When we hear stories about how people are taking a plunge in pursuing their dreams, it is often done on the side during their free time or during the weekend. However, that’s not the case for The Nielsen Company’s Associate Director (now former) Ruchi Ballal.
While Ruchi may look like a typical women in her 30s, but her passion for cooking is unmistakable once you get to know her. That is why she recently quit her role at The Nielsen Company and started a food recipe delivery site in Singapore called The Hungry Chef. The simple concept sounds promising: customers choose the available recipes listed on the website, and The Hungry Chef would deliver the recipe along with all ingredients, pre-measured, so that customers can simply cook and enjoy.
The recipe cards put together by The Hungry Chef are all pictorial too so customers can truly enjoy their experience. For those without any prior cooking experience, recipe cards with explanatory pictures can be less taxing.
Culinary Inspiration And Convenience At Your Doorstep
Launched recently, The Hungry Chef is created out of the passion for food: having lived here as a Singapore permanent resident for the last 7 years, Rushi had always cooked at home for her family.
“Whenever I used to travel for my job I would stay in home stays and share recipes with my travel hosts. However once I was back here in Singapore, my all-consuming job did not give me a chance to cook all these fascinating foods. Even if I had some time some day, I did not have half the ingredients needed,” Ruchi recalled.
That was when her husband came across the concept of meal kit services and introduced it to Ruchi. The Hungry Chef was therefore conceptualized.
Today, just a little over 1 month after the website is live, The Hungry Chef received almost 30 orders from home cooks around in Singapore. At any day, there are 9 mains, 6 sides and 6 snacks to choose from. The best part with The Hungry Chef is that the recipes keep changing every week.
“I cover different cuisines across the world and introduce 3 new recipes every week, and all the dishes are easy to cook and will be ready within 30min.”
The Hungry Chef might be striking a chord with its customers, as Ruchi told us that The Hungry Chef is meant for time crunched individuals who are trying to balance their health with other priorities. The dishes that have been favorites so far are Sausage with Onion and Apple, Pakistani Ginger Chicken and Lemon Cake with Drizzle. The customers have been diverse in background but most are local Singaporean Chinese people, with some expats. Most orders have been delivered to HDBs in non-central areas.
Ebu Isaac, one of Ruchi’s happy customer even went all the way and shared that Hungry Chef makes you feel like MasterChef. “The instructions are so simple and easy to follow yet the outcome so remarkable”.
Would Meal Kits Work In Singapore?
With the signs of validations from its customers, Ruchi is confident that this meal kits concepts will work in Singapore.
“I read a research result in Straits Times some months back which said some 80% Singaporeans do not cook at home, this number is very low for a food-loving nation that we are. I believe home cooking makes you not only healthy but happy too, as it unites the family.”
The Hungry Chef wants to change that by making it easier for people to cook. On top of that, Ruchi mentioned that The Hungry Chef is not only about health, it is also about using fresh and good ingredients to cook delicious food at home.
“Some of our dishes are indulgent too, it’s all about balance and having the awareness of what goes into your food so you can make smart choices. I think that’s the biggest difference versus takeaways where we have no idea how much oil or salt or MSG has gone into our food.”