I recently visited my cousin David and his wife Amanda in Boston. The primary agenda for the trip was to meet their 20 month old daughter who I was excited to see. The other thing I was excited to see in person was Amanda's new venture, Pantry.
Pantry is a business that sells recipe kits; a brick and mortar Blue Apron if you will.
I guess the place is technically a grocery store since you buy food there but the experience and the look of the place feels more like a boutique store.
The space is wonderfully designed and organized. I love the clean, spare layout and the floating oversized recipe cards with the beautiful photos of the dishes hanging over the tables. Along with the recipe kits, Pantry also sells wine and beer to complement the dishes as well as cooking tools like cast iron skillets, knives and such.
Each kit you buy comes with pre-proportioned ingredients as well as a recipe card that gives you step by step instructions on how to make the dish. The best part for novice/non cooks or for the harried, I think, is no more measuring. Instead of figuring out how much a teaspoon of something is, you just open the packet and dump it in.
Another potential benefit (one I'm hoping for) is less food wastage. The amount of ingredients in each kit is measured for that recipe so you no longer need to buy a whole can of seasoning for the one time you will be making the dish. No more buying the entire bundle of greens for the single sprig. With 40% of our food going to waste each year, any way to reduce the wastage is good.
The day I was visiting, the Pantry crew was testing the new recipe for pad Thai noodles. mmmm! Those who know me know that I take to noodle dishes like duck takes to water.
OK. but it's one thing for professional cooks to use the kits. How well do the kits work in real life situation, many of you are asking. Not to throw anyone under the bus or anything but...
during my visit, David (the investment banker) made dinner for us one night using the Pantry kits, a seafood dish and soup. I'd never seen David cook before. The results were delicious. So if David can cook a wonderful meal using the kit......(sorry for throwing you under the bus Dave!)
If you are in the Brookline area in Boston, go visit Pantry and say hi to Amanda for me.