Most of us need a vacation more than anything else these days, and I had one last week in the form of a break from the drudgery of grocery shopping and cooking. I hired Jeffrey Cave, a personal chef with an illustrious background (including Bar Bouchée, Bouley, and Gotham Bar & Grill)) to prepare a few days worth of restaurant-quality meals at home.
It matters not whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, keto, paleo, or any other dietary preference or restriction, this guy (with his wife Ellie) can prepare all of it. A specialty is crafting tasty meals for restrictive diets, which just might keep you on track longer. He’ll come to your home and whip up, well, anything you would like.
The real difference between their company, Set for Dinner, and typical take-out is the use of the highest quality, mainly organic ingredients, precise preparation (my O/C side appreciated the exacting dice of vegetables), and creative options.
No planning/grocery shopping/cooking for four full days was as close to a break as I’ll get this winter, and it was the ultimate luxury. I’ve always said if I won the lottery, I’d hire a driver (just ask my friends about my driving skills), but I’ve changed my mind. If I could, I’d have Jeff come every week.
Our first dinner was a super healthy and comforting soba noodle bowl of poached salmon, tofu, spinach, and mushrooms in a mushroom dashi broth. All I had to do was heat the broth and pour it over. I would happily eat this nourishing and delicious meal every day. Day two included a fresh salad Niçoise with perfectly peeled baby potatoes, crisp lettuce spears, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and Kalamata olives, topped with chunks of seasoned tuna and a lemony vinaigrette. Dinner that night was indulgent and delish: steaming bowls of kimchi fried rice studded with bacon bits. Yum.
A pot of vegan tomato and fennel soup was perfect for lunch the following day. We supped heartily that night on chicken and vegetable coconut curry with cilantro-lime basmati rice.
Have a look at the menu on the site for ideas, but there is no limit to what Jeff and his wife Ellie (a graduate of the Culinary Institute with stints at Jean-Georges and Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit) can dream up.
Set for Dinner offers a variety of pricing options based on how many meals you want, or they’ll fill your freezer with a week’s worth. Once things get back to normal, we can look forward to intimate dinner parties and cooking classes. Given how much we’re saving on forgoing dinners out and vacations, the prices (based on meals for 4 to 6) are reasonable.
Find out more and view menus here: https://setfordinner.com
Main photo: Trout with French lentils and morel cream, courtesy of Set For Dinner
Photos below courtesy of Set For Dinner:
Short Ribs with Gremolata
Skillet Strawberry Pie