May 27, 2022
Tom Carriage was one of the many famous chefs who started offering restaurant quality food to people’s homes during epidemics (Photo: Steve Parsons / PA)

But that was before a virus forced every restaurant on earth to close. There were constant expenses but the income disappeared, the cooks had to find a way to stay in business. The rest of us got stuck in the house and bored cooking for ourselves, the solution was obvious.

No chef has opened a restaurant for takeaways. He was interested in the big picture – creating a menu, making a wine list, offering a personal service, appropriate music and a good atmosphere.

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But if the choice was between providing food for the people at home or not being able to feed their families, then something had to be given.

What helped was that everyone was doing it. From Tom Carriage to Angela Hartnett and Michelle Rox Jr., some of the world’s greatest chefs stock up on takeaway containers and turn ovens on.

Two years later, the trend of home-cooked food kits in restaurants shows no signs of slowing down.

Of course for some it was going to be just a stop gap. The sheer logistics involved in fulfilling orders and sending them to all corners of the country meant that some chefs were happy to close home deliveries as soon as they opened their doors.

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But for others, it has been a useful way to meet the two-year low income and maintain their relationship with their customers.

It also allows consumers to experience some of the best restaurants on earth without leaving home. O A new website called Dispatch With a simple click you can order Jose Pizarro’s ox cheek paella or Yotam Ottolenghi’s kitchen mezze.

Your food arrives by courier in a fully recycled insulated box and all you have to do is follow the reheating instructions and try not to drop it on the floor.

Here in Scotland, restaurants such as Continis, Café St Honore and Ondine are still dining at home in addition to their traditional service, offering more choice to customers who are still eating out. Am I hesitant or can’t find a nanny or want to cook?

In the last two years, I’ve tried my fair share of everything from Kyloe’s Steak Me Home meat feast to the extravagance of seafood at one of Birmingham’s best Indian restaurants. This trend has opened up all sorts of new possibilities.

I even turned to Valentine’s Day with a special scallops, lobster and chocolate fondant dinner from the French-inspired modern brasserie chain coat. They are based on well-priced and cleverly packaged meals and knowing what the customer wants. They even have an epic ski kit that includes a fondue for those unable to hit the slopes this winter.

At the onset of the epidemic, home-based restaurant kits seemed like an immediate solution to a frustrating situation, but as restaurants and consumers prepare, there is no doubt that they are here to stay.

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