Chef-inspired, restaurant quality food can now be delivered to your doorstep. Goodbye greasy take-out. No more cardboard pizza. Time for delicious, delivered. Mod Meals is sourcing great food from familiar Cleveland chefs and bringing the meals right to you.
This week I attended the launch party for Mod Meals. It’s a new service that gets you off the hook for dinner, offering a healthy alternative to drive-thru… soggy, lukewarm take out, or slaving over the stove after a long day. It provides locally-sourced quality meals developed by four of the city’s favorite chefs.
Karen Williams from The Flying Fig
Through a free app, customers will be able to browse the day’s menu. Creators expect each chef will each offer three items daily (entrees, snacks and kid’s meals) They will change them up regularly. Users can view the ingredients, for diet or allergy concerns, and price. There will also be bios and backgrounds on the chefs for those who are interested. Mod mealers will then choose the dish(es) they’d like to eat, along with a delivery time (cut off time will be about 3 or 4pm…they will work out those kinks as the first orders come in)
I have to admit, this sounds both easy and appealing…especially as those cold winter months descend upon us, when the thought of leaving your house to get food seems as appetizing as cold leftovers.
The chefs who attended the launch party were all excited about getting their cuisine out to people who may not have sampled them before, and furthering their brand. And they were all genuinely interested and challenged by the process of developing food for “at-home finishing.” Chef Okin said he actually had to buy a microwave for his restaurant’s kitchen so as to properly write the heating instructions. Chef Small told me that during development, they had to work with the ingredients and the dishes to develop them to a certain stage, then chill them…factoring in re-heating that would be going on either in a conventional oven or a microwave.
Cost is also a factor, obviously. To keep prices points for customers within a certain range ($10-15 for entrees, $5-10 for kids meals) the chefs have to sell the dishes to the company for about $5 each. So the kinds of ingredients they’re using for their Mod Meals are not going to be exactly the same that you’ll see at their establishments. But still, the dishes they offered as tastings at the event certainly echoed their established menus.
Eric Williams sampled corn tamales with roasted chicken and steamed corn tamales with eskabeche.
Karen Small provided braised beef shoulder pot roast with celery root puree.
Ben Bebenroth cooked up some seared salmon with ginger broccoli and wild rice, and squash mac n cheese.
And Brian Oken offered chicken confit, creamy polenta and bacon braised collard greens.
Now…for an at-home taste test. Launch party guests were sent off with packaged samples of what Mod Meals will deliver to its customers. So I brought home a pair of braised pork chops and celery root puree dreamed up by Chef Small, and followed the instructions on the packaging.
The meat was tender. The sauce was flavorful. The sides were not an afterthought. All the things you’d expect from a restaurant quality meal. I ate it in my pajamas, and I didn’t have to do any dishes. Not a bad Tuesday night.