Remember the ad for a pasta brand from the early 2000’s showing a cheerful Italian nonna whipping up authentic Italian fare before being hidden away in a cupboard?
With ReadyChef, you can hide French, Asian, Italian, Indian, Greek and countless other chefs in your freezer, ready to pluck out and put to work as the mood takes you.
Launched mid-pandemic by serial entrepreneurs and foodies, Graham Cherrington and Andrew Watson, ReadyChef leverages local restaurants and caterers to build a curated collection of quality frozen meals, offering a huge variety to the end consumer while supporting the hospitality industry which has been devastated by the Covid-19 lockdowns and ensuing recession.
Says Andrew Watson:
Lockdown radically changed humanity’s habits in many ways, not least of all our attitude towards cooking and eating. After we’d all had our share of baking banana bread and experimenting in the kitchen, we soon realised that we can only be so creative before our own cooking becomes boring. At the same time, housebound South Africans were looking for ways to avoid the shops while keeping themselves well fed – a convenience that looks set to stay now that we’re used to it. Hence the rise of curated meals delivered to your door, and we felt that the time was right to launch ReadyChef.
Adds Graham Cherrington, “We both live in Hout Bay which has a powerful community vibe and a famous culinary spirit. We first asked some of our favourite local restaurants and caterers if they’d be interested in coming on board with us, and they all enthusiastically said yes. Outside of Hout Bay, others signed up quickly too. So with close to a hundred meals on the menu including vegetarian, vegan and low-carb options, we can honestly say we offer the greatest variety of delicious and nutritious, quality, freezer-friendly meals. And there’s many more options on the way.”
The partners agree that their vision is to see more people spending time out of the kitchen, spending time with their families, while still enjoying a wide variety of delicious meals around the dinner table together. “But we don’t want to set foot in the kitchen. We are logistics guys, techies and marketers. So we’ve been very careful to select supplier-partners who we can trust to do what they’re great at, while we focus on what we do best.”
ReadyChef meals are made with the best quality South African produce and flash frozen to lock in flavour and goodness.
The service is only available in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands for now, but will be hitting Jozi soon. Delivery takes between five and eight days as each meal is made to order, and delivery is free for orders over R850.