The Dish: We Tried Feast and Fettle’s Local Meal Delivery Service
Feast and Fettle is like having a personal chef without someone cooking in your kitchen.
Work all day, pick up the kids from daycare, get home, start prepping dinner, eat, wash dishes and get the kids ready for bed. Repeat. This is how my work week usually goes, and cooking and cleaning up take up a huge chunk of my time unless I cook mass quantities and divvy it up throughout the week. But who wants to eat lasagna or a casserole three nights in a row?
For working parents, serving healthy, home-cooked meals on a nightly basis doesn’t leave much time for playtime with the kiddos, or exercise for that matter (something I used to be passionate about before I had two children). Now, family comes first and everything else (besides work — my boss is probably reading this!) seems to go by the wayside.
Last week, I tried Feast and Fettle local meal delivery service for two dinners that were delivered on Monday and Wednesday. By the time I got home from work at 4 p.m. on Monday, an insulated pack with ice was waiting for me with a pre-cooked meal inside that was made using mostly local, healthy ingredients. I put it straight in the fridge and contemplated what to do with my “free time,” now that I did not have to cook.
I took the kids outside to play for a bit. My three-year-old son drove around his motorized Gator and dug in the dirt to get as muddy as possible before dinner. I put my nine-month-old daughter in my baby carrier and we explored the backyard and found a robin’s nest hidden in the vegetation. When my hubby came home, I decided to break out my jogging stroller and go for a quick run with the baby. It took about a half-hour and during that time, she absorbed all the sights and sounds of the neighborhood and then promptly fell asleep.
Once I got back home, we were ready for dinner at 6:30 p.m. We had home-cooked turkey meatloaf with sweet tomato jam, herb and parmesan roasted potatoes and asparagus with lemon caper butter and fresh cut fruit for dessert. Everything was already prepared and portioned, so all I had to do is heat the meatloaf and asparagus in the microwave and crisp up the potatoes on a sheet pan in the oven.
I rationed out the food on plates and my family and I sat down to dinner at my kitchen island. It was the first time in awhile that we had been able to do that. Even the kiddos tried the asparagus, and my son ate the meatloaf, though he picked out the tomato jam and loaded up on ketchup (of course) and tons of fruit. I stuck the leftovers back in the fridge — lunch for the next day! — and then went over to my sink and realized I only had one sheet pan to wash. The rest of the dishes went into the dishwasher. I skipped right past cleanup and straight into bathtime and bedtime. It was a stress-free weeknight and I even got in a little “me” time.
Feast and Fettle meal delivery service is like having a personal chef without someone cooking in your kitchen. Founder and chef Maggie Mulvena graduated from Johnson and Wales University in 2013, and started working as a nanny and personal chef for a few years in the Providence area before she realized she could launch a full-fledged meal delivery service that could help a variety of professionals, couples and families.
“In my opinion, it’s outdated to have a personal chef because it can be intrusive. You have to clean your kitchen, you have to pick up the food and the chef is in your home. It’s a little more time-consuming from the client perspective because you have to have a lot of things in order,” says Mulvena. “This business is more what people want because it’s convenient, and we offer that personal cheffing experience. Plus, we can make accommodations.” Feast and Fettle meals can be catered to vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free folks as well, and the nutritional information and allergen awareness checklists are labeled on every container, so you know if a dish contains wheat, nuts, egg, soy, milk or shellfish.
The meals are prepared at Hope and Main in Warren, and they are delivered on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the East Bay and Providence. Clients simply go on the website to place their orders for the monthly subscription service, but they can alter orders for as many weeks and for as many meals as they would like for the week and the month. There are couples and family plans from which to choose.
Sure, you could order takeout for less money, but that often means greasy pizza and Chinese food. Feast and Fettle costs more (Prices vary. It’s about $99 a week for two entrees with four sides for couples, and $159 for a family plan that feeds four with two entrees and four sides), but you’re getting healthy home-cooked meals delivered right to your door. “Most of our members are double-professionals, and it allows them to have more time with their families and experience that home-cooked meal,” Mulvena says.
Our second meal, dropped off on Wednesday, included seared turbot filets with mango salsa and a salad decked out with cherry tomatoes, red onion, fresh basil and burrata with sea salt rice krispies treats for dessert.
Everything was packaged individually for maximum freshness and it was easy to assemble. “When you put together home-cooked meals, you have to go to the market and source those ingredients, and most people come home after 5 p.m., then they have to prepare something for dinner,” Mulvena says.
With Feast and Fettle, you don’t have to do the grocery shopping, you can skip the prep and the cleanup, and just enjoy the food. “We package everything family-style so it encourages people to eat on plates,” Mulvena says. “I really want people to be sitting down at a table eating a meal. Whether they made it or not, it’s homemade, so they can experience that in these unique times. People can’t do everything nowadays.” feastandfettle.com
P.S. This is what my sink looks like when I do have to cook. Send help.