Tester's Review: Home Chef food service.
I've been on the Home Chef program for about 3 months. My rich daughter gave it to my wife as a gift. My wife doesn't cook anymore, so I get to prepare all these meals. Two meals and a smoothie kit came each week. Each meal serves two and costs $10/plate. The food arrives from Salt Lake City via FedEx Ground, and there's ALWAYS an extra day of handling in a warehouse on this end (Portland, OR). That's bad in the summer. The food is insulated inside the box with a fiber-mat blanket, and contains what Home Chef feels are adequate gel-ice packs to keep it cold. I had one where the raw chicken and fish meals had meat which had risen to 45 degrees (late summer, one of the first boxes we got). Home Chef refunded that box.
The veggies are always top-drawer stuff, at least as good as you'd get from Whole Foods or some other natural grocer. The meats are excellent quality, but these people think that a 5 ounce steak is a meal??? Chicken meals are usually 7 ounces, better. The fish is also too small of a portion at 5-6oz, and they use farmed Atlantic Salmon! Huge No-No to ship that to the West Coast!
Most of the meals require elaborate sauces/presentations. Many of those are the complex sauces you watched Julia Child whip up when you were young. I'm not impressed. A cutlet or chop properly sauteed in olive oil flavored with pre-chopped garlic from a jar and chopped shallots is hard to beat for me, and some of these cream-bases sauces are quite tricky to get right. The customer winds up doing a lot of chopping of veggies. If that's your thing, great. There ARE very good instructions with good pictures, suitable for saving on heavy plastic card-stock, and they provide a binder.
The smoothies are a PITA to make, AND they use grossly-stinky Greek yogurt. When done, they are too big to consume in one sitting at 1.5 qts, but they don't keep until you might want to drain another one. You need two people to drink the smoothies, and I refuse, because of STINKY YOGURT in it! I did experiment with using the provided fruits, etc to make Frappes without the yogurt, substituting ice cream, and those were SCRUMPTIOUS!
Bottom line, from fridge to table to tummy to finishing cleaning up is never less than two hours with Home Chef meals, and can be two and a half hours. Mostly for this reason, I cannot recommend Home Chef. The biggest advantage of Home Chef, IMHO, is no leftovers with their small portions.
UPDATE: 122817 0952 PST
My biggest beef with this company is their logistics. They use FedEx Ground, which is okay in the cold seasons, but not fast enough in the warm season. The truck comes up I-84 from SLC, goes right by FedEx' new distribution hub at Troutdale (I live 6 miles from it) and unloads the package at the Portland warehouse. It gets there in early morning and sits there until next morning, when it goes out on the route truck and I get it in mid-to-late afternoon. Neither the warehouse or route truck are refrigerated, so that's an extra 30+ hours of un-refrigerated time the food has to spend to get to me. This delay actually DOUBLES the transit time of the packages. When I tried to discuss this with Home Chef, they refused to answer my emails or my request for discussion via their website. I'm no Commie, but I think that Government needs to force companies which move NOT-FROZEN raw meats/fish via ground transport to at least use enroute refrigeration and a refrigerated section in any warehouse it has to sit in. I fail to understand why the boxes are not ever handled as perishable, except by their internal packaging.