Woo your lover with real chef style and UCOOK

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LET me tell you what I like about UCOOK. First of all, its meals make me look good in the kitchen, and that’s super important if you’re cooking to impress. The recipes are easy to follow – although sometimes you need to let your heart guide you – and of all the boxes I’ve cooked, not one has turned out a flop.

Sure, my plating and presentation sometimes leave a bit to be desired, but it’s always a spectacular taste sensation. I also like that the meal kits shove me out of my comfort zone and have me preparing dinners I would never have thought of attempting. I’m that person who has shelves filled with beautiful cookbooks by wonderful chefs and authors, with the everlasting intention of trying new dishes but somehow slides helplessly back into tried and trusted things I’ve been eating since I was…well, never mind about that bit. A long time.

Yellowtail with flatbreads

This is all very reassuring for anyone who is a bit awkward when confronted with the task of homemade meals. UCOOK takes the guesswork and stress out of it by delivering a box packed with all the ingredients you need, measured out, along with recipe cards with step by step instructions.

You’re probably aware it’s Valentine’s Day this coming Sunday. As the saying goes, the fastest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. It’s actually through the ribcage with a chainsaw, but okay, it’s not supposed to be literal. Surely? Anyway. Rattling those pots and pans, stirring and searing, and a little bit of sweating is a way of showing how much you care; sharing the results with someone you love makes all the effort worthwhile.

UCOOK has employed the talents of chef Neill Anthony to create some special recipes which are now available on the site, with delivery on Sunday, or Monday the 15th(depending on your area). I got to try out the slow-baked trout with red quinoa salad (with lentils and green beans), chilli-lime mayo and an orange dressing. The description is a bit misleading; the trout is only baked for about 12 minutes, and it was perfect.

Slow baked trout

Anthony’s famous pea risotto with pecorino cheese, pine nuts and balsamic-glazed baby onions was featured on his TV show, and is ready to order now (pictured at the top of the story). New dishes will be added on Wednesday, February 10. I really enjoyed my pan-fried yellowtail with flatbreads (which I made for the first time and they’re super easy), butter lettuce, pickled red onion, slaw, cumin crème fraîche and crispy panko crumbs.

For more information, click here.

A BIT ABOUT NEILL ANTHONY

A jewel of the local food industry, Neill Anthony is a private chef who “recreates restaurant experiences in people’s homes.” He spent 10 fast-paced years in Europe training in the professional kitchens of some of the world’s best chefs, his main claim to fame being his position as pâtissier at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill. After cooking for the likes of Madonna, Victoria Beckham, and Elton John, he returned to Cape Town to become a personal chef. He now cooks restaurant quality food for clients in their own homes. Neill’s cuisine is described as a perfect balance between elegant and approachable and has delighted countless palates – celebrities and non-celebrities alike.

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