WOOP is the newest kid on the food delivery block, although owner Thomas Dietz isn’t new to industry. The French/New Zealander is behind a line of ready made meals inspired by French cuisine that you might have seen at the supermarket, TOMeTTE. WOOP is an acronym for World On Our Plate. A food delivery service, they create three semi-made meals inspired by cuisines from all over the world, all that can be prepared in under 15min. Sounds pretty good for the time poor foodie.
I had the pleasure of test driving a few of the WOOP meals, which I will go into detail about soon. First, a bit more information about the new kid. I was graciously invited into their kitchens which are fantastic and huge. I also asked the team to answer a few questions for me, about who they are and what they’re doing differently in the food delivery ball game.
How long has WOOP been around?
We launched the product at the Auckland Food Show, but the team has been working on the project for months!
How did you come up with the concept?
It comes from the culinary concept of Mise en Place. In fact, in a restaurant, some very gourmet meals can be served in only 15 minutes. The secret is that some ingredients are prepared in advance before being cooked: veggies are diced, meats are cut and marinated, sauces are made, etc. At the end, the chef only has to assemble all these ingredients together and warm up/cook some of them, to prepare a delicious meal.
We are providing our customer this “mise en place” service, in addition to the creation of the recipes and the delivery of all the ingredients. Parts of the ingredients are prepared in our kitchen just before the Sunday deliveries, so the customers only spend the last 15 minutes doing the fun part in the kitchen!
How is WOOP different from other food delivery services?
The biggest difference is the convenience of our product: faster (15 minutes), fresher (only fresh ingredients from New Zealand), better (gourmet dinners at home)! As we use the concept of Mise en Place, it also allows us to provide our customer the best food experience. Some flavors are very difficult to create without a trained chef. As our chef prepares the ingredients in advance, we bring very sophisticated flavors to our customer’s plates, while also letting them in on the whole fun part of cooking: the last 15 minutes. We also want to provide flexibility to our customers. By delivering a chilled box to their doors, providing three gourmet dinners and remaining close to our customers, the WOOP box is adaptable to any lifestyle.
How often do the menus change?
Our menus change every week. Our Chef, Kristen, is working on new recipes from all around the world every week. However, as some of them are already popular, we will probably reuse these ones in the future! Our boxes usually contain one white meat meal, one red meat meal and one fish or vegetarian meal from different origins.
I found out that WOOP offers two different delivery options, Table for Two (suits two adults) $109 or Family Foodie (suits up to four adults) $207. Both include three different meals each week, recipe cards and free delivery. You can also pause or cancel the service at any time so there’s no commitment.
The week I received my box, I was delivered Seafood Marinara, Beef Bourguignon and Taboleh, Falafel and fresh Hummus and Tzatziki. The food is delivered in a really cool silver box. It should fit on a shelf in your fridge, and if you unpack it, it’s like a camping tent – you’ll never get it back in as nicely as you originally found it. Here’s how I got on, and what I thought:
SEAFOOD MARINARA ACCOMPANIED WITH FRESH ITALIAN AL DENTE FETTUCCINE
Obviously a dish inspired by Italy, I was surprised with how generous the portion sizes were. Plenty of fresh pasta for two, fish, prawns and squid in the marinara and a really beautiful rocket salad. With rocket that actually tastes like rocket, if you know what I mean. I thought the pasta was great, and seeing as I’m now a pasta expert you can take my word for it. There was minimal work to do, the seafood was already cut up, so it was just cooking the prawns and fish, drying out the squid and cooking it separately, cooking the pasta, heating up the pre-made sauce in a pan and prepping the salad. It definitely took less than 15 minutes. I thought it was really tasty, but would suggest they list the ingredients on the pre-made items, so I knew what was in them. We eat (mostly) everything, but do try and eat as little added sugar as possible and the sauce did taste quite sweet. Whether that was just ripe tomatoes or extra stuff thrown in, I don’t know. It would be great to get all the nutritional information for the pre-made products separately, rather than just the energy, protein, carbs and fat for the entire meal. But otherwise, a really beautiful, fresh meal.
THE ONE AND ONLY FRENCH BEEF BOURGUIGNON
Again, a bit obvious what country inspired this meal! I love beef bourguignon, and have made it myself a few times. It requires a lot of time on the stove, getting the meat nice and tender and letting the juices stew. So having this totally prepared and ready to go is really helpful if you feel like this type of meal and simply don’t have the time to cook it yourself. It came in a container with a plastic seal on top which is microwave friendly, but they do suggest cooking it in the oven for the best results. I would suggest this too. The beef was rich and flavourful, and had browned baby onions, mushrooms, carrots and I believe bacon (no ingredients list so I’m guessing!) Along with the beef, came dauphinoise potatoes and green beans. I LOVE dauphinoise. And these were really yummy, although I cooked them longer than the 5min guideline to get more of a crunchy top. Lovely layers of potatoes, again it takes a long time to mandolin a bunch of potatoes, and because this has been par baked – it really just needs to be heated up. The beans added a good crunch. Overall it was a heap of food. There was barely any prep work needed for this one, put beef and potatoes in the oven, and steam the green beans. Easily under 15min.
ORIENTAL TABOULEH TOPPED WITH HANDMADE FALAFEL, FRESH TZATZIKI AND HUMMUS
This one was my favourite, for a couple reasons. First, I’ve never made falafel myself. And also, I wouldn’t have automatically thought of this as a dish option so it was good to eat something I would never have thought to make myself. I loved how light the meal was, and it was super easy to prepare. Prepared bulghur wheat tipped into a bowl, add tomato, parsley and spring onion. Put pre-made falafel in the oven and cook. Warm pita breads in the oven as well. The hummus and tzatziki were already made, so it was just creating the dish after chopping up some cucumber. I’d say it took about 10 minutes to prepare, and we ate it in even less time. SO YUM. Probably the best falafel I’ve ever eaten, super tasty and not dry and falling apart like so many I’ve found.
My thoughts overall:
I think this is a great option for families that like to be a little bit more adventurous with their food, rather than always relying on the meat, potato, veg option. It’s also ideal for those who are time sensitive as the meals really do only take 15 min to cook, as most preparation is already done. It might also inspire you to give one of them a go on your own, on a night where you don’t have the WOOP delivery and maybe have a bit more time up your sleeve.
Personally, I would have liked more nutritional information so I could have controlled my portion sizes easier. The meals are pretty generous and I think you could get three meals out of most of the options we were given. I can definitely see how this service would be ideal for couples/families that don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen, but still want to enjoy a high quality meal. Also, the luxury of pausing at any time means you could treat yourself once a month even, or just try it out and see if it’s for you. However if you enjoy the cooking process, this might not be for you. The prep is pretty much all done for you, so it doesn’t require a lot of blood, sweat and tears if you’re wanting a homemade meal you’ve slaved over for hours.
The two person meals work out to be $18.16 per meal per person, and the family option is $17.25 per person. It’s on the higher end of the price point, but I suppose you need to weigh up how much your weekly shop was going to cost in the first place (or your takeaway order!) For now WOOP only delivers in the greater Auckland area although I suspect this will change as they grow. They don’t cater to particular food requirements yet, however they do mention on their website that they will soon be offering naturally gluten-free meal options, so watch this space.
If you’d like to give WOOP a go, I have a special offer for The Enthusiastic Cook readers: Until the 31st of October, 2015 you will receive $25 off your order by entering ENTHUSIASTIC25 at checkout, click HERE to order. Give it a go and let me know how you found it!
The product in this post was provided complimentary, however all opinions are and always will be my own.