***While we got a discounted meal, all opinions expressed are my own. Thank you so much for working with us!***
Food is a touchy subject. Why? Because we all have different relationships with it. Some people LOVE cooking, others LOVE take out. I love my mother's cooking and enjoy cooking with a friend or partner, but sometimes (most of the time), I believe, it is nice to have it made for you.
Food meal plans have been around for a while and now we have meal companies like Blue Apron and Plated, but here in Jersey City we are lucky to have a number of great companies (Graze and Braise/House of Gains). Some do meal prep, some do events, and some do private chef sessions. This is where Top Shelf Food Group comes in because they do it all - catering, personal chef, cooking lessons and consulting. And what makes them so special is that they work with you and your dietary needs or restrictions.
Top Shelf Food Group is run by Chef Yehuriz a Jersey City native who has moved through the Jersey City food scene working with chefs at HopsScotch, The Hyatt, and The Newark Hilton. He started in catering during high school for his friend's dad's business. While he went to technical school, when he finished there weren't any jobs and he had the cooking skills to take him to where the jobs were. He found he was super passionate about it. Now, he wants to make others as passionate about food as he is.
Top Shelf Food Group made a delicious meal with the food restrictions I have as well as making us be adventurous and try new food and preparations. Ours had a Valentine's Day theme and we paired it with a great bottle of wine - Barrel House Wine California Blend. It was amazing watching someone else cook in my kitchen and tell me they love the space.
What was the meal:
Sous vide short rib - with a quick braised in wine, rosemary, thyme and garlic over a tostanes (fried squashed plantain). It was served with orange sour cream, Mexican cheese, and micro greens.
Lobster Mac and Cheese with pancetta with 6 different cheeses (I had regular mac and cheese with panchetta)
Fried smashed potatoes
Boiled and oven roasted brussel sprouts and carrots
Sirloin steak with a parsley and oregano chimichurri
Vanilla bean souffle with caramel dust - 1st time eating souffle
Tres leches vanilla cake with caramel crumbles
My review of the meal: There were definitely bright spots of the meal with the short rib, the steak, the smashed potatoes, and both desserts. There were foods that took me out of my comfort zone - sour cream, cheese on my food, dessert that I never tried. There were some things I didn't like like the mac and cheese had too many cheeses for me and veggies with a lot of butter are not my thing. It was definitely a heavier meal than we were used to, but you should always try something new.
My review of Top Shelf Food Group: Chef Yehuriz has a bright future in front of him with amazing ideas and the skills to back it up. He has ideas for multiple restaurants across different cuisines. He also loves cooking for his family making Dominican food for his family and Italian food for his wife's family. When someone so young is so passionate about what they do, you know they are going to kill it and be on an upward trajectory with only success in site.