I’m a Former Chef and These Are the Mail-Order Meals I Lean on When I Don’t Feel Like Cooking

published Apr 22, 2022
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Credit: Cathy Pyle

Working in restaurants, you get used to making everything from scratch. From mayo to pie dough, nothing in a good professional kitchen is store bought, and after you’ve had food that deliciously fresh, it’s hard to accept less than the best in your home kitchen. Even after leaving my culinary career behind, I’m still a bit of a food snob, so when it comes to meal delivery services, I haven’t tried many. Had I known that I might find something as impressive as Territory Foods, I definitely wouldn’t have waited so long to them a second look.

From the start, Territory stood out to me because they work with independent chefs (and some well-known restaurants) to generate menus that incorporate only high-quality, local, sustainably sourced ingredients. As a former chef, that’s pretty much exactly what I would dream up if I were starting a delivery service myself!

When my box arrived, it contained a week’s worth of lunches (or dinners), as well as a bonus breakfast option, and everything was insulated and ready to stow in my fridge. The meals, in eco-friendly packing, were thoroughly labeled with information about the chef/restaurant who developed the recipe, where the meal was prepared and packaged, and a full nutrition and ingredient list. If you have a restricted diet in any way (I’m a Celiac, I get it) Territory is the right place to turn. Not only are all their meals free of refined sugar, gluten, and dairy, they also offer options for keto, vegetarian, plant-based, and Whole-30 food plans.

Unlike other products I’ve tried that cater to restricted diets, Territory Foods never compromises on flavor. Even my boyfriend, a sloppy joe-, milkshake-, and hot Cheeto-loving eater was impressed — so much so, that he stole two meals and took them to work for lunch! We tried a handful of items (like coconut turmeric overnight oats with berry compote and steak fajitas with tomatillo sauce— yum!), and our only complaint was that we didn’t have doubles, since everything was so delicious. The beautifully plated and packaged food feels truly wholesome, and the portions turned out to be plenty for us — we never left a meal hungry.

Credit: Stella Totino

Territory delivers on a bi-weekly basis, and with each delivery you can choose to receive between four and 12 meals, depending on your needs. Each chef-approved meal costs between $13 and $20, and sides cost less than $9 apiece. Not bad for such high-quality goodness! If you have lofty standards for what you eat, Territory Foods is the meal delivery service for you. I can’t wait to see what’s on the menu for next week…