“What’s for dinner?”
Chef Maureen Cubbon said it was that simple question among friends that sparked the idea for Zest Meals, a foodie-centred business recently launched in Cayman.
“Zest Meals is meal kit delivery system very similar to what you would find in North America or also in the UK – Blue Apron and Hello Fresh,” Cubbon, company co-founder, said. “So, we have taken that concept and Caymanised it. The idea is you can go on a weekly rotating menu, choose all the meals you would like to have and then we package it and deliver it to you.”
There are other meal-delivery services in the Cayman Islands – Brussels Sprouts, Nyamaste, Saucha and Eating Klean. What sets Zest apart, however, is it appears to be the only service without a subscription that delivers the separate ingredients to people’s homes and allows them to prepare the meals themselves.
“A lot of people offer prepared food, but this is just taking it forward and pulling together an idea really of getting people back in the kitchen, cooking, being healthful, knowing where your food comes from,” she said.
That vision is shared by consulting chef Jolene Nelson, who co-creates the menu items and mixes the special sauces that go with the meal kits.
“It’s a whole process literally from ground to the table,” Nelson said. “We do everything ourselves, make the recipes ourselves and we try everything so that we know what we are giving to you is something that not only we are happy to give to you, but we are happy to eat, too.”
Each kit comes with a recipe card, and meats and vegetables portioned for two. The ingredients are placed in individual containers in the meal kits.
“Everything is perfectly portioned, so you do not have to worry about following the recipe card and buying the big containers of all the ingredients, of sauces and oils and proteins,” Cubbon said. “That can add up cost wise and also not everyone uses all of their groceries, so you are looking at an implication of waste at the end of the week.”
Cubbon and Nelson are familiar faces on the local culinary arts circuit, appearing frequently at local events and competitions. They say they source ingredients locally whenever possible.
“Locally sourced is essential to us,” Nelson said. “You get the best quality, you get the best pricing. We also get the high nutrient quality with the things that are here, that are local, that are fresh, that are straight from the farms. So, when you are talking about nutrition and taste in the same sentence, local is only way to go.”
The meal kits start from $24 for two people and can range higher depending on the meal selections. Meal options change weekly and accommodate vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free requirements. Nelson said there are plans to expand the options next year to incorporate healthy breakfast, dessert and snack options.
“We love cooking, so whatever we can do to get families and people to do that, it’s a great thing and it’s convenient,” Cubbon said.
Cayman’s meal delivery options
Brussels Sprouts: brusselssprouts.ky
Eating Klean: eatingklean.com
Saucha Conscious Living: sauchaliving.com
Zest Meals: zestmeals.ky