Posted: 3:05 pm Friday, June 20th, 2014

Testing a Garnish & Gather “Be the Chef” recipe 

By Bob Townsend

My G&G pan seared shrimp with summer veggies and creamy grits.

My G&G pan seared shrimp with summer veggies and creamy grits.

Last June, Atlanta entrepreneur Emily Golub started Garnish & Gather, a concept that offers ready-to-cook meals for pick-up or delivery for around $15 a serving.

What’s more, all the ingredients are grown in and around Atlanta, with an emphasis on organic and small family farm produce.

In May, G&G kicked off its new “Be The Chef” series, with  St. Cecilia chef de cuisine Craig Richards offering a recipe for charred octopus with sundried tomato pesto and white bean and arugula salad as a menu choice.

In June, G&G partnered with chef Kevin Gillespie of Gunshow, and he came up with a recipe for pan-seared shrimp with summer vegetables and creamy grits.

I’ve tested a lot of recipes over the years, including some of Gillespie’s, so it was interesting to try this one as my first experience of G&G.

Full disclosure: My bag of ingredients was delivered by longtime Atlanta PR person Meg Reggie, a G&G true believer who hoped I would write something.

And here it is:

My first impression was that the bag was very well put together, with all ingredients nicely packaged and labeled, including sources, such as “Watsonia Farm Green Beans” and “Woodland Gardens Zucchini.”

In addition, the recipe card offered a list of all the ingredients in the bag, plus the three ingredients needed at home, salt and pepper, butter and water, and the equipment needed, a large saute pan and a medium sauce pan.

The instructions were truly step-by-step, and unless you’ve never boiled water, nearly idiot-proof.

But the real proof was in the cooking and the eating.

My verdict: An excellent dish, that took pretty close to the advertised time of 40 minutes to prepare, and paired with a simple arugula salad and a glass of wine, made a very satisfying meal for two.

My only qualm — as someone who cares about good local food but is notoriously budget-minded — is the price.

At $35 for pick-up or $45 for delivery, I wonder if anyone is cooking these meals several times a week.

Have you tried Garnish and Gather? What was your experience?

 

5 comments
jsh1
jsh1

Garnish & Gather has done wonders for our two-working-parent family because we're actually cooking dinner more and ordering takeout less. As someone with very basic cooking skills, I have enjoyed learning about ingredients and how they influence a dish, and I feel brave enough to try some of these recipes again on our own. Also, it's just $30 per meal for 2-3 people if you become a member and use one of their designated pick-up locations. Mine is delivered to my office! Being a member just means you have to go online each week and either place an order or tell them to skip this week. I feel like it's a good value, especially compared to takeout/delivery, and we're getting much better food and a more fulfilling family experience.

atlmom16
atlmom16

I began subscribing to Garnish & Gather at the recommendation of a friend about three months ago.  I have never been a great cook, so this "idiot-proof" concept works for me!  I was a Webvan customer years ago, so having the freshest produce and all the ingredients for a healthy meal delivered on my doorstep every Monday is wonderful!  You can't beat it for convenience.   My husband and I enjoy prepping the vegetable and cooking the meals together and even my picky teenagers like the variety of meals we are cooking each week. There are five different meals available weekly, so this is perfect because we enjoy eating out some nights too.  I especially enjoy the local marketplace option that G&G offers at checkout.  You can scroll through the menu of Holeman & Finch fresh breads and Little Tart Bakery cookie dough as well as organic meats, cheeses and other items to add to your pantry.  Those items are delivered to you along with your G&G meals each week.  The produce beats anything you will find at a local grocery store because they source it from local farmers and local markets the weekend before it is delivered on Monday.  

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

tarly....less than a month ago the old food section was dropped or maybe converted to this new format.  It appears that it has some serious growing pains to work thru.

tarly
tarly

When I see G&G, think Garden & Gun.

What happened to the food section on this site?

Quackmeyer
Quackmeyer

Bob, is it just me or has the new AJC format for this section cut reader participation by 90%?