About our Food
Ready meals get a really bad rap these days - commonly used as a short-hand for all that's wrong with the way we eat today, and responsible for everything from the obesity crisis to kids' inability to cook.
"Not so!" we say. Not all ready meals are equal, and done properly they can be a really good thing - tasty, nutritious, time-saving, and a veritable life-saver for anyone lacking the skills or energy to cook from scratch.
Since inception in 1999, Chef on Board's single aim has been to provide ready meals that have all the flavour, quality and comfort of really good home-cooked food.
The emphasis at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School, where founder and head chef Jonathan trained, is on using the best and freshest ingredients sourced locally where possible. These ideas formed the guiding principles of Chef on Board.
To do this, we cook everything by hand, in small one-pot batches, using only natural ingredients, and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. Then we fast-freeze the meals, which locks in the freshness and flavour. This is our recipe for ready meals that are delicious, nutritious and good to eat.
All our beef, lamb and pork is sourced from local farms here in beautiful Herefordshire.
We only use free-range chicken, reared naturally by Rick Stein "Food Hero" Ron Mee at Springfield Farm in nearby Leominster. The chicken is also killed and dressed on the farm to reduce stress.
Our processes and equipment (apart from the blast chiller!) are the same as you'd find in a normal domestic kitchen. This is really important to us, as it's the only way to maintain an authentic handmade quality.
Many of our dishes are gently simmered for 2-3 hours to allow the meat to tenderise and the flavours to develop fully. If you don't have time for that sort of cooking yourself, we hope you find that Chef on Board's range of genuinely hand-prepared meals means you don't have to.