Plated is a food delivery service with a difference, you still need to prepare and cook the food, and that’s a good thing. For between $12 and $15 per serving they’ll deliver most of the ingredients needed to prepare a chef-quality meal in 30-40 minutes (they don’t provide staples like salt, pepper, and olive oil). Plated produce a new menu for you to select from each week and you’re not committed to order every week if you don’t want, you do however have to order the plates in multiples of 2.
The plates are delivered by OnTrac (at least in Seattle) and are packed in an insulted box with ice packs to keep the meat (and everything else for that matter) cold. We did have an issue with one delivery where for some reason (which we didn’t work out) the chicken wasn’t kept cold enough and wasn’t good but Plated were very apologetic and credited our account. We’ve been temping the meat that’s arrived since then and it’s all been under 32 degrees F so I think it may have been a one-off issue.
The ingredients we’ve received so far have been of a high-quality and Plated try to strike a balance between saving you time and still giving you the experience of cooking, for example, ingredients will typically be portioned out but will still require some preparation such as washing and cutting. Unfortunately delivering food safely and with portioned out ingredients means there is a lot (bordering on obscene amount) of packaging for you to dispose of.
Along with the ingredients they provide step-by-step instructions, these instructions go a bit beyond typical recipes because they provide photos for each step and are optimized to help you parallelize the work. This parallelization is something I’ve struggled with but their instructions definitely help master doing multiple things at once.
While they have a number of “traditional” meals they also have ones that will stretch even experienced home cooks such as Quail with Quince or Dashi with Soba and Eggs (which is what we had for dinner last night). The serving sizes are quite generous and we can easily feed 2 adults and a 3 year old with 2 plates. Next time we cook a Plated meal I’ll post some real photos for you to see.
Overall I think this is a great service, while I won’t be placing orders every week and I don’t think I’d order any “traditional” meals it’s a great way to try out high-quality, quick to prepare, meals that you may not prepare otherwise (and greatly reduce the risk of failure).