Friday, May 16, 2014

SF's Cozymeal: Cooking Classes & Served Meals in the Homes of Local Chefs

Cozymeal: An Interview 

This is the best foodie idea I've heard in a long time, and that's saying something. Every day there are new ideas on how to revolutionize the world of good eating. Some are on point, and some may miss the mark a bit (remind me why they even tried to market blue ketchup?)  

An Italian Cozymeals cooking class
Cozymeal is unquestionably an amazing innovation that I hope will catch on all over the globe. I was lucky enough to sit down with Samad Nasserian, the creator of the cozy company, and pick his brain on everything food. 

Here's the Scoop

Based out of San Francisco, Cozymeal connects you with local chefs to enjoy served meals or take cooking classes in their home kitchens. Not only do you get to learn directly from the chefs in your community, you are actually invited into their homes. You get to see firsthand what kind of utensils and ingredients they use to make your favorite dishes. 


Q:     Hey Samad! First off, let's hear a little about you. When did you know you were a foodie?
Samad, founder of Cozymeal
A:     Growing up, my mother and sister would always watch cooking shows. I found myself watching them as well - I enjoyed experimenting with different ingredients and meals.

Coconut chicken with pine couscous
I also never enjoyed shopping, except when it was in a grocery store. I found that very relaxing. Also, I'm a picky eater so it's important for me to have control over the ingredients I'm choosing and how my meals are made. I truly enjoy eating good food.

Q:     Do you enjoy cooking? What is your favorite meal?
A:     Yes, I enjoy cooking very much. I've been cooking for myself for over 15 years. Even when I lived at home with my parents I would cook for everyone. Though I'm not a chef myself I've taken many cooking classes to educate myself on the best ways to cook.

Another Cozymeal Persian Dish (eggplant)

My favorite meal to cook is Fessenjoon, which is an authentic Persian dish (my parents are Persian). It basically consists of a pomegranate paste and walnuts, and requires 6-8 hours of slow cooking. It is delicious.

Q:     What was the inspiration for Cozymeal?
A:     For me, the best meals are the ones not in restaurants. Home-cooked meals are made from scratch, just for you. At home, there are no lines to wait in, and you don't have to shout to hear each other over the noise and music you encounter while dining out. Also, dinner parties are always so much fun.

Desiree's Peranakan meal served on a boat

I wanted to take all the great things about eating at home and couple them with the unmistakable quality of a local chef's meal. You can even ask the chef questions and learn how to make the meal yourself.

Q:     How did Cozymeal get off the ground?
A:     We actually didn't spend any money on marketing. Instead we utilized social media and posted on some foodie forums, and the idea really just took off from there.

Q:     What have responses been like from the classes so far?
A Mediterranean Cozymeals cooking class
A:     Since our launch in December 2013, we've already had several hundred served meals and cooking classes. The responses have been phenomenal, with over 100 5-star ratings.

Q:     What are the best stories you've heard from Cozymeal attendees?
A:     There's one meal that was held in an interesting location. A local Berkeley chef, Desiree, lives in a houseboat in the bay, so her served meal actually took place on the boat! I thought that was really interesting. 

We also have the incredible Douglas on as a local chef. Douglas used to work with the owners of the infamous French Laundry for several years. He now works for himself offering meals and cooking classes out of his own home. So whether you're looking for a Michelin star-level meal or a casual houseboat experience, we really do have it all.

Once I attended a class myself, and noticed another attendee looked strangely familiar. By the end of the night we discovered he was a member of the Stanford campus traffic cops, and I recognized him from my schooling at Stanford!
       One thing the chefs tell me is truly rewarding about the classes is when attendees will contact them later with photos showing how they took the meal they learned in the class and made it for their own families at home. This is what it's really all about. 

Q:     What do you think are the benefits of Cozymeals?
A:     My favorite part is that you can find unique meals that you may not find anywhere else in the city. I do classes at my house where I'll make a Swiss Raclette, which is basically a fusion of Korean BBQ and fondue, with cured meats and potatoes. It's an authentic Swiss/German dish often eaten around Christmas and New Years. It's fantastic because you can't find this dish in any restaurant in San Francisco, it's just too obscure. But you can get access to special meals like this.

Traditional German Currywurst

My Take

And there you have it. One important thing to mention is that it's incredibly affordable! Meals start at just $12. Seriously.

If you're in the San Francisco area I highly recommend checking out Cozymeals. I can't wait to go back and try it for myself! 

Click here to view all current cooking classes.

Click here for all current meals.

It brings back a sense of community to the dinner table, and allows you to pick the chef's brain to really uncover how they make the meal and improve your own cooking skills. Not to mention getting to meet others who are cool enough to share your interest in a cooking class at a local chef's house! They have to be awesome people, just from that fact alone.

Let me know your thoughts! Do you think this is an awesome idea or do you have ideas of your own? Share your ideas/questions/comments in the comment section below!

Organic Spanish Tapas


1 comment

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