Sam Young is an ex Merivale chef turned private chef who was one of the first chefs to pivot to home delivery last year during the COVID-19 lockdown. This year as soon as the lockdown was announced he already had an offering. Sam's choices change weekly and currently he has a truffle pasta for when you want to spoil yourself a little (and who doesn't need that every now and again?).
"The first few days of COVID lockdown I was very emotional and depressed. I love food and food is my life. Cooking to put smile at people face is what got me into cooking and I love doing it everyday. I question myself what I’m gonna do for the lockdown period because I don’t want to do anything else but to cook for my guest and people who love my food. A few days later Andrew from Room 10 who is my very good friend of mine asked me if I’m interested to do take-home meals at the café. I straightaway say yes. At first he asked me to cook spaghetti Bolognese for the first week menu and I think to myself there’s no way that anyone going to buy my spaghetti Bolognese from a China man. At that weekend we sold like 50 portion of spaghetti Bolognese. I was very surprised so I discovered there is a huge market for it. Then I starting doing delivery for my take home meals. Then I got even more busy to a point I can’t keep up," says Sam.
Sam's meatballs and spaghetti
Sam has found a niche delivering comfort food across Sydney. Last year I tried his pasta and meatballs which were also incredibly delicious with so much flavour and a soft texture. Sam says, "I choose food or dishes had a strong connection with me and most importantly had to be comfort food and it heals people's souls. I love eating and cooking fancy food but take home meals have to be back to basics and taste delicious. In this crazy times of lock down it’s nice to have some delicious comfort food delivery right to your door. There is nothing more comforting then a delicious lasagna in a cold winter months or a classic Mapo tofu with hot steamed rice."
Sam's Mapo Tofu & Rice
Customers order on this website and delivery is $10 within 10 kms of the city centre (order 3 or more for free delivery) although delivery is possible outside this radius for a surcharge. Sam has delivered as far as Manly and Cabramatta. It's just Sam and his girlfriend doing the ordering, cooking and delivery. "My girlfriend (aka the super banana) is an amazing chef and she is the boss in the business. I don’t think I could do it without her. I am very hands on and I don’t like to get too big with orders," says Sam. They sell between 120 to 150 portions a weekend.
For this delivery Sam delivers all the makings for truffle dashi pasta. There's hand made egg pasta, a dashi truffle sauce, butter, eggs and a 20g truffle to shave over your pasta. It's enough for a delicious meal for two. The pasta and sauce is $70 and customers have an option to add 20g of fresh truffle for $50 extra.
The cooking process is simple and you just need two pots and one frypan to get this all together. Sam uploaded a video on his Instagram stories showing the cooking process. In one pot you start the truffle dashi sauce and add the butter which heats to become a creamy, emulsified sauce. In a frypan you fry the two eggs provided and in another pot you cook the fresh pasta for 2 minutes. After draining the pasta, toss it in the truffle butter dashi and divide among plates and eat straight away.
Sam's mother's dumplings
So who are his customers? "There is everyone! From restaurant customers, celebrity chefs, Instagram fans and long time followers, to new customer from word of mouth. I am a very blessed chef in Sydney who gets lots of love from this city," says Sam.
What his next meal is depends on a few things. "I change my food depends on my mood or what I feel like. And also the demands from my customers. They often message me what they want to eat!" says Sam.
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your dream lockdown dish? Have you been getting many food deliveries?
Big Sam Young