above:Stephanie Berghoff, owner of the new meal-delivery service, at Westport Farmers Market
What’s for dinner? That question. Forever, that question. Then one day maybe you silently wish that you will never have to cook again. Wish granted! Stephanie Berghoff is ready to step in like your fairy godmother to magically make your meals appear.
With a background as a chef recruiter and education in hospitality and restaurant management, Berghoff founded her new business, The Home Cook CT, this year. The meal-delivery service is tucked away in a space at 37 Saugatuck Avenue in Westport. Just check out the menus on the website each Thursday, order by Sunday at 11 a.m. for a delivery on Monday and by Monday at 5 p.m. for Wednesday’s menu. Food is guaranteed to be delivered to your home between 4 and 6:30 p.m. on delivery days. No subscription is required, so it’s easy to give it a try. We did and loved the experience. A meal was politely delivered in a cooler bag, and the instructions for reheating were easy to follow. Best of all, yes, everything was delicious, and we didn’t have to think about what we should make for dinner. It was already done.
Turn the page for Berghoff’s overview of her new launch, and see more at thehomecookct.com.
Q+A with STEPHANIE BERGHOFF
When and why did you start this business?
I started The Home Cook in July 2017, a year after moving to Connecticut from New York City. I have always had a passion for food (I went to Syracuse for restaurant management) and for cooking (I wrote a cookbook, Kid’s Can Cook, when I was twelve years old).
When I moved up to Connecticut and had a lot more space for cooking, I wanted to prepare homemade meals nightly for my family. Unfortunately, my children prefer chicken dinosaurs to my homemade chicken tenders, and my husband is not a big fan of vegetables—hence, I wasn’t going to just cook for myself. I spoke to a friend and asked if she would ever like homecooked meals delivered to her door, and she thought it was a good idea. I did a three-week trial with her and from there, I launched The Home Cook.
What made you know you’d be good at it?
I don’t think I ever thought about it like that. I love to cook—being in the kitchen and preparing food makes me happy, so I figured if I could bring good food to others, it would make them happy too. It was, and still is, a passion of mine.
What can clients get—regular deliveries, pick up, catering?
We offer prepared meals delivered to your door and boutique catering. Menus are posted on Thursdays and the cutoff for placing an order for Monday is Sunday at 11 a.m., the cutoff for Wednesday is Monday at 5 p.m. Meal deliveries take place on Mondays and Wednesdays, and we provide meals throughout Westchester and Fairfield counties. Each meal is served family style—proteins and sides all come separately, so anyone can design a meal that suits their needs. Each meal comes with eight-ounces of protein per person and two side dishes. Each menu includes a choice of four entrees and twelve side dishes.
Any kind of food?
We offer all cuisines and switch up the menu weekly. We rarely prepare the same dish more than two or three times a year. I love cooking with Asian flavors, so that is a common rotation on our menus.
What about homes with mixed diets or food sensitivities?
We take allergies and food sensitivities extremely seriously. We offer plenty of celiac-friendly dishes each week, rarely prepare foods with nuts, and offer many DF [diet friendly] options as well.
A tip for better cooking?
Cook with love. I know that sounds cliché, but following a recipe should be used only as a guideline; trust your instincts—add more salt, some extra garlic, maybe a dash of paprika, for creating more complex flavors that are not always listed in recipes.
What’s your favorite meal?
I love Mediterranean and Asian cuisines so those are my favorite meals to eat. I love it when we serve lemon chicken skewers with tzatziki and pita—as well as sesame chicken with fried rice.
Anything special for March and April?
Everything we offer is seasonal. So, in the spring, you can expect asparagus, artichokes, beans, etc. We also usually offer a special menu for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Passover.
Anything else you want to add?
The foundation of The Home Cook is based on providing easy to reheat, delicious homecooked food. I truly believe meals should be special and everyone deserves to eat food they find delicious.