Some people are able to cook at home at the standards of top-class chefs, others can afford to eat at expensive chef restaurants on a regular basis. For the vast majority, however, neither option is a reality. Until now, that is, when chef Segev Moshe steps in. Equipped with the understanding that not everyone can afford to eat at his expensive restaurants and appreciating that many do not have the time or skills to prepare a high-quality meal at home, the charismatic Israeli chef recently launched a new line of high grade ready meals, called "Segev Chef."
Moshe was full of enthusiasm and genuine excitement about the line when he detailed the project to the press at an exclusive launch event at his restaurant Segev in Herzilyia. He explained that his inspiration for the ready meals, salads and desserts came to him when he was in the United States nearly ten years and came across the ready-made meal line of well-known chef Wolfgang Puck. "I want that to be me," he told his wife at the time. Now in 2013 in Israel, Moshe has the chance to realize this dream.
In spite of his optimism, the chef explained that "it hasn't been an easy process" launching the line. As one might expect, Moshe is a perfectionist and has spent the last few years creating the perfect recipes and traveling the country, and indeed the world, to find suitable factories capable of producing top-notch products. He said that he wanted to create products that were easy to prepare and were both high quality and homestyle, while still reflecting his own unique culinary style. All products in the range are kosher.
At the celebratory event, members of the press were invited to sample all of the "first-stage" products being launched, with more products expected as the brand develops. This first stage will include four different series of products.
For starters, hungry guests were served a selection of dips and salads, which included: Roasted peppers with cream cheese and dill; roasted peppers with feta cheese; eggplant salad with labane and zatar; roasted eggplants with cream cheese and dill; barbecued onion salad with tehina and Greek-style zucchini salad with cheese. Each individual salad retails at NIS 19.90-21.90.
For main course, Moshe served up a series of heartier meals, some of which require additional preparation and extra ingredients to create a full portion. The first two were chicken balls and fish balls, both covered in homemade-style tomato sauce. In the supermarkets they are packed in special microwave-proof, plastic containers, but at the restaurant they were served on ornate plates with sides of rice and tehina. The other products in the series include selected minced meat with Eastern flavoring, minced lamb and beef as well as a homemade-style Bolognese sauce. These products require slightly more preparation, and to give the audience a clue as to how to prepare these products, Moshe served up meatballs as well as traditional spaghetti Bolognese. All the main course dishes are frozen and can either be heated up in the microwave or defrosted and cooked in an oven or on the stove. They retail from NIS 29.90 to NIS 41.90.
The series of pasta sauces costing between NIS 9.90 and NIS 11.90 were on display, but weren't served up at the restaurant.
In keeping with the theme of the rest of the range, the desserts are simple and easy to serve. The pastry eclairs filled with either vanilla, dulce de leche or chocolate cream retail at NIS 29.90-31.90.
The wide selection of goods will be available at most major supermarket chains as well as selected stores around the country.
To kick start the launch, the social media-savvy chef began a campaign to crowd-source recipes from the public titled "A quarter of a million for a recipe." The campaign, which will be advertised on the packaging of each product as well as through all of Moshe's personal social media pages, will invite the public to submit recipe ideas for the next product that will be included in the "Segev Chef" series. The winner will be chosen by Moshe and will be awarded NIS 250,000.