Chef Robin Pridgen has been writing G&G meal kit recipes since the beginning–if you've been ordering with us for a while (thank you!) you probably already recognize her name from all those meal kits over the years.
This year Robin became an even bigger part of G&G and we're lucky to have her as our Kitchen & Culinary Manager–and head chef. Robin still writes many meal kit recipes, and now she also takes on recipe testing, menu planning, and leading our packing team to make sure each ingredient is packed up with care. We asked her a few questions so that you can get to know the mind behind some of the recipes you're cooking at home!
Did you always want to be a chef?
Literally always! I have never held a job that didn't in some way touch the food world - from my first job at sixteen in a grocery store, to jobs in college at catering companies and restaurants, to designing meals at a major airline and airline caterer, to a gourmet food/personal chef company to Garnish & Gather!
Tell us a little about your thought process as you’re writing G&G meal kit recipes!
Of course, I want our recipes to taste good and work as well in a home kitchen as in ours, but I also want them to be interesting both to accomplished cooks and to those who aren't as confident in the kitchen. If I can teach someone a new trick in the process that's a bonus.
What’s your number one piece of advice for at-home cooks?
Don't be afraid to touch your food and use your hands in the kitchen - they're a tool, too! Yes, we wear gloves at G&G (safety first!), but at home I love to knead dough, toss vegetables in oil and I always have a pinch bowl of salt nearby.
What is the one ingredient you love to use the most?
One? That's like trying to pick a favorite child! I can't cook without olive oil, kosher salt (Morton, btw) and garlic.
What is the best meal you’ve ever had?
I worked in the airline industry for several years and was very, very fortunate to travel all over the world - and even more fortunate to eat in some of the best restaurants. But nothing - nothing - has or ever will compare to my mom's fried chicken (ever hear of the pulley bone? That's my favorite piece) or my brother's whole hog Eastern NC barbecue.
Is there anything else you’d like to share? Any fun facts, stories, experiences?
My husband and stepsons tease me about this, but I love Ruffles potato chips and I insist on having the first chip out of every single bag opened in our house because the first perfectly fresh, perfectly shaped potato chip is the best one...