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Spatula Foods is one of Toronto's newest gourmet meal kit brands that relies on flash frozen technology to preserve chef-curated dishes, helping them maintain their restaurant quality in your own home. All you need is a pan, a spatula and 10 minutes to prepare your meal.
Co-founded by Michelin-trained chef Wallace Wong (who you may recognize on social media as The Six Pack Chef) and Ian Weng, former Head of Strategy at Uber Eats Canada, the duo don't want to compromise taste, quality and convenience in their product.
Currently, their web shop boasts a diverse menu of 21 dishes. Keeping affordability in mind, portions start at $11.49. Scroll through options including Braised Beef Bourguignon, Vegan Japanese Curry, Singapore Black Pepper Udon, Moroccan Chicken Tagine and Spanish Saffron-infused Seafood Paella, something you don't typically see available in the frozen food aisle.
While studying for his MBA in France, Weng turned to frozen foods and was surprised by the popularity of flash frozen gourmet meals. Brands like Picard were thriving in this market that he hadn't seen in Toronto yet, so why not create it himself?
"We want to change the perception and thoughts of what frozen are," says chef Wong. "We want to get you something that is high-end, Michelin quality food. Stuff you would get at a restaurant, but you would prepare it at home."
Unlike other meal kit concepts, Spatula doesn't require much preparation to cook and since dishes are frozen, you don't have to worry about any perishable ingredients going bad. Made possible through food engineering, the dishes just have to be heated up in a pan, with no extra steps required.
Alongside chef Wong, Spatula's current roster of chefs includes Toronto-based chefs Eric Chong, Romain Avril, Ryan Hinkson, Eugene Wong and Lisa Kitahara. Each bringing their own signature dishes to the line-up.
"Our time is how we make money," says the chef. "How do we as chefs get to make money by still doing food?"
Chef Wong emphasizes that Spatula isn't only a great product for consumers, but also for the chefs involved, who benefit from royalties every time their dish is purchased.
The long term goals for Spatula Foods includes growing their team of chefs from local to global, creating a market place where consumers can try signature dishes from chefs around the world.
"We want to master and tackle and own the frozen food market in Canada and then move across the border to the states."
Noting his bias, chef Wong says his favourite dish is his Wild Mushroom Truffled Risotto. Made with Arborio rice, white mushroom, shiitake mushroom, king oyster mushroom, grana padano and parmesan reggiano, despite being frozen, when heated up, it still maintains that rich, creamy flavour and texture risotto is loved for. It's a dish that truly encompasses the meaning behind Spatula, in that risotto can be complicated and time consuming to get right, but they've made it simple and easy.
Visit Spatula's website to shop their full selection of dishes and get them delivered right to your door. Better yet, order a subscription box to keep those good meals coming. Be sure to follow Spatula Foods on Instagram to stay up to date with all their latest happenings.