Adelaide restaurants are struggling under the weight of Covid-19. With more and more people practising social distancing, many venues are pivoting to takeaway service. Now, chefs Paul Baker (Botanic Gardens Restaurant), Terry Intarakhamhaeng (Soi 38) and Emma McCaskill (Sparkke at the Whitmore) have announced a creative new effort to safeguard the futures of staff at their respective restaurants.
From Wednesday March 25, Chefs on Wheels will offer ready-made meals from the three cooks, delivered directly to your door. “It’s a combination of our favourite dishes, as well as dishes from our restaurants. Everyone’s got a bit of a different take on it,” Baker says. “Terry’s curries are elite, so he’s doing a lot of favourites from his restaurant. I’m doing a lot of things that I love to eat at home. I’m doing a gorgeous little tagine … it’s more comfort-food type stuff.”
Available to order from Intarakhamhaeng are chive cakes with dark soy and vinegar; chicken skewers with pickled cucumber and chilli dressing; and 500-gram and two-kilogram curries (red, green, and cauliflower and turmeric). From Baker, there’s Sicilian meatballs, linguine and pangrattato (breadcrumbs); beef kibbeh and smoked eggplant; and chicken and tortellini in brodo (in broth). Among McCaskill's dishes are Adelaide Hills mushroom and chestnut dumplings; Boston Bay pork shoulder and chickpea stew with charred eggplant and preserved lemon; and poached chicken with broccolini, turmeric and coriander in roasted chicken bone broth.
The meals are vacuum sealed, ensuring a 10-day shelf life. Local food wholesaler Edible Exchange is on board to help with the delivery process.
“If this takes off, it keeps a lot more people employed,” says Baker. “It’s just building some sustainable revenue streams for people in this climate that we’re in. And you can get restaurant-quality food at home.”
More chefs involved with the project will be announced in the coming days. “We have quite a few people interested, but we’re launching with just the three of us to start with, just so we can make sure that the platform works,” says Baker. “Within the first week, we’ll know exactly what we’re doing, and we’ll be able to bring on more people – which will be awesome, to help everyone out.”
Find out more about Chefs on Wheels here.
This article was updated on March 22 to include Emma McCaskill's selection of dishes.