Want a celeb chef at your dining table for Christmas? Providoor should be your Santa stocking wish!

Providoor took off during lockdown as we craved our favourite meals from our favourite chefs and high end restaurants. Shane Delia was hearing this from his own customers and set out on a mission. How could he recreate his Melbourne restaurant experience but at home?

In any downturn, new businesses emerge, like a Phoenix from the flames. Providoor bridged the gap between a Hello Fresh-style experience and a home delivery, when we all know what it feels like to receive gluggy risotto! Providoor is food which is prepped, bagged and needs minimal cooking but enables that hatted experience at home.

As Christmas approaches, so do the stress levels of what to cook, when to shop, store and how to impress. The chefs of Australia’s best restaurants have rattled the pans to create new menus fit for the silly season. So we give the whole experience a spin.

A quick look at the range and we could have opted for Vic’s Meats, perfect for the carnivore loving couple including pork belly porchetta or bone-in lamb shoulder. Gourmet Life was another option with an antipasti platter covering all the cheeses. Rockpool Bar and Gill nearly made the cut with an Xmas banquet of Cape Grim rib eye, however Three Ducks was where we had settled. We have eaten there many times, we know the menu so how would it compare?

When you are this excited about your delivery… I am checking my messages and tracking its movements. I get the message ‘your food has been delivered’. In a sprint to the door faster than Usain Bolt…de nada! Where is it? Fortunately a click away and I can see pictures of my prize Providoor Box sitting outside a neighbour’s house. Thumbs up to the team for using this service and I was able to rescue my box!

It’s thoughtfully packaged in cool packs. We have the ‘Vegetarian Banquet’ consisting of focaccia, pumpkin hummus with flatbread, burrata, jap pumpkin orecchiette along with their signature burnt cabbage dish accompanied by crispy potatoes and sticky date pudding.

iconic burnt cabbage with smoked tomato butter and our fav, the pumpkin orecchiette

Opening the instructions there are 21 steps. Whoah! I cook a lot, so it’s not intimidating, but for someone who doesn’t, this could be their gateway to feeling like a chef or feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s helpfully set out with the A-G of dishes, linked to a photo of each one A=Fresh Focaccia B= etc. Next are sections on ‘Before you start’ such as preheat the oven, get a plan of hot water going, ‘Preparation Time’ and ‘You Will Need’ which lists things like large frying pan/small pot. I scan the bar code for the Spotify playlist and we are ON. Great start.

Hey folks! thats a lot of boxes!

I remove all the cardboard boxes which are helpfully labelled with each dish name. Getting organised is key here. The prep for mains and starters is 15 mins. You could cook starters, then eat then go back to the kitchen for the next round, my preference was to serve the full 6 dishes as a banquet and not return to the kitchen other than for desert.

 The starters are mostly ‘open a bag and spread on a plate or sprinkle things on top’ the breads go into the oven to warm, including the bags they come in which removes the faff of finding a tray. 

The mains take more work. The pumpkin pieces go in the oven as does the cabbage, both are being cooked for different amounts of time. So an eye on detail here is key. I cooked the orecchiette in boiling water and in another pan dropped a bag of confit potatoes to warm up. The condiments and sauces are then next heating the pumpkin puree and the smoked tomato butter. There are some steps here that could be more easily done in a microwave and if I did my time again that’s probably how I would do it but things like smoked butter you have to be very careful about the intensity of time and heat so it doesn’t split.  

Close to 15 mins later most elements are now assembled, the pasta is tossed in the sauce and topped with pumpkin puree and topped with sage, parmesan and pepitas. It was only a day later I realised I left the roast pumpkin still in the oven! Noooo!!!

The burnt cabbage is one of their signature dishes, and it’s a delicious mouthful of smoked buttery goodness topped with pangrattato.  The burrata with beetroot is a simple one to assemble and the addition of orange segments is a clever new way to experience this dish. Within 15 mins all the dishes are on the table.

I also love how they approach sustainability sharing how to use each item, container and my frangapanis are now all the better for squeezing out the cooling gel which holds water rather than simply putting it in the bin.

It’s a really great feast, the favourite of the day without doubt was the orecchiette. Yet we did save the best till last. The finale of sticky date pudding, indulgent, savoury, fragrant and delicious with marscapone, carmel sauce, you might hope your dining partner moves into a food coma so you can have it all to yourself.

Providoor – https://www.providoor.com.au

About the author

Karen’s corporate job back in the UK had included entertaining clients in some of the best restaurants. This ultimately sparked a curiosity 'Just how do they do that?' (she confesses she was brought up on meat and vegetables, so this was all very exciting). Currently a Mr & Mrs Smith 'Tastemaker', she’s flashpacked around the world, learning about wine, experiencing different cultures and cuisines and had a two- year love affair with it all. Originally from England, she finally settled in Australia and continues to be besotted by food, wine and travel preferring to focus on the luxury end of town (thread count does matter).


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