David Chang-backed delivery service Maple is growing, expanding, and most importantly, is expanding its chef takeover program. The service is, in many ways, excellent. It provides lunch and dinner for $12 and $15 respectfully, which includes tax, tip and delivery charge. The menu items are also things you’d want to eat every day and could without completely ruining any semblance of a healthy diet. The idea is that food is cooked in many different kitchens so that it never has to go far to get to you, and every time we’ve used it, it’s always come warm and doesn’t look mangled like delivery sometimes does (no random sauce all over the bag).
The one thing is that the food has so far been pretty average. It’s been missing David Chang and great cooking in general. About a month ago, that changed. He and Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar created the menu for a week, which led to praise and publicity. They’re not stopping there. Next week, Dan Kluger will be taking over Maple’s delivery menu, and from February 22-March 4, you’ll be able to eat limited edition menu items created by him.
Kluger is a New York City based chef with an impressive resume that includes stints at Union Square Cafe, ABC Kitchen, and ABC Cocina. He won a James Beard Award in 2011 and was nominated for another one in 2014. In 2012, he was named Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine.
The menu takeover is smart because those who’ve disliked Maple in the past will be inclined to try it again, and devotees will be able to try something new. Of the collaboration, Kluger said, “I’ve been part of Maple’s Culinary Board since they launched and it’s exciting to work on limited edition items for the menu. It’s fun to think about developing dishes for a delivery-first experience, and to reach New Yorkers that may not be able to always get this kind of quality, crafted food during lunch and dinner. I love finding new ways to experience food and Maple is the perfect place to do just that.”
A portion of the proceeds will also go to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, an incredible organization that provides research grants to pediatric cancer centers to advance the development of less toxic, more effective treatments for children battling cancer. The organization started with simple bake sales, and has grown since it was founded in 2008 and now has events all over the country. The potential donation for these proceeds is up to $10,000, so not only will you be eating delicious food, but you’ll be supporting an important cause.
Here’s what we’re working with in terms of menu:
Ginger Braised Chicken w/ Roasted Broccoli, Sunflower Pesto, Quinoa & Almonds
Brussels Sprouts Salad w/ Garlic & Lime Shrimp, Avocado Puree, Diced Green Apple, Mustard Dressing
Red Wine-Braised Pot Roast w/ Celery Root, Sage-Roasted Kabocha Squash, Sautéed Broccolini, Pistachio Vinaigrette
Arctic Char & Root Vegetable Bowl w/ Roasted Beets, Turnips, Chicory, Pickled Fennel, Oregano Vinaigrette
Of course, we had to ask Kluger who his favorite chefs are: “There are many people in the food industry I admire: Danny Meyer and Dan Barber, to name a few. I frequently look to Danny Meyer for advice and am amazed by Dan Barber’s dedication to finding new ingredients and more sustainable ways to include them in our food today. Also, I’m in awe of the chefs who effortlessly volunteer to be part of Chefs for Kids’ Cancer, a cause dear to me. The chefs participating in our annual event on February 23 are amazing individuals and incredibly generous with their time, staff and talents.”
We’re looking forward to trying Kluger’s menu. Starting on February 22, you can order it on Maple.
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