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CrateChef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – May 2016

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Crate Chef is a bimonthly subscription box bringing you goods curated by a top-name chef every other month.  Expect local artisan food products, recipes, kitchen gadgets and accessories, and more.

Crate Chef kindly sent us this box at no charge for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)


The Subscription Box:  Crate Chef

The Cost: $45 (includes shipping); this is a bimonthly subscription and the next one will ship in late June.  Purchase a one-time gift box for $49 or get just the letter and recipes for $7.

COUPON: Use code ADDICTION to save 10% off your first box!

The Products: small batch local artisan food products, new recipes and a letter from the curator, and kitchen-related items including gadgets, tools, and serving pieces

Ships to: US (free), lots of other countries are in the drop-down list so inquire if you are interested but live outside the US

Check out lots of food-related boxes in the Food Subscription Box Directory and make sure to add Cratechef to your subscription list or wishlist!


This was just a great box to open.  Everything was packaged so well.



There was a full-color information card with a list of the items in the box on one side and a profile of Chef Blythe Beck on the other side.  Chef Beck is the curator for the May Crate Chef!


There was also a letter from Chef Beck.  It was pretty long and detailed but also enjoyable to read.  I will say more about this later, but I can tell she really put a lot of thought into curating this box, plus she seems like a fun person.


CocoAndre Chocolatier Sea Salt Caramel Turtles – Value $7

The letter said Chef Beck wanted us to have something to enjoy right out of the box, which I thought was fun.  I split these with my husband and we both enjoyed them quite a bit.  They were a little melty (our house is kind of warm right now) but quite good.

My Country Story Pink Magnolia Soy Candle – Value $8

Chef Beck’s restaurant in Dallas is called Pink Magnolia so this is a fun tie-in.  This is an all soy candle with a lead free cotton wick.  It is scented with fragrance oils and free of dyes and phthalates.  It’s a complex floral scent, maybe a little fruity, and I like it a lot.  This is a 4 oz candle and looks like it was an exclusive item so I’ve linked to the candle section of the Etsy shop and used a price from another 4 oz candle.



Butter Dish Set from Mud Pie – Value $20.25

I had to show two pictures here.  There were several breakable products in this box but they were individually wrapped – securely – and everything arrived intact.

This butter dish is fun.  If we ever get an actual dining room table, this will be perfect for having company over.  (Hopefully within the next year…)



Lamb’s Gristmill Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal – Value $2.50

Lamb’s Gristmill is in Inez, Texas and they make a bunch of different stone ground products.  This came with a cornbread recipe in the bag but it could also be used in one of the recipes that came in this box (more on that in a bit).  Cornmeal is something we go through fast around here!



Mrs. Renfro’s Gourmet Foods Peach Salsa – Value $3.95

This is from a family-owned company in Fort Worth, Texas.  I’m skeptical of fruity salsas by nature but we tried this in one of the recipes from the box (see below) and it worked really well with that recipe.  The touch of sweetness went really well with the dish and it was also another stellar packaging job!


For the Love of Sew Embroidered Hand Towel – Value $4.50

This is cute, pink (seems to be Chef Beck’s signature color), and fun for the kitchen.  Plus these are affordable for Etsy items so you can get other colors or sayings.  The stuff stuck to it is packaging material; actually, the towel had a nice, soft surface.  This looks like it was a custom piece for the box so I have just linked to the For the Love of Sew shop page on Etsy and used prices from similar items.


Set of Four Recipes from Chef Beck – Value $7

I put a value of $7 here since you can opt for a recipe-only subscription (that’s why I blurred the directions out).  The recipes were for cinnamon rolls, hoe cakes (pancakes with a lot of cornmeal in them), shrimp and jalapeno hush puppies, and skirt steak tacos.

Since I am a vegetarian, we opted to make the tacos but we used tofu instead of steak (there’s a marination step and tofu takes being marinated really well, only you can cut the time down by a ton).  Also we don’t have a grill so we used a grill pan.  The recipe used the peach salsa from the box and it turned out great.


Here are some finished tacos.  The fruity marinade (pineapple and orange juice) was delicious with the peach salsa.  It was also pretty low in calories compared to some of the dinners we’ve had lately.  My husband and I would totally make this again.  We will be trying the hoe cakes next weekend for Sunday breakfast.


One last warning before I finish up here.  Be careful where you open this.  This is a picture of my pants after opening the box.  And the cats were trying to eat the packing material.  I’d suggest putting a piece of newspaper down under it for the unboxing.  (Not really complaining, though, since several large, breakable items arrived intact and nothing got smashed.)

Verdict: I calculated a value of about $53 for the May 2016 Crate Chef box.  For a food box and/or a box with Etsy items, that is really quite a good value.  I discovered some new artisans and companies, which was fun.  But more than that, I enjoyed every item, the unboxing experience was great, the packaging was excellent, and it all seemed really well-put together – Chef Beck was a wonderful curator.

What do you think of Crate Chef?  Do you subscribe to any food or cooking boxes?

Written by Ragan Buckley

Ragan Buckley

Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She’s now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn’t give up beauty boxes entirely).
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. This box did not quite excite me on the value side, as I already have a ton of candles, use Mrs. Renfro’s salsa’s, and I don’t put a price on the recipe cards as well. However, it was an exciting treat to open. The packaging was beautiful, and well put together. Everything in the box is useful. I don’t worry too much about colors for the hand towel, as it will come and go in the kitchen, along with the others that I purchased. But it’s cute and whimsy, and will make me smile. Love the texture and fullness of the hand towel, it beats most the others that I have in my collection.

    The real excitement to me was the butter dish from Mud Pie, which is now one of my favorite online shopping destinations! I could not decide whether to keep or give as a gift for the upcoming holiday, since it matched a person on my gift list so perfectly. I ended up purchasing another at Mud Pie, so I could keep it. 🙂

    Very nice box, a little light on the value, but I did enjoy it quite a bit and will use every single item.

  2. This is a new box and I kind of love it! It inspired me to try some new things in the kitchen and I loved that I didn’t have to worry about anything spoiling if I didn’t get to it right away, like Blue Apron and some of the others with fresh ingredients. I always think I’m going to do more with those boxes than I actually do.

    I absolutely loved the peach salsa and this is a flavor I would have never EVER tried if it hadn’t been in the box. Now it’s one of my favorites and I use it all the time on everything. I used the corn meal right away to make the Hoecakes recipe (which my kids loved!) and will be a regular item from now on. We don’t usually have or use corn meal so this was a good one for us. The dishtowel was really cute but I am not a pink person, so I gave it to my mom and she totally loved it! The chocolate was great, but went WAY too fast with my family around, I should have waited until they were sleeping to open that one up! 🙂 The candle was unexpected, but I liked that the chef explained why she included it in the box and I like candles, so that one was also a win. The butter dish was SO Cute. I love everything MudPie, especially their Happy Happy trays which I often give as gifts.

    I didn’t have the same issue with crumbs of the packing straw that the reviewer had. My box didn’t leave a mess at all and nothing was covered with little pieces, it was just straw in the bottom that kind of wrapped around everything. I actually thought the box was packed really snugly and nicely. (My PopSugar box that month was a complete mess!) This was a great box and I will definitely get it again. I may even send one for my mom’s birthday next month.

  3. I signed up for this box and received mine last Friday, I think that’s about the first time a sub company has sent out a box early. Minus Julep who sends them out early. The box was supposed to include 3 kitchen gadgets and 3 food items. I don’t consider a candle a food gadget. And the butter dish was on another site for $18 and the hand towel they valued at $8, but on Etsy it’s $4.50. It was a nice box, but I didn’t put a value on the recipe cards, you can find recipes online for free. Not sure if I’m going to keep the sub or not. But those paper worms or whatever they put in the box were awful. They got on everything!

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