Before the meal kit services of Plated, Blue Apron and HelloFresh, we profiled big brother technology conceived by Kraft and Intel that can read a customer’s face and spit out some horrific recipe idea that the customer will then blindly purchase. They are rewarded with a food sample.
Now for a more wholesome approach, the Kochhaus approach: a new retail store in Germany, Kochhaus has twenty tables that each feature a healthy recipe along with the exact ingredients necessary to make it. Customers are still fed ideas, but they are more delicious and still require a certain amount of skill.
The New York Times reports:
There are three starters, two salads, one soup, four pasta or vegetable dishes, three fish and four meat main courses, and three desserts. Each table and its adjacent cooler provide everything needed to make a specific dish, and an artfully designed poster mounted on each table shows photographs of ingredients and the finished product. A folded recipe, a kind of illustrated storyboard for cooking, comes with the ingredients.
When customers enter the store, they have the option of choosing ingredients for a certain number of servings. Their choices are healthy, and – perhaps best of all – at the end of it (assuming everyone eats about the same size serving?) there will be no waste.
Four business partners set up a certain set of parameters. Among them, no serving costs more than $13, and no meal takes longer than one hour to prepare or requires more than twelve steps, and there are no more than 20 choices (though two new ones are added each week).
Most of the ingredients are locally sourced and organic, and costs are kept low by maintaining a small staff and developing in-house labeling and packaging.
Among the options are fried perch with avocado and rambutan fruit in Indian curry. Much healthier and alluring than a box of Kraft dinner. You can still keep one around, but just open in case of Emergency.
One partner told the NY Times “Of course I took a close look at the food galleries of the KaDeWe (Berlin’s famous department store) and Dean & Deluca in New York, but we wanted to demonstrate that good food can be cooked by anyone, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated or elitist.”
:: NY Times
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