciated the addition of the small book carrying recipes, contests, products adverts, etc I would have appreciated had the look been less commercial/in your face product catalogue type & more in line with the beautiful concept & the look of the Chef Box. You know I am happy to “meet” the products through your eyes but not so happy to meet them through those of the manufacturers’. Perhaps a little more information on the whats & whys of organic & sustainability, a story on why you chose the products you did because doesn’t food really taste better when you know the story behind it? And ofcourse the very people making these products.
  • The box needs to be a bit sturdy and could be much smaller. It came with very many glass bottles and my fear was that had your colleague not been as careful as he was while delivering it they would have reached me all broken.
I want to stay away from reviewing each of the products because each month I am sure that I might fall in love with some of the products and not feel very warm towards others; the very essence of this box. Knowing more ingredients and then deciding which ones would a permanent place in your kitchen.Having said that, I quite liked the mix in this month’s Going Organic box. The box had a lot of Thai products as well and since we love eating Thai at home those got extra points 🙂  

Would I recommend this box to family & friends & my lovely readers? Big YES. 
It is like a present you give yourself for being totally fabulous in the kitchen. Brilliant for gifting too.

Thank you Team Chef Box for making me a part of your journey. Every new journey comes with new challenges, teething problems, feedback, appreciation notes, pats on the back, hardwork, sleepless nights and I am sure you are getting all of that and more. Lots of wishes for the entire team.

Please note: All views expressed here are my own and The Chef Box invited me to try out this subscription service. 

Images : Personal Album. While you enjoy reading this post with visuals.Please do not use them without asking. They belong to Orange Kitchens unless otherwise stated.  
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