Photos by John Bruno Turiano
Thinking about subscribing to a meal delivery service? CookUnity spotlights chef-prepared eats that are preservative-free and never frozen.
To-your-door delivery, never frozen, no preservatives or chemicals, and utilizing sustainable packaging, CookUnity wants to be the go-to subscription service for those that appreciate at-home, elevated, chef-prepared meals.
Dubbing itself “the first direct chef-to-consumer platform,” the Brooklyn-based company was founded in 2015 by CEO Mateo Felix Marietti (also the co-founder of Sushi POP, the largest food delivery company in Argentina) and Chef Lucia Cisilotto.
Esther Choi, Leah Cohen, Akhtar Nawab, Andres Mendez, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Dan Kluger (a Briarcliff Manor resident) are among the notable participating chefs who prepare small-batch, ready-to-eat meals, each using their own curated recipes. (The typical delivery service meals are mass-produced in a factory.)
Offerings include more than 300 recipes weekly that accommodate numerous diets, such as gluten-free, paleo, low-calorie, dairy-free, plant-based, and more.
WM: What was it about CookUnity that appealed to you and made you want to be a part of it?
Dan Kluger: I wanted the opportunity to reach other people that maybe weren’t already ordering to-go from our restaurant, as well as people outside of New York.
WM: Are any of your dishes also on the menu at your restaurants or are they original to the platform?
DK: All the dishes are inspired by actual dishes on the menus at Loring Place and Penny Bridge.
WM: Do you have a fave dish of the CookUnity offerings (not your own dish)?
DK: Anything from Akhtar Nawab or Esther Choi. [The bulgogi ramen by Choi is a standout.]
WM: Do you approach dish creation differently for a meal delivery service versus a dish served at one of your restaurants?
DK: Yes, we still include the components that are important to us that give the dish texture and flavor, but we also must think about making sure the dish will travel well.
WM: Did the pandemic change long-term the way you look at the food service industry?
DK: Yes, where do I begin. It has made me look at every aspect of the business in many ways.
WM: Any thoughts to open a spot in Westchester?
DK: Yes, it is something I have been thinking about.
WM: As a Westchester resident, do you have any favorite places to dine out/or for takeout?
WM: Any exciting projects upcoming for yourself?
DK: My first cookbook, Chasing Flavor, is out, and we recently launched a to-go-only grandma pizza concept, Washington Squares.