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Tried and Tasted

Which are the best Christmas dinner chef kits - and are they worth the hassle?

You don’t want to cook from scratch and you don’t want to go to a fancy restaurant either, but there is a third way – the chef’s at-home Xmas food box. Harry Wallop dons his apron to see if this growing trend means you really do get the best of both worlds

Tuesday 12 December 2023 10:31 GMT
Harry Wallop tested the latest chef take-in boxes to see which gives the most festive feel
Harry Wallop tested the latest chef take-in boxes to see which gives the most festive feel (Harry Wallop)

Christmas can be stressful at the best of times, but the one thing that tips many people over the edge is having to cook the festive feast from scratch. If only you could get someone else to do all that parsnip peeling, sprout trimming, onion chopping, gravy straining and turkey stuffing, while being able to enjoy the finished meal in the comfort of your own home.

Well, in the last few years that has become an option thanks to the explosion of at-home meal boxes, which have become increasingly fancy. Many chefs and restaurants – in a bid to keep afloat during lockdowns – started selling dishes or meal kits that often needed little more than reheating and plating up.

This year, Tom Kerridge, the celebrity chef, is selling a £215 box, which feeds four people but only includes a beef Wellington with pigs in blanket and gravy, followed by a sticky toffee pudding, without any accompanying vegetables. Some on social media have grumbled about the lack of roast potatoes, considering the price tag.

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