When Providoor launched in June, the objective was clear: create an unconventional food-delivery service that could actually recreate the experience of dining at Melbourne’s best restaurants at home. It was a pretty bold aim.
“We asked restaurateurs to change the way they think and to create a package of food that can be finished at home so that the quality is maintained,” says Shane Delia, chef-owner of Middle Eastern eateries Maha, Maha East and Maha Bar, and co-owner of Providoor.
Instead of travelling hot – with the flavour and overall culinary experience slowly deteriorating on its way to you – each meal is specifically designed to travel. You place an order a day ahead. The kitchen at your restaurant of choice will prepare your meal, cook it most of the way, allow it to cool, package it, then deliver it to you – ready to be finished off and plated.
“Essentially we’re asking the general public to finish cooking and plating the food,” Delia says. “It isn’t hot food, where it sits in someone’s backpack and gets to you in a tepid environment.”
In addition to Maha, some of Broadsheet’s favourite restaurants – including Flower Drum, Estelle, Bar Margaux, Hazel, Supernormal, Sunda, Tipo 00, Lucy Liu and Movida – are on board. As of today, with Melbourne heading back into lockdown, the platform has also added Cumulus Inc, Gingerboy, Philippe, Entrecôte, Atta and St Ali.
As an extension of the service, Providoor and Broadsheet will also team up to make your lockdown a little sweeter (or a little saltier, depending on the dish). Starting July 17, star chefs from some of Providoor’s restaurants will be doing live cooking classes on Providoor’s Instagram every Friday. When you sign up to receive Providoor updates, you’ll be notified every Monday what dish will be cooked the following week, and you’ll have until 4pm on Wednesday the week of the class to order the box of ingredients for delivery on Friday morning. You can check our Instagram and Facebook page for updates too.
The first class will be with Shane Delia at 6.30pm on July 17. He’ll be preparing king prawns ali nazik (with burnt butter, preserved lemon, almonds, coriander, smoked eggplant, yoghurt and tahini) and burghul pilaf (with Turkish capsicum paste, sweet onions, barberries and seeds), along with you at home. New classes with some of Broadsheet’s favourite chefs will be announced weekly, with Shane asking the chef questions from the audience throughout the session.
Bringing restaurant meals to diners’ homes has never felt more relevant – particularly when it comes to supporting businesses that had recently reopened their doors, only to be forced to close again. Unlike the bigger delivery platforms, which charge restaurants up to 30 per cent commission, Providoor charges its partners a flat rate of 15 per cent.
There’s a grocery section, too, so you can also stock your pantry with meat, pickles and charcuterie from Meatsmith; order fruit and vegetable boxes; and get bottled Everleigh cocktails. You’ll even find some homewares. There’s also the option to hire a private chef or waiter to make your dinner party feel a little bit more special – something to look forward to when restrictions ease again.
Place your Providoor order by 4pm for next-day delivery within 35 kilometres of the CBD, excluding Sundays and public holidays. Delivery is a flat rate of $16.50 per restaurant. Sign up here for updates on cooking classes.
Broadsheet is a proud media partner of Providoor.