Log on for a ladle of home food

There is still a huge demand for the taste of home. Photo: Moyan Brenn

There is still a huge demand for the taste of home. Photo: Moyan Brenn  

There’s a certain romance attached to homemade food, and no one realises this more than those who live away from home. Chennai has a vibrant food scene that’s constantly changing, offering something new every week. Yet, the demand for home-cooked food never wanes.

Ordering from home cooks can be a hit-or-miss affair. To eliminate this risk, new platforms that curate home cooks and provide logistics for delivery are popping up online, in the form of websites and Facebook pages. What they do is simple: they invite home cooks to sign up on their sites and conduct quality and taste tests. Only once they pass these are they featured on the site.

Foody Palace:
North Indian, South Indian, vegetarian and non-vegetarian
Food in select areas; breads, cakes, dips and chocolates delivered across the city
Tel: 6602 3231

Atithi Khana: On Facebook
North Indian and South Indian
Across the city
Tel: 95662 48148

North Indian and South Indian
Across the city
Tel: 76674 79797

The platform provides the delivery service by picking up food from the home cooks and delivering it to the customer. Most of them have subscription packages, and also deliver on a day-to-day basis. They also have changing menus, so customers don’t get bored. 

Foody Palace, started by Mansi Tiwari, currently supplies lunch in Tidel Park, Guindy, Little Mount, Nandanam, Teynampet, DLF IT Park, Manapakkam, Ramapuram, Ekkaduthangal, Ashok Nagar, Alandur, West Saidapet, St. Thomas Mount and Jafferkhanpet, centred around the IT parks. “My husband moved to Chennai before me, and he had a lot of trouble finding good food even though he tried out numerous food services. While there are a lot of homemade food suppliers out here, I thought it would be better for people to choose from a curated list of quality cooks,” says Mansi.

While she specialises in North Indian vegetarian food, she has roped in Vijayalakshmi N. (South Indian and non-vegetarian), Pinky Daga (breads and cakes), Jayashree Manohar (chocolates) and Deepika Sudhakar (jar cakes and brownies) to begin with. The website offers home cooks and bakers the opportunity to sign up with them, but only if they pass a taste test. Apart from lunch and dinner packages, they offer subscriptions that can be booked on the same day.

They also feature baked goods, jams, preserves, pickles and dips that can be ordered with 24-hour notice and are delivered anywhere in the city.

Aashish Nahar has taken a slightly different approach with his venture, Atithi Khana. “I didn’t want too many cooks. I wanted one North Indian and one South Indian kitchen, which would supply consistently good food,” says the 24-year-old engineering graduate, who launched the service in July. They supply vegetarian food across the city.

“It’s not just bachelors and senior citizens living alone who are opting for these platforms. When both husband and wife work, they find it easier to order these packages through the week and cook only on the weekends,” he states, adding that a majority of his customers order out of convenience and not because they do not know how to cook.

A lot of the home cooks on these platforms have created their own brands over the years, but have not scaled up operations due to undependable logistics.

Signing up on these portals helps cooks expand their reach and repertoire as well, along with the added advantage of their quality being vouched for. 

Perhaps that’s why over 900 home cooks have applied to be featured on Fromahome, a website founded by Vinodh Subramanian. He calls it “an online marketplace.” They are currently serving areas in and around Medavakkam, with 55 active home cooks.

“We inspect the premises and do a taste test of the food and a health test of the person cooking, before taking them on board. Judging by the kind of response we have gotten from home cooks and customers, there is still a huge demand for the taste of home. Platforms like ours just help bridge that gap,” he says.

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 13, 2020 7:57:08 AM |

Next Story