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Home Chefs- Saviors In Tough Times.

By Janvi Punjabi

#foodforthought

Home chefs and their popularity.

Since the pandemic, “home chefs” have been a boon in the town. They have gained and garnered as much discussion as vaccinations and quarantine. Well, why wouldn’t it? Like a lot of us say and believe “Eternal happiness is made at home in kitchens.”

If you are new to this concept, let me quickly brief you about who home chefs are.

Home Chefs are typically small business owners in the food and hospitality industry, generally operating from the comfort of their home. They have been gaining a lot of popularity recently and honestly they are our saviors. They came to our rescue when all of us were having difficult times in our lives. When the world was shut, home chefs had our backs. 

Home chefs put in a lot of time and effort into the whole process that they curate. Right from laying down the menu to preparing the dish, packaging it, and then ensuring delivery. A lot of detailing goes into this process which may sound easy but is equally challenging. Every time a home chef pulls off an exquisite dish, remember the amount of patience and determination that has gone behind it. From smoked paneer makhani to pulled pork rasam puri, home chefs have been cooking it all. 

The growth and popularity of home chefs have been driven by a lot of interweaved factors. It surely did begin in the pandemic, which made us wary about eating out and ordering in from restaurants. Safety did overpower all the other requirements and considerations, home chefs took over around the country and started growing their businesses. Dining in became the new dining out. With the chaos upending everyone’s plans to eat out, a new savior emerged. And were named the “home chefs”

The rising number of these types of businesses, largely owned and run by women, took the whole food and its delivery system by a storm. It includes 13-year-old home bakers to middle-aged women cooking their authentic dishes, the whole process has become super innovative and lucrative. 

The reason behind their emergence was majorly the shutting down of restaurants which ultimately pushed some people to start satisfying their cravings by cooking at home. Homebound and nowhere to go, this was exactly the situation that made people order food, giving birth to a huge number of home chefs who could satiate our cravings for real. 

Have you ever wondered what makes home chefs increase in demand?

Is it the taste of the food? The affordability? Their creative social media presence?

Or the fact that they promise safety? 

The food that arrives from home chefs also has a very warm and personal touch to it. This might sometimes be a personal note from them or a specially curated packaging. Once a home chef sent banana leaves on the occasion of Onam with all its orders to make it look more presentable and add that warmth factor to the dish. If we look at it psychologically- it is such a beautiful way to warm up hearts. 

Another really interesting thing about the food that these home chefs deliver is that it is not just “ghar ka khaana” it is more of “ghar ka bana khaana” which changes a lot of things in the consumer mindset. The reason behind this being, growing up we have always seen kitchens as places of love, good food, freshness, and care. Home chefs don’t only deliver food they deliver experiences. 

How home chefs are standing on the front lines and helping the country?

This whole concept gained a lot of popularity in 2020, the year of the pandemic. Home chefs not only satisfied the taste buds but provided a lot of aid to the needy across the nation. Amidst the tough times, scores of infected people started isolating themselves at homes to curb any sort of spread. Being caught up in a house with sealed localities caused a huge hurdle in the availability of proper meals. This tore apart families of millions, trying to make it through the pandemic. 

The current times taught us how a well-cooked meal comes closest to human touch and gives immense comfort. Amidst all these gloomy times, many home chefs started lending a helping hand towards society. They tried their level best in bridging the gap when the country was having a hard time. Home chefs started serving meals to infected patients, health care professionals, and all the frontline workers at very minimal rates.   

These saviors have also been providing food to the needy for no cost at all. This has been their way of helping the nation, providing free food to the needy, taking care of society, and keeping people safe. 

Shout out to some amazing home chefs who have done everything they could for us!

Vishnupriya Mishra, Pune: 

The idea of a food delivery service for those affected by the pandemic, struck her while recovering from covid-19 herself. She was extremely unwell and had to live on instant noodles. This took her recovery longer due to the problems in her digestive system.  At such a time of chaos, when most people are already under stress due to the lack of medicines and inadequate services, food shouldn’t be a worry. 

This made her execute the idea of delivering food to the infected patients.  Her main focus is on senior citizens and anyone who is infected with covid. The safety of the meals is fully taken care of. 

We Hope, We Care Foundation, Lucknow: 

This non-profit organization has been getting nearly 500-600 calls on a daily basis, and most of them are for food and medicines. With working professionals and students as volunteers, We Hope We Care Foundation is offering meals free of cost for people across the city, for those affected by covid-19, and their attendants. They are now getting queries from hospitals as well. 

House of Kitchens, Delhi NCR, Ghaziabad, and Noida: 

This is a collective group of home chefs, which came together eight to nine months ago, during the tough times. Their main focus currently has been providing healthy and nutritious meals to those suffering from covid-19 and their families. The network has home chefs in Delhi, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Noida, and Gurugram. While a lot of these have a set menu that one can order from, others can customise the meals according to the needs of the patient. Every day, the list of home chefs joining the network keeps increasing.

Clearly, India is hungry for more home-cooked meals. Indians crave the comfort and warmth of food. 

People have become extremely conscious about what they are eating. A huge number of people now only trust fresh, healthy, and hygienic home-cooked food that is served by home chefs and commercial cloud kitchens. The average order values have gone up considerably as people have moved from quick snacks and bites to full meals. And finally, food orders have become a daily phenomenon as opposed to an earlier spike in weekend orders on account of the work-from-home culture. 

Express that gratitude.

Well, the next time you eat a meal from a home chef, and you truly enjoy it here are a few ways you can express your liking and gratitude. Remember, these home chefs are generally small business owners trying their best to deliver amazing experiences to you.

• Say thank you, appreciate their efforts. They put a lot of their time and effort into it. Let us recognize those efforts. 

• Post a positive review. Delivery applications like Swiggy, Zomato have their algorithms that work on these reviews. A small positive review can push their business and do wonders.

• Give them a testimony. Write and tell them in detail about what you liked about their dish, how did it make you happy, if any changes are required. Constructive criticism will always help them grow.

• Share their work on your social media handles. Social media is a great tool for marketing. Let your audience know about how you like the home chef experience and help these small businesses grow. 

These are the reasons why home chefs have sure become the new cool in town plus they are our angels in disguise. 

This piece of writing is an ode to all the home chefs who have served us in some way or the other.

Mad respect and gratitude. 

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