I’d heard snippets about HelloFresh, all of them positive, from both friends and various media streams but when the opportunity arose to visit them first hand and participate in a box review, I really couldn’t resist! Let’s come clean from the start – I’m not a great cook, I reach for convenience over quality from scratch meals and I certainly don’t want to slave over a stove for several hours. Conversely, I love good food, in particular, good quality food and without the aid of a Harry Potter Wand transferring my finished meal from source to plate, well HelloFresh certainly seems the next best thing on the horizon.
I arrived at their Headquarters in Worship Lane with a mixed knot of anticipation and nervousness at what lay ahead but I have to say all anxiety was assuaged very promptly as the staff were so friendly and engaging. The architecture of the HQ has such a strong pull and influence – it quite simply is heavenly with natural light maximised to the full, pillars of recycled wood from warehouse boxes, an encyclopaedic library containing recipe books from many a bygone era, all combined with a high technology kitchen and cooking space. The ambience is very definitely one of creativity and union with an openness that transcends the space it fills. The brand image and personality is etched strongly from the moment you set foot in the building.
Without further ado, I found myself occupying a workspace with all ingredients and cooking utensils laid out not to mention the all important recipe card – Aubergine Tagliatelle with Chilli and Sun-Dried Tomato. Now all I had to do was cook it………………..! The first and overriding impression of the recipe card is its abject simplicity. With all the products ready and waiting to play their part, the eight-step recipe had a fluidity and grounded style that gave me both confidence and reassurance in equal measure.
The accompanying pictures also cemented the fact that I was doing things right! This was a 30-minute recipe which was spot on in terms of cooking time and our communal table was soon filled with everyone’s personal take on their dish. I was proud, really chuffed with my end result – as I mentioned before my cooking skills are pretty shabby and this showed me that ANYONE can cook given the right directions and written assistance that leaves out any pretentious highfalutin technical jargon.
As we sat at our beautifully decorated communal table devouring our dishes I was fortunate enough to chat to Patrick Drake, the co-founder and Head Chef of the business. His enthusiasm and passion and his obvious entrepreneurial vision was truly inspiring – this was someone who loved what they did, who believed in what they did and who wanted to share the results and take it to the next level, in whatever direction that may take. I loved the fact that the staff all appeared so motivated and that they were clearly valued by incentives such as the HelloFresh Monthly Hero Awards in various categories. Prizes are awarded to staff who have done that little bit extra for a customer – what a great way to encourage and surpass customer expectations.
Patrick himself had undertaken a remarkable journey – from the TV screened ”When Patrick Met Kylie – A Love (Of Food) Story, a show sold on to 67 countries to heading up the Global Brand HelloFresh with a monthly turnout of eight and a half million meals on a worldwide scale. HelloFresh is the first UK company to adopt this approach and its success is very much in evidence. And, in an effort to help spread the word about healthy eating Jamie Oliver and HelloFresh have come together. Jamie helps by contributing recipes, which are available to customers once a week. And, with every HelloFresh box bought, a donation is made to his charity, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation
I LOVED my day out. I am so eager and enthusiastic about receiving a month’s worth of boxes, an experience that I can duly share with London Unattached readers alongside some of the recipes and my own personal take on them. The old adage ”If I can do it, anyone can” really does apply in this instance. Watch this space and allow me over the forthcoming weeks to tackle my own culinary journey. Setting up box delivery is so straightforward – you choose the type of box you want dependent on the volume of people in the household and select a day (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Thursday) when you want your chilled box to arrive. All you need to focus on is donning an apron and following the easy instructions via the recipe card. Delivery is FREE too which is a huge bonus in my eyes.
I would like to extend my thanks to all hosts and staff at HelloFresh for making me so welcome and for a truly great day out.
For more about HelloFresh and to order your own, check their website.
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