Start-up delivers home cooked meals to your door
- Credit: Courtesy of Homychef
The hunger for takeaways and meal kits exploded during lockdown – but even Deliveroo can get stale from overuse.
Now, three entrepreneurial French friends, with a background in investment banking, are taking meal delivery to a different level – offering home cooked food to your door.
Homychef founders Gregor Szajman, Charly Amar and Yaniv Ohana have 13 children between them, with not enough time to cook from scratch every day, yet a desire to feed them tasty, unprocessed meals.
They wanted to connect diners with entrepreneurial cooks in their neighbourhood and celebrate food's ability to bring people together.
"The idea came up because we had enough of ordering traditional take-away and wanted something more authentic," says Amar, a father-of-five from Golders Green.
Szajman, who lives in West Hampstead from where Homychef launched, serving mostly NW postcodes, adds: "We thought it would be great to give people the opportunity to have a home cooked meal, to have a positive impact on our neighbourhood, and perhaps help people reconnect with the dishes from their childhood.
"I love West Hampstead the atmosphere, the gastropubs. It seemed a nice place to start finding chefs. We started the platform building the chefs, there's a lot of demand and it's growing so we will be reaching out further in London."
- 1 English Heritage calls a halt to summer concerts at Kenwood House
- 2 'It still happens': In the field with north London's fox hunt saboteurs
- 3 Man, 22, shot dead in Wood Green
- 4 Sleep like a Kingmaker at Warwick Castle
- 5 Award-winning Neapolitan pizzeria to open in Belsize Park
- 6 Women and non-binary artists raise funds for health charity
- 7 NHS to close Hampstead-based children's gender identity clinic
- 8 Man shot in his heart outside Queen's Park flats named
- 9 Fresh review launched following anniversary of death of Gaia Young
- 10 Biography 'gets close to truth' of George Michael's life and tragic death
The main difference with traditional takeaway is that meals must be ordered at least 24 hours in advance and are delivered chilled in time for lunch or dinner.
"People have to understand it's a different process from a restaurant where the kitchen is going all evening," says Amar. "It's a question of hygiene and flexibility for the chef."
"There's a high standard of home cooked food in France it's like a culture we grew up with," says Szajman, who cites pasta as his go-to home cooked meal.
"I have three boys and managing by myself at the weekend I was concerned that sometimes they eat too much processed food. We have a busy life with lots of after school activities and we were ordering a lot of Deliveroo. When my mum cooks even a simple pasta with sauce we all love it."
The chefs themselves range from enthusiastic home cooks, to stay at home mums and professional caterers or private chefs earning a little extra. All have a hygiene certificate and have passed a crucial home inspection and taste test. Our trial ranged from Nepalese dumplings or momos, to a spicy Szechuan rice, to a hearty Greek moussaka and pastry parcels, and an Indian paneer curry. We also tucked into red velvet cupcakes and a delicious chocolate and coconut cake.
"We guarantee the quality of our cooks," says Szajman. "We are trying to give access to people who always loved cooking but never wanted to take the step of opening a restaurant. They can cook whenever they want, have their own menu, there's no obligation to cook every day."
He confesses: "I have put on weight from tasting but discovered so many dishes from different countries like Portugal and India. With take-aways I usually order the same thing, so it's been fantastic to discover new cultures. Now I'm much more open minded."
Order online at www.homychef.co.uk/