Staff Passion: Meet the Kitchen Team
Whenever us Hello Chef folks feel like putting a smile on our faces, we step away from the boring desks and enter the kitchen side (but not without a hair net!)
The kitchen is where the fun stuff happens. For that we have Darwin, Gopal, Emmanuel, Dennis, Dexter, Mark, Val, Kim, Musa, Gugin and Yassine to thank!
There are many handsome men in this picture, but our kitchen team was actually built on girl power. Can you believe that there was a time – not even that long ago – when Olivia, the founder and head chef of Hello Chef, packed all the boxes herself every Saturday? This woman was, and still is, determined!
The first person hired to Hello Chef kitchen to help with packing was Kim (front row, first from the right). She started two years ago. Since then, more have joined. And what a cool and dedicated bunch they are!
Top row from left: Emmanuel, Val, Musa, Dexter, Gopal, Darwin, Olivia, Yassine
Front row from left: Dennis, Mark, Gugin, Kim
Each member of the staff is in charge of a certain type of ingredient: either vegetables, fish, chicken, meat, dairy or pantry items. For example, Darwin (in the photo above) and Mark handle the quality checks on vegetables delivered by suppliers. Darwin and Mark send back all the veggies that don’t meet the standards.
One of the most important tasks for the whole team is keeping the focus on hygiene.
“Every Tuesday morning we do a deep cleaning and inventory in the kitchen”, says Yassine, the head of the team.
Appliances need to be very well maintained. Every ingredient has an ideal storage temperature at which they have to be kept. The vacuum sealer is one of the most essential pieces of equipment in the kitchen, and the team uses it a lot. Vacuum sealed packages are convenient, as they take less space in the fridge, prevent leaks, and keep the food fresh for longer.
The major part of the kitchen staff’s work is, of course, packing all the ingredients in the boxes. Most ingredients are packed in the kitchen, though some suppliers provide us with ingredients that are pre-packaged. As Hello Chef operates a cold kitchen, everyone tends to wear a sweater to keep comfortable.
The most obvious thing in the kitchen is the level of energy you experience when you walk in. Boxes are being carried back and forth, and food is being carefully packed.
The only thing that drowns out the sound of the chillers or packing equipment, is a set of Bluetooth speakers playing rock and R&B’s greatest hits, which seem to be the favourites in the kitchen.
Almost all of the ingredients that go in a Hello Chef box are prepared in house. For example, all the meats ordered from selected New Zealand suppliers are portioned before being packaged and labelled.
To sum it up, our wonderful kitchen staff does pretty much everything besides cooking the food. The most fun part is left for you to enjoy!