CrateChef Cat Cora Box Review + Coupon – May 2019
CrateChef is a bi-monthly food subscription box curated by top-name chefs. Each box includes artisan foods, recipes, and kitchen supplies, as well as a cookbook or recipe cards from the featured chef to help you put your items to use!
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About CrateChef Subscription Box
The Subscription Box: CrateChef
The Cost: $45 per box + $6 shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.
The Products: Artisan foods, recipes, and kitchen tools curated by a different chef each month, usually with a focus on the Southern region of the US.
Ships to: US
CrateChef Cat Cora Review
Each CrateChef box includes a card that introduces the chef curator details the featured items. This month’s chef is Cat Cora, who I know and love from her time on Iron Chef. She’s often inspired by her Greek roots, and I definitely saw that reflected in some of the items chosen for this month’s box.
Cat Cora 7″ Chef’s Knife – Retail Value $80
(This item appears to have originally retailed for $80, but I wasn’t able to find it for sale online except for third party Amazon sellers ($35 + shipping) and random discount sites.)
This was definitely the hero item of the box for me! I have literally one sharp knife—a Forschner that was a wedding gift from a dear friend who shares my love of cooking.
This is a Santoku-style knife, which is a super versatile style that I find to be easiest to use for chopping and dicing. The walnut handle is super comfortable, and it took a bit of oil very nicely. While it’s not quite as sharp as my current go-to knife, it’s still a step up from all of my other knives. I’m curious to see how it holds up after a sharpening.
I was probably least excited about this item when I unpacked the box. Almond butter—been there, right? Nope! This surprised me, big time!
This almond butter is blended with crystallized ginger, and wow, is it delicious. I’ve been enjoying a spoonful of it blended in with my morning oatmeal, and I’m going to be very sad when it’s gone. It’s got just the right amount of ginger to add sweetness and bite. I’ve even been spreading a little bit on toast to give to our baby, and he’s been loving it, too.
(As long as I’m drooling over the Big Spoon Roasters catalog, how good does this Hot Peanut Butter sound?)
Cocktail Picks, Set of 12 – Buy similar here for $7.99
I just ran out of a batch of plastic cocktail picks that I’ve had in my pantry from a Mother’s Day brunch years ago, and I can say these are definitely quite a bit nicer. I’m planning on using them for our Christmas Eve dinner for sure, since I usually have a few appetizers out for guests. But they also seem like a good excuse to try some fun drinks with fruity stirrers this summer, right? The included recipe for Caprese Skewers with Bloody Mary Vinaigrette seems like a natural fit for these.
Black Garlic, 2 heads – Buy a similar bag here for $8.49
I was pretty excited but also slightly intimidated by this item! Black garlic is a specially aged garlic that can be used like roasted garlic in a number of recipes (including some of the recipes included with my box). This is an ingredient I’ve heard of before, but I don’t think I’ve ever even tasted, let alone cooked with.
I’ve been using this sparingly, and it is so interesting. It’s mellow like roasted garlic, but has a really rich umami punch to it! My next couple of tests are going to involve using it in a compound butter and maybe in a steak marinade. As always, I love CrateChef for taking me out of my comfort zone with some really interesting ingredients that I might not normally try on my own!
Organic Sun-Dried Black Olives, 5 oz – Available here for $7.49
I’ve never had sun-dried olives before, either! Taste-wise, they are like little concentrated, salty, olive bombs (and I mean that in the best possible way). I’m planning on using them in a puttanesca sauce, as recommended by the card in the box, but I did entertain the idea of skewering them on the cocktail picks as a Bloody Mary stirrer.
Za’atar Spice – Buy similar here for $5.99 (2 oz)
I have tried za’atar before, but this mix seemed especially fresh and tasty. I’ve been enjoying it lately on top of a plain bagel with cream cheese and on roasted potatoes. If you’re unfamiliar with za’atar, it usually contains at least sumac, sesame, and thyme. This version also includes marjoram, oregano, cumin, and salt.
Sumac is such an interesting spice. I always expect it to be pine-y for some reason (I have no idea where I got that impression), but it’s refreshing and kind of lemony! Now that I think of it, a cucumber salad with za’atar, feta, and some of those sun-dried olives sounds like it might be right up my alley.
(The size wasn’t listed on this, but it’s about the size of a normal spice container, I’d guess about 3 oz.)
Stacy’s Pita Chips, 7.33 oz – Buy similar here for $2.99 (Limited Edition bag retails for $10 to fund Stacy’s Rise Project)
It’s really hard to go wrong with pita chips! I wish I could say that I had used these as a carrier for some delicious dip made with za’atar or black garlic, but they just didn’t last long enough between my husband, myself, and our four year old (who calls them “hard chips”). Kudos for their inclusion in the box though, as I think they fit well with the other items!
This bag is part of a special project from Stacy’s that awards money to women & other underrepresented entrepreneurs working on food-based businesses.
CrateChef always includes a few recipes in each box, too. My husband is allergic to mushrooms and eggplant which knocked a couple of these off our list unfortunately, but I’m really looking forward to trying the Caprese Skewers with Bloody Mary Vinaigrette once tomato season is in full swing! Even though I can’t make all of these, I always find something new in the included recipes to try.
Verdict: If you enjoy cooking and trying new things in the kitchen, I think CrateChef is always a fun box to unpack and explore. I’m especially in love with the almond butter and black garlic from this month’s box! Finding prices for items in food and kitchen boxes is always really tough since online prices are sometimes really different from actual prices in-store, and in my experience none of the food-focused boxes have super high retail values. (If you’re looking for discounts more than anything else, this is probably not the right type of box for you.) This month, I feel pretty confident based on the prices I did find that the total retail value is above the $51 price you’d have paid for the box plus shipping. Either way, if you love celebrity chefs and you want to break out of a rut in the kitchen and explore some new flavors and recipes, you can’t go wrong. The curation is always good, and I can’t think of a time when I didn’t get to try and use everything in the box.
To Wrap Up:
If I sign up today, will I get this box? Yes, if you choose! When you join CrateChef, you can select which box you receive first. This box is currently available.
Value Breakdown: It’s very hard to find individual prices for each of these items, given the nature of food and kitchen items. At $51 for this box ($45 + $6 US shipping), each of the 7 items has an average cost of $7.29.
Keep track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the latest CrateChef?