‘Lets Be Chefs’ Helps You Cook Up Fun, Easy Dinners!
posted by: Amber Johnson
It’s my almost-daily battle: what to make for dinner? I love cooking but when 4 p.m. hits and I don’t have a dinner plan, I’m always scrambling to throw together whatever ingredients I have on-hand. Sound familiar?
Castle Rock mom Suzanne Hayen knows this routine all too well and that’s why she founded Let’s Be Chefs, an app-based service that makes it easier to get dinner on the table. They make it simple to find new recipes that you’ll like, plan your dinners for the week, grocery shop, and cook. Their goal is to help you with as many of the repetitive tasks having to do with meal planning and cooking as possible.
“I came up with the idea for Let’s Be Chefs because as a mom to a 2 year old, I was really struggling with making relatively healthy, home-cooked meals,” says Suzanne. “I found myself wishing that there was an app or service that would help with all of the repetitive and tedious tasks associated with getting dinner on the table. My hope is that our service helps save time, relieves stress, allows families to spend more quality time together around the dinner table, and allows people to eat a little healthier.”
How It Works
I have about 20 cookbooks and a Pinterest page brimming with recipes I rarely use because when it comes right down to it, pulling together a new-to-me meal can be overwhelming. And meal planning? Forget it. I barely know what I want for dinner, let alone have the organizational aptitude to plan for the entire week.
Let’s Be Chefs gives you a new menu through the app every week. Thankfully, they know you don’t want to cook new meals every night (and if you do please come cook mine). They send you 4 recipes (the default), but you can change that in the settings menu and receive up to 6 recipes every week, which gives you plenty of choices in addition to cooking your regular favorites. And here’s the magic of it all. When you rate the recipes as you cook them (or as you’re scrolling through), they can learn your preferences and recommend the best possible meals for you. Let’s Be Chefs uses nifty advanced machine learning algorithms to predict what kind of meals you and your family will enjoy.
There isn’t an archive section, but any recipe you give a 5-star rating to will be stored as a “favorite.” To swap a recipe with one of your favorites, click the circular arrow icon in the bottom left of the recipe card. You’ll be able to choose from any of your 5-star recipes that aren’t already on that week’s menu.
Once you receive your menu, you can quickly add all the meals you intend to make to automated your grocery list. Set the time you want to eat and they’ll even send you reminders when it’s time to start cooking. The entire process of planning your meals for a week could take as little as 2 minutes!
What Kind of Meals Are Available?
Let’s Be Chefs strives for a fairly diverse array of recipes, but they all need to fall into the category of “normal.” Based on my preferences, my menu choices included Chicken with Brie and Pesto Sauce, Cheese Tortellini Salad, Flank Steak Street Tacos, Chicken Avocado Pizza, and Filet of Sole Almondine, all of which varied from 15-30 minutes for active cooking time. There are three tabs on the app: Past, Current and Upcoming recipes, making this your own personal recipe box.
And who is the executive taste-tester? Suzanne’s two year old tries every meal and if he won’t eat it, it doesn’t get added to the service. “These meals have been tested by many families and get rave reviews from adults as well as children. The meals also need to be easy to make – we know you’re probably not a professional chef, but we want you to be able to prepare meals that taste as if you are! The meals are generally well-balanced and nutritious, but this isn’t a health food service (those don’t pass the two year old test…). You should expect tasty and delicious home cooking.”
What About Food Allergies?
Let’s Be Chefs is currently working on a feature that will allow you to filter out certain ingredients or specify certain dietary preferences (gluten-free, vegetarian, etc.). In the meantime, though, if you give a 1-star rating to any recipes that you don’t like (or can’t make), and a high rating to the meals you like, the app will learn your likes and dislikes and recommend recipes in the future that match your preferences.
If you’d like to be notified when the “filter out certain ingredients” feature is available, shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s also worth mentioning that all of their recipes are peanut-free.
“We want to make meal planning really easy, and if we gave you too many options, you might end up spending all your time looking through the recipes,” says Suzanne. “We offer a level of personalization that we’ve never seen with any other meal planning service. Each week, we send you a menu that is completely customized to you – we learn your preferences based on how you’ve rated other meals and send you recipes that we think you’ll enjoy. With many other services, you choose a plan (vegetarian, gluten-free, no seafood, etc.), but you receive the same meals as every other customer with that plan – the menu is not tailored to you at all.”
Get a Free Week!
Try Let’s Be Chefs FREE for a week! Simply sign up at www.LetsBeChefs.com.