Review: Chef Bryan Faucheaux : Fresh Chef Meal Delivery
** Disclaimer: The product reviewed below was given to The Gluten Free Guide to New Orleans for free for this published review. In no means does that affect my review, but I always think it’s important to share that fact with the reading audience.
Last week, I had the pleasure of reviewing a new meal delivery service presented by Chef Bryan Faucheaux. Here’s what I thought:
First of all, here’s how my food came packaged and presented, as well as the 5 meals I had for the week:
The personal touch:
I absolutely loved the attention to detail, it was obvious my meals were packed exactly for me. (If you look closely, you’ll see “Thank you Rebecca” not only on the box, but on each label, which made me feel really at ease that the food was in fact prepared for me.) I also loved how they were each packed single-serving (more on that in a minute), and fit so perfectly into my fridge. I could put the whole box in, or take them out and stack them however. It made it really easy to put them with my lunch bags for each day of the week.
I also LOVED how each container was carefully labeled:
Thank heavens for ingredient labels
As you know, because you’re here, in the Gluten Free community we LOVE our labels. There have been so many times in my life where someone has told me something has been gluten free (my own parents included) and then I find wheat on the label. Or that someone at a restaurant tells you it’s gluten free because it doesn’t have any sugar in it, etc. So, while I have confidence in what I eat because I always interrogate everyone I buy food from (Sorry, Chef Bryan for all of the questions!) — it’s an extra touch to know that there IS a label, just to make sure. PLUS, many of us are allergic to something else, whether it be dairy, bell peppers, eggplant, peanuts, artificial sweeteners, or food dyes — so it’s just really helpful to know exactly what’s in there. It can be organic and farm grown but STILL be something someone’s allergic to, so I think that’s a helpful fact.
On a diet? No problem!
I also really loved how the labels had nutrition facts, because I’m currently calorie counting (who isn’t? Especially when gluten free foods often have more fat than regular foods, especially the frozen kind, which I live off of).
It made it really easy to see exactly what the calorie counts were, the breakdown, etc. Chef Bryan originally made this meal plan for people trying to become fit and lean and who may be doing diet and exercise plans or eating Keto or Ideal Protein, and just happened to realize that it is all gluten free — so there’s a lot of good nutritional benefit here. Also, in a minute, we’ll talk about the ease of ordering and just how easy it is to customize your order.
The Ease of Online Ordering
I think probably the best thing that Chef Bryan’s meal service has going for it, despite the fact that the food was really truly delicious, was that it’s just so easy to order. I didn’t experience this because he brought me a few meals that he wanted me to try, and honestly they were a little meat heavy for me (I tend to eat more fish, chicken, and shrimp on the regular than red meat) but generally you’d be able to customize your protein, your carb, your veg, and add any toppings you might want like garlic, or a shrimp skewer. So in other words, it’s like fancy Subway meets Outback but healthy, gluten free, and delivered to your door.
In this day and age, people LOVE tech, and the quicker you can order something with the fewest touches of buttons, the better. I think he absolutely NAILED the formula– the food is personalized, and customized to each individual person, but when it comes to ordering it’s a very simple, technologically sound, automated process.
Here are a few screenshots from the ordering process:
So, as you can see, you choose a protein option, a “carbalicious” side, a keto/ideal protein side, and a “free topping” which are things like cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions, grilled peppers, or garlic. It’s very simple and easy, and all of the extra charges and charges in general are clearly laid out.
Which brings me to:
Prices are $10 a meal for 5 meals, $9 a meal for 10-15 meals, and $8 a meal for over 20 meals. I’m unsure if people are eating them breakfast/lunch/dinner, or if they freeze well, but I forgot to inquire about that.
Over all, it’s very reasonable, and I had leftovers of at least a snack from each meal I ate! I’m a pretty tiny eater, but I still thought it was a very fair portion packed to the top with food, for that price. What I had would have been $50, and I ate it for lunch M-F, again for dinner at least 2 of the nights, and for a snack a few days later. So you can’t beat that at all, especially for the variety, and the ease of the packaging.
Had I had this 7 years ago, when I was originally diagnosed, it would have been LIFE CHANGING and made my weeks so much easier.
Also, I should point out here that there’s a delivery option for an extra $5, and you can type in your zipcode to find out if your area is included, but Chef Faucheaux caters to the entire metro New Orleans area, plus some outlying parishes (I think it’s 6 Louisiana parishes in all, which is impressive).
But, what about the food?
I’ve skirted around it, just because there’s been so much else to talk about, but the food really WAS delicious. It was a little protein heavy for me, as mentioned earlier, most of my meals included a steak or beef with probably a double portion of meat and one veg or carb, so I would have probably done a little more variety and subbed in some shrimp or fish, if available. But I loved everything I had. As expected from a pro chef, it was seasoned, and on the well-seasoned side. If you’re not a person that enjoys seasoning, salt, or garlic, onions, etc– you may not like it, there were a lot of add ins like garlic oil, for example, but you can always customize it and put notes in about your preferences, but I’m a pretty mild eater and I thought it was delicious. There weren’t any mystery seasonings or anything that made me worried. Very, straightforward well made food.
However, if you’re expecting more healthy, lean, and purely nutritious foods, I’ve seen other companies who probably meet those criteria a little bit better. My meals were often in the 480 calorie mark (with two being over 500 and one almost 600) so had I eaten them entirely and not saved some for later, I would have probably been well over what I usually would want to consume for lunch. They’re targeted to hit between 30-45 grams of protein, so again, that’s probably why I found it personally protein heavy, but it’s understandable considering it was made for people on the Ideal Protein diet.
I wish I had taken some pictures of you but I ate it all… I have one picture of the remnants of my plate and I promise you don’t want to see it. Which, by the way, I also liked the convenience of the packaging and the instructions for reheating, right on top.
I do wish Chef Bryan would add some pictures to the website though so you can see examples, even though the menu rotates, it would be nice to know what you’d expect to receive, we’re’ all visual people (which is why I shouldn’t have eaten my picture subjects so quickly).
I did check out his FB page and I don’t see many pictures there either, mostly just of the labels/menus/packaging. Maybe he ate all of the food before he could take pictures, too 🙂 It’s really bizarre, It’s often that I eat a bite before I take a picture but I literally ate five meals without taking a single picture? A good sign.
He does have some other things like snacks and egg-bites, so you should check that out, as well as catering. I’ve dropped a few of those sample menus below.
Is there cross-contamination?
One word: yes. Chef Bryan is not Celiac, nor is he gluten intolerant, and as such, he lives in a home that has a large bag of flour in his kitchen (after all, he is a chef), among other things. He assures me however, that everything on his menu is gluten free currently, and that he does not prepare glutinous things anywhere around his meal prepping stations for his meal service when he’s preparing for a gluten free customer. We had a talk about utensils, plates, shared pans, tongs, etc and the real dangers to cross-contamination and he is going to look at all of those. As you can see from the June menu above, you’ll also see that not all options were marked gluten free and there are some clear flour containing items (dumplings, for example), so that’s a real concern. I believe that was changed for July, but it’s always better safe than sorry. I also encourage him strongly to put a checkbox on his order form for if someone has a gluten allergy so that he knows to be triply careful (even though I think the entire kitchen should and could be 100% gluten free and still meet Ideal Protein standards). Until we hear an announcement that the cross-contamination worry has been remedied, I’m not sure I could safely recommend this for any Celiac, but it gets my absolute vote for any gluten intolerant person (or person doing a Keto or Ideal protein lifestyle).
If you’d like to order the food, you can try it by going to Chef Bryan’s website: https://www.bryanfaucheaux.com/
Please tell him I sent you!
I’ve also posted his card below:
Overall, I think this was a really cute and convenient idea and a really awesome service! I’m looking forward to ordering from him again!
To living gluten free in New Orleans,