When it comes to dinner, two things concern me: speed and quality. The cook in me likes to make a home cooked meal with quality ingredients, while the busy mom in me likes dinner to be done with a minimum of fuss and bother. Gourmet by Numbers manages to fulfill both those quotas. Founder Heather Amalaha has a vision for the company.
“Cooking is not just something that happens on TV or in restaurant kitchens. It’s a rewarding part of living a full life and has amazing benefits for your health and well being. You can cook. And we can help.” She founded the company after realizing how hard it was to be a working mom and be able to feed her children home cooked meals. With a background in Nutrition and Food Studies from NYU, she decided to combine her knowledge with her passion for feeding her family quality foods. She had created the business plan for the company while in college, and she knew this was the right time to implement it.
The Austin based company provides fresh, ready to cook meal kits delivered straight to your front door; if you prefer, meals can also be picked up at their store or at their local partners. Here’s how it works: go online and choose a tasty meal option. Certain recipes are also vegetarian, gluten free, vegan or dairy free, and every recipe is guaranteed to be done in 30 minutes or less. Heather’s goal is to involve people in the process of making dinner and allow them to be aware of the food they put on the table and where it came from.
“The ultimate goal of Gourmet by Numbers has always been to get people back in the kitchen and around the table sharing a good meal,” she says. You can subscribe to have the meals delivered regularly or simply select a onetime option. The meal kit you select is then put together with all the ingredients you need to prepare it at home; all you need to do is follow the instructions included with the kit! Gourmet by Numbers uses local, Austin area based ingredients to ensure that their customers receive the freshest dishes possible. “We source locally whenever possible and plan our menus so that we can use more of what is available locally,” Heather says. Their goal is to provide a healthy, gourmet, easy to cook meal for the busy family.
Gourmet by Numbers understands that not everyone is an Emeril or Rachael Ray, and they rate each meal on a difficulty level. I chose the Italian Sausage Ragu over Spaghetti, which was considered an easy difficulty, and I was surprised by how easy it actually was. Every ingredient included is pre measured, pre washed and labeled for each step; there is nothing to cut or measure out and you can adjust the amounts of oil and spices included in the kit.
Also included is a handy instruction card with each step clearly labeled and described. The meal preparation was accurate: I had the French bread cooking for the amount of time on the instruction card, which allowed me to cook my spaghetti and also prepare the sausage ragu. By the time I pulled the bread out of the oven, everything was done and ready to plate. It looked and tasted like I had spent a while in the kitchen, but in reality it only took me 25 minutes to make. The ingredients come in their own insulated carrying bag with two ice packs to keep everything fresh, and the bags are reusable if you are a subscriber. The website carries a list of meal kit options; subscribers to the site can choose from their library of options and the site has recipes from guest chefs that are featured every month.
Gourmet by Numbers wants to make sure their customers have access to a variety of locally sourced, quality food. Heather says the company wants anyone to be able to prepare a quality meal “so that it takes no more time than ordering in or eating out.”