A group of Kiwi chefs are preparing to do something perhaps considered unusual in their profession – sharing their recipe secrets.
"In fact we are so excited by the idea, we hope thousands of New Zealanders will soon be recreating our recipes in their own kitchens," says Polly Brodie, head of My Food Bag's development kitchen.
The idea comes as the meal kit company expands beyond its traditional meal kits and ready-made meals to offer emerging local grocery products and recipes in its Kitchen range which customers can add to their orders.
Available for weekly ordering, the new range includes ideas for meals other than "just weeknight dinners", Brodie says. Initially starting with around 20 "hard-to-find" New Zealand products and recipes, the meal kit delivery company is hoping to grow that number to approximately 75 over the next few months.
Brodie says her team loves the idea of sharing the information.
"Every week we receive requests from customers asking where they can buy our ingredients like spice mixes, our custom made sauces or how to recreate a pudding mix we have supplied them with like our popular chocolate self-saucing pudding," she says.
"Well, now we are going to offer these for sale every week and it will actually give customers more options to add to their orders.
"As well as being developed by and tested by My Food Bag's chefs, the Kitchen range has been guided by co-founder Nadia Lim's Nude Food philosophy."
The new range covers pantry staples, go-to baking mixes, dessert kits, healthy breakfasts, local gourmet cheeses, meats, ready-made meals and some of My Food Bag's own sauces and spices. It will include My Food Bag and Fresh Start branded products and recipes as well as local boutique brands such as Culley's hot sauces and House of Dumplings chilli oil.
Brodie says the 15 chefs that are part of the kitchen team are constantly being sent new food products from local suppliers to taste. "We always try them and will choose the best of those. In fact I've tried everything we're offering in the Kitchen range multiple times, it's the best part of the job.
"Every week we get to assess a range of products we are working on or tweaking for recipes," she says. "While our chefs have a wide range of backgrounds including catering, restaurants and writing cookbooks, we also like to include the opinions of those from our wider team who have no cooking background.
"At the end of the day we all love food and being able to test and try great New Zealand products every day is amazing."
CEO Kevin Bowler says the idea behind the new range is to help New Zealanders with more of their meals now that My Food Bag has made mid-week dinners easy.
"This is our first significant step outside of weeknight meals and signals our move beyond 'what's for dinner'," he says. "It gives us the ability to offer new exciting products to our customers and enter new food categories by leveraging our existing business model and platform."
Since launching eight years ago My Food Bag has delivered more than 88 million meals to over 300,000 Kiwi households and Bowler says the launch is part of the company's aim to expand further into the $37 billion New Zealand retail food sector.
For more information to go: www.myfoodbag.co.nz/kitchen