Want a home-cooked dinner, but don’t want to make it yourself?
Kitchensurfing has a solution to your problems.
For $US25 a person, Kitchensurfing brings a professional chef to your home, who will make you dinner and clean up the mess afterwards.
Founded in 2012, Brooklyn-based Kitchensurfing has raised $US19.5 million from investors including Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, BoxGroup, and Joanne Wilson.
We were curious, so we decided to try Kitchensurfing for ourselves.
When you log into Kitchensurfing's website, you choose one of three main courses. Each day, Kitchensurfing offers one meal with a meat-based protein, one vegetarian meal, and one meal with fish. (We went with the vegetarian option). You also choose a one-hour time slot for your chef to come prepare your meal.
The day of your meal, you'll receive a confirmation from Kitchensurfing, letting you know which chef is coming to cook for you.
This is our chef, Chris. He told us he's been working for Kitchensurfing for three months, but that he also has his own catering business on the side.
Right now, Kitchensurfing is available in Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, The Hamptons, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and Washington, DC. You pay $25 for each person eating, and you can book dinner for anywhere from 2 to 6 people.
Chris arrived a little early for our 9 pm appointment. He brought his own cooking equipment and all of the ingredients for our dinner in baggies, like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh does.
The only things he used from our kitchen were our stove, oven, and a couple bowls for mixing and serving.
Chris told us he works 3 or 4 days a week for Kitchensurfing. He says the company is pretty flexible with scheduling.
Chris was really easy to talk to -- it wasn't nearly as awkward, as we had predicted, having someone make dinner for us while we hung out with him.
Kitchensurfing's chefs are background checked chefs with culinary training, but they don't customise meals or make substitutions. If there's something in a meal you don't like, the chefs can omit it.
Kitchensurfing's dinners are $25 a person, which includes the price of ingredients, labour, travel, and tip. Chris told us that instead of getting paid per meal, chefs get paid on a per day basis.
Beyond just cooking the meal, he took great pains to make it presentable. When he first arrived, Chris asked if I had platters to serve the meal. Given that I only had big bowls, he decided to use classier-looking paper plates that he brought.
Here's the salad he prepared. It had mixed greens, goat cheese, pecans, and a nice vinaigrette on top.
While we began eating, Chris cleaned up his supplies. Then he packed up, shook our hands, and went on his way. The food was good, but it's likely something we'd only do for a very special occasion. Living in New York can be busy, but we both cook at home to save money. $25 a head is a luxury that would be nigh impossible to incorporate regularly (and the meal would have to be the most amazing food ever, which this was not).
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