Food-delivery and takeaway services have been a much-needed comfort throughout this latest lockdown. But that warm parcel landing on your doorstep can end up feeling like a double-edged sword when it dawns on you just how much plastic lies within.
Enter Radish Events (formerly Dan the Man Cooking), a certified B Corp caterer based in St Peters and committed to sustainable, ethically sourced food with a zero-waste approach. Pre-lockdown, the 100 per cent carbon-offset business mainly worked on weddings and corporate events. But since Covid-19 hit Sydney in 2020, it’s become well-versed in switching focus to take-home meals.
“This time we have learnt from what worked and didn’t work last year,” Hilary Bloomfield, Radish’s client relationship manager and events coordinator, tells Broadsheet. “Because we’ve got a model which is based on sustainability, ethical produce and zero plastic, there were a lot of challenges for us to become a takeaway business. But it does make you feel like you have to be a problem solver and be agile.
“We did a lot of research last year on things like sugarcane compostable vac-packs and sheep’s wool insulation for our boxes. We have meetings every two to three weeks in which we literally go through the bins and work out how to get to our goal – which is zero [waste] to landfill.”
Every element of Radish Events meal packs is compostable, recyclable or comes in a glass jar that can be washed and reused. Even the stickers and tape on the bags can be composted. Animal proteins are supplied by ethical and sustainable Marrickville butcher Feather and Bone, and seafood is sourced using the Goodfish guide.
True to Radish’s roots as an event stylist and caterer, the meal packs have their fair share of flair. Each kit has a theme – the Immune Booster pack is vegan and gluten-free; an At Home With Kids kit includes pizza-making packs, mocktail kits and cookie dough; while the Netflix & Chill is an indulgent and cosy spread with starters, a main course, dessert and movie snacks.
The menus change regularly; when Broadsheet tried out the Netflix & Chill it included an artisan cheese selection, charred crostini, Madita’s Superseed Crackers and a house-smoked trout rillette. Handmade gnocchi and pasture-raised beef ragu needed just a quick heat on the stove and to be topped off with a fermented-chilli sauce. On the sweet side, there was honey-dukkah popcorn, a pack of chocolate-and-hazelnut slabs, white-chocolate-coated almonds, and homemade truffles. We finished the meal with nary a scrap of landfill.
To elevate the occasion, or complete a gift, there’s the option to add on soy-based Hunter Candles (which are hand-poured right around the corner), a bunch of dried florals by Planning With Purpose, and handwritten tags for personalised messages. For drinks, add tipples from Urban Winery and Brix Distillers.
As well as meal kits, locals can pick up an ever-evolving array of lunches and snacks (including the much-loved cookie dough) from the kitchen between 11am and 4pm Wednesday to Saturday.
Meal kits can be ordered by 3pm for next-day delivery from 5–7pm, Wednesday to Saturday. Deliveries in the Sydney region run a $10 fee; contactless pick-up from the Radish Events kitchen, at Shop 5/29 Applebee Street in St Peters, is also available.