QUEEN'S ROAD:Owing to the changing patterns of urban life, cooking at home is becoming a rare activity. Take-out food or dishes prepared by the domestic help dominate people’s nutrition. In an attempt to get Bangaloreans interested in the culinary arts, three city-based youngsters have come up with an innovative business model.
Entrepreneur Mohit, human resources expert Vishnu and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Sydney, Xerxes Bodhanwala have started an online platform, through which a customer can order a recipe. A customised packaged recipe kit with cooking instructions will then be delivered at their doorstep.
When a customer orders a meal after going through their website, Xerxes curates the dish. His team provides every critical aspect of the recipe, does all the chopping, marinating, filleting and packs them in proper food grade boxes, which are specially cooled so that the freshness is retained till it reaches the customer’s doorstep.
“Our expert chefs curate casual dining and main course recipes every month. Xerxes specialises in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Italian cuisines and we even offer selected Indian and Pan Asian delicacies. Each recipe is handcrafted by chefs and the ingredients are cut and packed to portion in special containers. The instructions are simple and easy to understand,” says Vishnu.
The concept rides on empowering people to cook and experience the dish rather than just eating it. “You experience cooking and then you experience the taste of what you have cooked. It is simple, and even helps in the overall development of an individual,” said Xerxes.
They currently offer a la carte plans along with four meal, 12 meal and 24 meal packs. Pricing begins from Rs 800 onwards.
“A connoisseur of food will appreciate the price,” Vishnu is quick to point out.
“We source fresh and organic ingredients directly from the farm or importers. We have partnered with Firstagro.com, a joint Indo–Japanese venture that specialises in zero-pesticide ingredients,” says Xerxes.
This month, the team plans to launch starters, party boxes and more personalised salads. “The response has been quite encouraging. When we started, we had involved a consultant who was dead against the concept. But we went ahead to capture what we felt was a five per cent market that would buy the idea. I think we have now moved on to more than 10 per cent,” says Vishnu.
The team currently has a repository of 300 recipes. “We want to build the momentum and go for additional funding only for our expansion plans. Right now, we want to spread across Bengaluru in terms of providing our services,” Vishnu says.
Curating a dish by imagining how somebody else can best enjoy the experience is indeed a challenge, but Xerxes says, “For me success is to be found not in applause, but in the satisfaction of knowing that I taught somebody to cook.”
(Log on to www.chefkraft.com)