Category Archives: MagicKitchen.com Business Practices

What we’re up to

It’s that time again, the new catalog is underway and the new products are on the shelves almost ready to go out. This season’s new products are:

Pork Shank in Bordelaise Sauce The meat close to the bone such as this pork shank is the most moist and savory. When it’s simmered for hours in a rich bordelaise sauce, it’s simply sublime! Until it’s available, try our Beef in Bordelaise sauce!
Seared Salmon Rich, delicious, moist salmon with a toothsome exterior. We still have Almond-crusted Salmon on the menu!
Braised Beef Top Blade in Beer & Wine Sauce Tender, tender beef in an amazingly flavorful sauce. Available soon. Meanwhile you can order meltingly good  Osso Buco!
Steel Cut Oatmeal Oatmeal can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes! Try our Gourmet Granola for a delicious breakfast.
Seared Pork Tenderloin for 4 Lean and succulent, pork tenderloin is the gourmet pork cut. Here it’s lightly seasoned and seared. You’ll just have to wait for this one, we have no tenderloin on the menu…yet.
Pesto & Cheese Flatbread Basil, mozarella cheese, freshly made flatbread, all hot out of the oven. Yum. Our Verdura flatbread is very popular (Verdura means Vegetable)
Penne Pasta with Mushrooms & Truffles (Side Dish) Fresh penne pasta with mushrooms and truffle in a rich cream sauce. Until this is available, try our Crustless Quiche Twin Pack
Coffee Cake Bites-family pack The very best moist, sweet, crumbly, delectable coffee cake in bite size bits, perfect for breakfast or snacks. Comes in a tub of 16. Our six-pack of gourmet cupcakes will hold you until these sweeties are available!

Enjoy! Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Meal Delivery a Booming Business

Who has time to cook a homemade meal these days, especially with all the preparation, cooking and clean up required?  The Meal Delivery business, the industry in which meals are prepared by a third party and made ready for in-home consumption, is currently a multi-billion dollar industry that doesn’t appear to be slowing down. According to a recent Roper Starch Poll, 50% of Americans now purchase meals for in-home consumption at least once a week. These trends, coupled with increasingly busy American families, provide great potential for companies in the meal delivery industry, where meals are made ready-to-eat without the hassle of preparing, cooking and cleaning up.

In 2005, according to findings by McKinsey & Co. a food industry consulting company, the Home Meal Delivery Segment was projected at $170 billion in annual sales, contributing to 80% of the overall growth in the food industry. Insert MagicKitchen.com, a Los Altos, CA based e-commerce company. Led by seasoned corporate veterans Greg Miller and Michelle Tayler, MagicKitchen.com entered the meal delivery arena with the ambition and game plan that will lead them to industry leader status. “MagicKitchen.com has quickly emerged as a customer favorite because of unique product offerings which are much easier to have table-ready than the competition, the superior quality of their meals and their superior, intimate customer service,” said industry analyst and consultant Ryan Montague, President of Gourmet Business Solutions, an industry consulting company.“In the home meal delivery segment of the Home Meal Replacement category, they are definitely being innovative.”

Since 2005 when the company was created, MagicKitchen.com company revenues have soared, and projections reveal exponential growth figures leading to a larger share of the meal delivery market-segment. Attributed to exceptionally tasty, nutritionally sound, quick and easy-to-prepare meals like those you would have normally worked hours to prepare at home, as well as creative marketing programs and a team of highly-dedicated chefs and industry experts, MagicKitchen.com is emerging as a meal delivery industry leader and trendsetter.

MagicKitchen.com really is Magic
MagicKitchen.com really does have magic:
-A senior citizen calls on MagicKitchen.com to send much needed prepared meals to family member in dire need during the Christmas Holiday
-A customer re-orders $100 of MagicKitchen.com’s Ricotta Cheesecake because it is “the best he’d ever had”
Eggplant Parmigiana is hailed as “best ever” by a MagicKitchen.com customer, and “best on the West Coast” by another.
-After trying a MagicKitchen.com product sampler, a customer calls for 12 orders of MagicKitchen.com’s signature Panna Cotta to be delivered overnight for a large dinner party, even though alternate desserts could have been ordered locally.

Stories like these combined with the growing number of working couples, busy families with children, and senior citizens with restricted time and ability to prepare quality, nutritious, meals have propelled MagicKitchen.com to astounding sales and continued growth.

To accommodate these groups of busy families, senior citizens, and gift-givers MagicKitchen.com developed prepackaged, pre-cooked, frozen meals that can be thawed ahead of time and then reheated when needed. This allows for quick meal preparation and a full balanced meal on the table minutes from when the family walks in the door. For example, a senior citizen can place the chosen entrée and side dishes on a plate and microwave it for five minutes or less, creating a nutritious meal without the hassle and mess of meal preparation and clean-up. To start, all it takes is the click of a button on the MagicKitchen.com website, or a quick call on their toll-free number to place an order.

The Magic Difference
Unlike most of the other companies in the booming meal delivery industry, MagicKitchen.com stays ahead of the competition by focusing mainly on quality pre-cooked meals instead of raw products being shipped to the customer. With pre-cooked products, this allows the customer to eliminate the time and hassle normally required to prepare a quality, nutritious, gourmet, home-cooked meal.
MagicKitchen.com is focused on top-quality, tasty meals starting with top shelf ingredients and skilled chefs. Although nutritious, MagicKitchen.com’s offerings are not to be compared with totally bland and boring health or diet food products, often referred to as ”hospital food” (i.e. no fat and/or salt).

Senior Citizens, busy families, and gift givers take note: MagicKitchen.com has the solution you may be looking for. Leave the mess behind and give your family or loved ones the meals they deserve with MagicKitchen.com’s Chef-Prepared, Gourmet Meals delivered right to your home or business destination.

About MagicKitchen.com
MagicKitchen.com is a rapidly-growing player in the burgeoning home meal delivery market. Meals are prepared by chefs using quality ingredients, flash frozen, packaged, and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. The company actively participates in community fundraising. MagicKitchen.com is headquartered in Los Altos, CA, with kitchen facilities in South San Francisco, Redwood City and San Jose. MagicKitchen.com can be contacted by calling 877-51-MAGIC (877-516- 2442), or visiting www.magickitchen.com.

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Interview with a Chef

Francesco Avella has been cooking all his life.

He grew up in Naples, Italy surrounded by the bounties of the garden and the sea. For the last 20 years, however, he has been an Executive Chef running a commercial kitchen in the greater San Francisco area. In this interview, he talks about his culinary inspirations, and his passion for creating foods that fit the needs of the MagicKitchen.com customer.

What started your love for cooking?
I have been around food all my life. As a young man I was in love with my father’s home cooking. After school, I was right there in the kitchen with him trying to help, but the most he let me do was peel potatoes or slice carrots or onions. My reward at the end, though, was to taste the finished meal. I still believe that home cooking is the best.

Why do you enjoy working with MagicKitchen.com?
I love being part of a great company startup, seeing it grow and feeling proud of being part of it. I believe in using the best ingredients and putting them together and creating great dishes under no pressure is a great accomplishment.

People are becoming more familiar with how restaurant chefs lives their daily lives, but probably don’t know as much about a commercial chef. What are some of the differences?
There’s a big difference between a restaurant chef and a commercial chef. Restaurant chefs cook and serve the food right away while it is still hot. My job is to create and prepare dishes that have to be reheated in the microwave or the oven and while still preserving the freshness and the flavor. My MagicKitchen.com dishes require a lot of preparation and tasting in order to come up with the right texture and freshness. It takes a lot of patience!

What ingredients do you love to work with?
The ingredients that I like to work with are mainly vegetables and seafood; obviously, because it reminds me of home.

What are some of the dishes you’ve created that are the most popular, or that you’re the most proud of?
I feel proud of my eggplant parmigiano, because it’s a recipe from home and we do it a little differently than most cooks. Also it is one of MagicKitchen.com’s top selling products. Typically when you cut basil, it turns black pretty quickly. So instead we create a basil pesto that we stir into the tomato sauce. You get a great basil flavor, and a good color. Also, we don’t bread the eggplant – just use egg and flour, fry it lightly in canola oil, and drain it well so it’s not oily at all. It’s time consuming and more costly this way, but we really want to create a flavor that lets the customer knows that a lot of time and care went into preparing the dish – even though it takes only a few minutes to heat it up!

Any memorable mistakes in the kitchen? Or a dish that didn’t quite work out?
Yes! I’ve made many mistakes in my cooking; sometimes to the point where I feel like giving it up all together. But my love for cooking always returns and there are always new challenges to come up with the best products.
In this business, you have to think about not only how you’re going to cook the ingredients, but how they’ll reheat as well. Water is the enemy of freezing and reheating food! For example, with vegetables that contain a lot of water like mushrooms and zucchini, we bake them with a little olive oil and garlic to get out the water. We also use a lot of crunchier vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots because they don’t have as much water. The same goes with sauces – we test our sauces many times so that they’ll reheat at the right consistency.

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Why Flash Freezing?

At MagicKitchen.com, we  talk about how our food is prepared fresh, then flash frozen to keep in nutrients. But what is flash freezing?

Flash-freezing is a revolutionary process of quick freezing (usually within seconds). This locks in all the flavors, juices, vitamins and minerals and allows the meals to keep perfectly for long periods. Each dish is held in this condition until it is thawed, which ensures that it will be just as fresh as when it was frozen.

Commercial freezers can freeze food in seconds.  What happens is food becomes frozen solid so fast that the cell structure of those food doesn’t get a chance to burst open (and get mushy when you thaw it out later.)  That’s because quick frozen foods form much smaller water crystals inside cells than in slowly frozen foods.

Flash frozen food can be thawed normally, and if you thaw it correctly it looks just like when it was just cooked, no mushiness or freezer burn.

Fishing boats often use flash freezing to keep their catch as fresh as possible, especially if they are working in remote areas and will not be reaching port for days or weeks. In these cases, the fish are cleaned and then frozen as they are caught. Most of the fish you buy “fresh” at fish markets was frozen on the boats first.

The process was first developed by Clarence Birdseye. After observing the people of the Arctic preserving fresh fish and meat in barrels of sea water quickly frozen by the arctic temperatures, he concluded that it was the rapid freezing in the extremely low temperatures that made food retain freshness when thawed and cooked months later.

Thanks, Mr. Birdseye! With this process, our MagicKitchen.com meals are delivered to the table with all the quality, flavor and nutrition that our chefs put into them.

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Our Philosophy

Back in 2005 when Greg Miller started MagicKitchen.com, he was honoring his father. His father lived alone in his later years, and gradually lost weight and his health because he didn’t have an interest in cooking.  Greg has a keen interest in senior’s health, not least because he’s in his fifties himself and sees it coming!

Greg traveled all over North America in his prior career and noticed more and more obese people. He says, “That slapped me in the face.”  His growing awareness that Americans weren’t eating right, and his own dilemma of what to cook when he returned from tiring week-long business trips, spawned the idea to start MagicKitchen.com. “I wanted to stay healthy but didn’t have the desire or energy to make quality meals when I finally got back home from a long business trip.”

He talked with his partner, Michelle, saying, “We need to do what we can to encourage people to eat better, especially seniors.” They started MagicKitchen.com with great excitement, using only restaurant quality ingredients to create their own recipes that would freeze and reheat well, and taste great to the customer. One of the first things they investigated was flash-freezing and then special packaging that can be used to reheat the various meals in either the microwave or the oven.  They discovered that by using this process, their chefs could cook the dishes, then freeze them quickly to keep in the great taste of the various dishes made as well as the vitamins and nutrients from the food.  This was all done without adding preservatives to the meals.

Over the years, we at MagicKitchen.com have continued to concentrate on seniors, expanding the menu to include MK Special Meals for people with special dietary needs. The excitement hasn’t diminished, for Greg and Michelle or their staff. Updating the menu includes input from everyone, including customers. We’re always on the lookout for new products, and we love talking to the seniors who call in, hopefully providing a light in their day with a little humor. Life is good at MagicKitchen.com!

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