Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Chef Butler

I love to cook! I used to hate it because I could never think of anything new to make and always ended up cooking the same things. Its taken me years to refine my palate and discover what I like, what my family likes and what I can cook in pinch. After all these years though, I find that I've slipped back into the habit of making a lot of the same things.

When the opportunity arose for me to do a review for ChefButler I jumped at the chance! After perusing their website and seeing that they were a subscription box company that offered spices and dried goods to cook up delicious meals from around the world, I couldn't wait to get started!

I received my box from ChefButler and tore into it. Upon opening the package, I was swept away by a spectacular aroma of spices. Inside the standard brown box was a beautiful silver box from which this exotic smell emanated. I didn't even know what was inside, but I couldn't wait to get cooking.

Unfortunately, I had to wait a few days to dig in. Most nights, its only my daughter and I eating dinner and I wanted to wait for a night that my husband was home.

Inside the box was a pretty purple envelope which contained my recipes, shopping list and a welcome letter from the company. On the back of the welcome letter, I found "The Game Plan" which detailed the order in which I was to cook the dishes for them all to come out at the same time. I was particularly impressed with the shopping list. I am a list girl, so this made me very happy!

My March ChefButler box contained spices and recipes to make three Pakistani dishes; a Main Dish - Beef Qeema, a Side Dish - Vegetable Biryani and a Dessert - Coconut Ladoo. Spices included turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, chili powder and more. I've never cooked Pakistani food before, but the spices smelled like curries that I've had some experience with in the past so I knew that our family would love this.

On cooking day, I tucked the shopping list and recipes into my purse and headed to the store to pick up my produce and meat. Beef Qeema is a dish traditionally made with minced meat. My recipe called for ground beef to make things simple. There was nothing especially exotic or unusual on my shopping list so I had no problem getting everything I needed.

At home, I set to work prepping all my ingredients. Both the main dish and the side required a bit of prep work chopping veggies. I got the prep work done for both dishes and got started on the Vegetable Biryani.

The Game Plan recommended making dessert first but I wasn't sure we would be eating the dessert that night so I moved to the next step.

The recipes were very easy to follow and soon my whole house smelled like an exotic spice market. I opened the windows to make my neighbors jealous.

My husband came home while I was still cooking and said that he could smell dinner down the street while he approached on his motorcycle.

Over all, I spent about 1.75 hrs prepping and cooking this meal. Prep time took a little longer because I am in a tiny, galley kitchen so I had to get creative. I enjoyed cooking this meal and I especially enjoyed eating it!

The Beef Qeema was cooked in yogurt, which imparted a sharp tang that blended particularly well with the slightly sweet spices that were involved. The Vegetable Biryani was a rice and vegetable dish that had a lovely curry flavor.

My only complaint would be that there was too much food! My husband and I both had seconds. My four year old daughter loved the rice. Even with all of that, we still had a ton of leftovers! We ate leftovers for lunch the next day and dinner the following evening. It was wonderful!

I still have my ingredients to make the Coconut Ladoo. I am sure that they will be just as delicious as the other dishes!

So, now for the details.

ChefButler is a Canadian company and they currently only ship within Canada. They made an exception for me though and I hope that soon they will expand to the U.S.!

Boxes can be purchased monthly for $35.00 per month or you can receive a box every other month. With the second option, you pay $17.50 each month. All prices include tax and shipping in Canada and are in Canadian currency. Should ChefButler change their policy and begin shipping to the U.S. I will update this review with that information. I truly hope that they are able to that because I would certainly subscribe!

Chef Butler Website
Chef Butler on Facebook

Shared with:
~ Cast Party Wednesday, Pretty Wednesday, What's It Wednesday, Whimsy Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday.
~ Thursday Favorite Things.
~ Anything Goes Friday, Freedom Fridays, Let's Get Real Friday, Get Schooled Friday, Link Party Palooza
~ No Rules Weekend, Serenity Saturday, Super Saturday, Weekend Re-Treat, Welcome to Saturday
~ Mostly Homemade Mondays, In & Out of the Kitchen.
~ Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Be Inspired, Knick of Time Tuesday.




  1. This sounds great! Should they expand to the US I will want to check them out!

  2. I really can't wait until they ship to the U.S. ! This sounds like a great way to treat your family once a month :)

  3. What a great way to know what you will be having for dinner! I would love to be a part of something link this! Thanks for sharing this at the In and Out of the Kitchen Link party!

  4. Sounds like a fun way to mix it up for dinner. Hopefully they will start shipping to the US soon so we can try this service.

  5. Well, you had me at Biryani, yum! This looks fantastic! Thank you for your review!

    Side note, when I struggle to figure out what I'm going to make, first, I look at what needs to be used up. Leftovers can make for some truly fantastic meals. I can usually turn leftovers into a totally new complete meal. It does make for some fairly adventurous ones at times, though. If I can't come up with a whole meal out of leftovers, it's usually easy to just add a few staples we have to the food. Having some food already done cuts down on time needed 'til it's ready, too!

  6. I'm the exact same way, I really enjoy cooking but only know a few things to make so I get bored with it. I also hate having to go to the grocery store to pick up all the ingredients and end up forgetting something. So, this sounds the perfect solution! I love trying new things!