Guess what? I was once a Personal Chef.  You might be thinking “but, Oonagh – I’m on your LinkedIN profile all the time and I’ve never seen that!” I know. Because I wasn’t very good at it. I did, however, make off with this sweet professional-looking jacket. I wear this whenever I want to make an unholy mess of my kitchen and set off the smoke alarm:


The truth is that I find planning meals, having the right ingredients on hand, and then having 35 kid-free minutes to whip up a meal really challenging. Which is sucks because:

  • It’s sort of MY JOB to stay healthy (it’s sort of your job, too. Just sayin’)
  • I know that huge part of staying healthy is eating well.
  • I believe that eating well is mostly about making your own food (see the intro to the cookbook we created last year, where I talk about the immense value of home cooking)

So you see the dilemma. For me, doing one hundred burpees (like we just did in my 9:45am Bootcamp) is fun on a bun:



…but figuring out how to consume more broccoli, less beer

is a serious pain in my ass.

Enter Chef’s Plate.

Chef’s Plate is not like other meal delivery services where you get the cooked meal and your job is to reheat and serve. With Chef’s Plate, they send you ingredients and a recipe card. A local Toronto start up, Chef’s Plate nailed down executive chef Jason Rosso (formerly of Sassafraz) to design the yummy weekly menu. The clincher? They make an argument that you actually save money with Chef’s Plate because the pre-measured ingredients ensure that you aren’t over-buying – or wasting – food.

Their prices work out to $10.79 a plate and they point out that a consumer would spend 120% more in buying the ingredients from Loblaws. I think they are probably right.

So I put in my order for the two vegetarian options last week, the Traditional Korean Bibimbap and the Golden Cherry Tomato & Feta Rustic Tart. Here’s what happened:

  • It was very exciting to get the package and the recipe card and unpack them, imagining myself as a luscious Nigella Lawson type just cranking out these gorgeous meals for my family.


  • I actually learned a lot about cooking. The recipe cards are written for novices (or *cough cough* former Personal Chefs) so the instructions are very detailed.   I learned a whole new way of cooking rice that I will definitely use again. And it was easier to make pastry from scratch than I thought.


Tart about to go in the oven

Tart about to go in the oven


I still totally burned the carmelized onions, though:




  • Chef’s Plate expanded my food horizons.  Neither of these dishes have ever been on my weekly food rotation and variety is a good thing.
  • The food was delicious. For reals. For someone who likes to keep things basic, I was super chuffed with myself when I was finished.

Traditional Korean Bibimbap


For all these reasons, I totally recommend that you give Chef’s Plate a try. Best of all, you can get two FREE trial meals on me by entering the code below on the Chef’s Plate site:

Get my Two Free Meals From Chef’s Plate

Really. Do it. It’s a great service, you’ve got nothing to lose and I totally recommend it. One caveat, though:

the two meals that I made were calorie BOMBS,


weighing in at 740 calories per serving for the Bibimbap


and 875 calories per serving for the Tart.

IMG_3376 I emailed Chef’s Plate to ask about it and this is what I got back:

 “Please note that our customers (and your readers) are always provided with the caloric information before they order the meals so they can see exactly what meals fit their diet.”

As I mentioned, these were the only vegetarian options for that week. However, it’s worth noting that this week’s menu includes Miso Tofu Skirataki Noodles and Zucchini Fritters with Yogurt Dipping Sauce, which have a much more reasonable calorie count (350 and 380 per serving, respectively). There is also a Chicken Summer Crunch Salad and Baked Trout with Sautéed Leeks for my omnivores. Both have moderate calories and punch hard in the nutrient department. yummy   So go get those two free meals and share this post with your friends so they can get theirs.  Here is the link again. Then make sure to leave a comment and let me know what you think of  Chef’s Plate.

Happy carmelizing!