Jenny Larson is a Glenview business owner and a mom of three, which has made cooking for her family difficult at times.
So, when Larson got tired of ordering takeout and pizza, she took the advice of a friend and called Cooked, a new Evanston based personalized chef service.
“The food tastes like anything you’d get in a top notch restaurant, but it’s delivered right to my house for a great price,” said Larson, who explained that she’s tried other meal delivery services and none compare to Cooked. “You can tell the food is made with love.”
So, who’s making the food? Jona Silva, a top notch chef who has cooked in kitchens that span from Montreal to Chicago and most recently, Evanston’s Blind Faith Café and Winnetka’s True Juice.
“My cooking is for those days and nights when you are busy during the week,” said Silva, who holds a culinary degree, but who is currently obtaining an advanced degree from the Culinary Institute of America. “It’s for when you want to eat at home, but you still want high quality, healthy delicious food.”
Born in Mexico, Silva said his interest in food and cooking began at a very young age, his first memory being his dad teaching him how to shuck oysters. His mom was also a cook, and owned a successful restaurant in their small town.
After obtaining his culinary degree and working in various restaurants in Montreal, where he said he encountered a great knowledge of French cuisine, Silva came to Chicago in 2001 to open the River North restaurant, Chilpancingo.
“The passion is and has always been cooking,” said Silva, who lives in Evanston with his wife, Erin and their two children. “I try to make my food as tasteful and as good as I can, and I cook with the same standards I have used while working at the best restaurants.”
With five employees, including Erin, who is a trained pastry chef, Cooked offers personalized assorted meals and cold pressed juices that are delivered to homes all over the North Shore.
Menu items change daily, and include dishes such as grilled cauliflower steak with lentils, salmon teriyaki, pulled beef tacos with black bean tomato salad, Mediterranean quinoa power bowl, and Greens juice, which includes cucumbers, kale, celery, romaine, spinach and lime.
Silva also cooks specialized dishes for vegetarian, Pescatarian, Paleo, gluten-free, dairy free, and Clean Burn Shape diets, and has a large selection of healthy kids’ meals.
“My husband and I were doing a cleanse, and our friend suggested we order from Cooked,” said Tina Daley of Glenview. “I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh everything was and how great it tasted. It was quality food that came fresh out of the oven.”
“I like the fact that he has menus that fit all of our different diets,” Larson said. “If I want to eat Paleo but my kids want something more normal, he can bring something for everyone. My plan is to order from Cooked three times a week.”