As a foodie, I certainly can’t knock the novelty and decadence of frequenting a restaurant for dinner. From the expertly crafted ambiance to (hopefully) attentive service, the experience extends beyond your meal. Still, often there’s something even more delicious about a quiet, comfortable night in. And, in my mind, a leisurely evening at home and a tasty dinner should not be mutually exclusive.
Neil Cuggy & Jonathan Ferrari, the brains behind recipe delivery service, Culiniste, had a similar notion. Longing to prepare interesting meals utilizing fresh and sometimes exotic ingredients, they became frustrated with the grocery delivery options, or lack thereof, available to them. After learning about a prepare-your-own-meal service in Europe, they were inspired to introduce a similar concept at home. And so was the birth of Culiniste, currently delivering to Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Here’s how it works. Every week, Culiniste home-delivers all the necessities for three full dinners. This includes meat, fresh produce, seasonings, and more, already proportioned and measured based on your plan – two-person, or family (recommended for four people). Accompanying the fixings are well-detailed recipes, carefully instructing and guiding you along your culinary journey. Vegetarian and gluten-free friends will find some excellent bites in Culiniste’s range of dishes, too.
Meals are chosen based on questions of preference, answered upon registering on Culiniste. Using your tastes, dietary restrictions, and cooking level, Culiniste suggests three recipes they think you’ll love. Not so impressed with their choices? That’s okay. You can take a peek at the offerings online and edit your selection.
Recipes are developed in conjunction with suppliers, based on seasonal ingredients. Culiniste favors local suppliers but does import internationally occasionally for freshness’ sake. Think California for oranges, or Mexico for avocados.
One thing I appreciated greatly was the variety of cuisines explored in their dinner options. The odds that you’ll try a new meal is high, widening your palate and upping your foodie cred.
The picks I opted for during my round with Culiniste were Pan-Seared Bavette Steak with Roasted Sweet Potato and Watercress Salad, Chipotle Chicken Chilaquiles with Toasted Tortillas, Escarole Lettuce & Avocado, and Seared Tilapia with Moroccan-Spiced Salsa and Dressed Jerusalem Couscous.
I was beyond impressed! Every meal was fabulous but there was a clear winner in my heart. The chilaquiles was immediately added to our dinner rotation and chipotles in adobo sauce stocked in the pantry. Check out their recipe and recreate it at home!
The recipe levels were well-matched with my own culinary prowess. The herb-packed with a hint of sweet tilapia dish required me to supreme an orange for the first time, a task more difficult to explain than to perform.
Culiniste’s benefits extend beyond simply the comfort of a home-cooked dish. Almost as awesome as my full post-supper stomach was the pride I felt that I had concocted such satisfying and sophisticated dishes. Better yet, knowing I wouldn’t have to spend the next week trying my hardest to use up the bunch of dill, slowly withering in the fridge, due to the recipe service’s brilliant waste-eliminating portion system.
If you have a busy week ahead of you or you’re just looking to sample recipes outside of your regular cycle, consider Culiniste! Two-person plans total at $59/week and Family plans will run you $115.