Shef Food Delivery

So I was very excited to find this app for delivery of food from local chefs. I was absolutely blown away by the diversity of food available.

I got my first delivery today from this Circassian chef (and yes I had to look up Circassian). Home Cooked & Homemade Authentic Dishes Delivered! Haven’t dug in yet except for a small bite of the keto cheesecake that she threw in for a gift (yes, she cooks Circassian and keto) and that was good, although I’m afraid to try more because like most keto desserts it is sweetened with erythritol to which I am sensitive (one very cool thing about Shef unlike ordering from a restaurant is that all the ingredients are readily available before ordering). Will report back after I eat all the things I ordered, but the delivery was very nice. Nicely packaged, arrived via DoorDash right when predicted, and in a nice cooler bag.

Tuesday I have Sri Lankan food coming from this woman. Home Cooked & Homemade Authentic Dishes Delivered! And there is more than one Sri Lankan chef, including one who offers hoppers!

Have I died and gone to heaven?


I’ve used them in SF. Some interesting and uncommon dishes.

I should add for those who are vegan, there are plenty of vegan exclusive chefs. And they have something called “Trial Chefs” (I guess where people are auditioning for the platform) where if you order and review, you get a $15 credit.

Recently I have been living on Erewhon prepared meals via Instacart, as Erewhon is the only prepared food I find palatable, but Erewhon is crazy expensive (Shef much cheaper) and it is not infrequent that my Instacart shopper texts me that what I ordered is not in stock. Nice that on Shef, you don’t have to have to deal with the out of stock thing as on Instacart. And ordering restaurant food for delivery was just getting too expensive, because even fast casual for one person would morph to over $30 with delivery fees and tip, plus I was gaining too much weight from restaurant food where at least on Shef, I can see exactly what is in the dish.

Def looking forward to your reports.

Okay, I couldn’t resist and dug in already, and Chef Muntaha from Circassia really delivered with everything I tried. It was exactly what I hoped for – as if some talented home chef invited me into their kitchen and made me a meal.

I had organic sumac roasted chicken (enough for two at $14.99), sauteed spinach, green beans (Fasolia Bi Al Zait) and a dollop of cucumber yogurt salad and hummus. Everything was good, but I think my favorite was actually the green beans. Who knew that green beans could be delicious? They had this unique spicing where they were spicy, but not actually hot. The hummus was exactly to my taste in hummus - very fresh, not grainy (does that graininess in hummus come from a mix?), and the fact that she is using extra virgin olive oil in the hummus really shined through.

Can’t wait to order again and try her organic Circassian cheese. And no appetite yet to dig into the last thing I ordered, which was a Mediterranean Buddha Bowl, which seems to be a play on a typical Middle Eastern chopped salad, but with quinoa added into the mix.


They don’t deliver to Long Beach so … :unamused:

That’s exactly Shef’s business model, connecting customers with home cooks.

I don’t think it’s legal in LA, though it is in Riverside County.

It’s legal in LA, and has been for some time: Home-based Food Businesses | Los Angeles County Department of Public Health - Environmental Health

Some very successful LA food businesses, now with storefronts, started this way - one that comes to mind is Milla Chocolates.

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I have also had good experiences with Shef. Two so far, one Jordanian/Palestinian chef and one Kenyan. My only complaint is that you can have no contact with the chef and it all gets delivered through a third party so you cannot even thank them directly.

One of the chefs found my article about the meal online and reached out to me so that was nice that I could thank them.

Now the shady part… if you want a $20 credit, here is my code:


Cool, good post.

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No, that’s AB 1616, which applies to baked goods, jams, and other things on the Approved Cottage Foods list.

AB 626 allows home-cooked hot food and other more perishable things but LA County (like most counties) has not passed the enabling local statutes. Shef puts the onus for compliance on the cooks to comply with local laws, which in LA that would require cooking in a licensed commercial kitchen.


If they manage to operate for a few years without being sued out of existence for food poisoning or whatever it would be a good argument for counties to enact the AB 626 enabling legislation.

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Been making my way through Shef and it’s hit or miss, and unfortunately been more miss than hit. I think the major problem is that it is really not curated in any way, although allegedly chefs have to pass a stint as a “trial chef” before they join the app, and it’s not super easy to separate the wheat from the chaff. In the last weeks, I have chucked a lot of food – just flat out threw in the trash – which is something I rarely do with takeout.

The Circassian chef is unbelievably good – I would happily eat her food each and every day of my life – but she seems to be taking a break from the app at the moment. I hope she returns.

There is also only one Korean chef on the app (which kind of surprised me given the multitudes of other chefs in some of the other categories) and I can recommend her if you like Korean food.

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While these apps are good in theory, anyone with an average social following and actually cook good food can easily sell their food and there and not lose out on the cut to shef. I don’t think there’s a big incentive to stay on these chef platforms if you’re any good.

Occasionally we’ve been selling our home cooked food with simple Google form for pre order —but only to our immediate neighbors as we don’t want to expand to IG.


Services like Shef handle promotion, ordering, payment, and delivery (through partnerships with DoorDash or the like) for a 15% cut. Seems to me like a good deal for home cooks if they’re trying to make serious money.

Having spent a fair amount of time traveling in third world countries, I dismissed Robert’s comment because I’m usually not super fussy about these kinds of things, but tonight the chicken I got from Shef went straight into the trash because (1) it was pink in the middle – i.e., not cooked to proper temperature; and (2) even the part that was not pink was inedible. Sadly this was one of the chefs that EattheWorldLA liked. This was my worst delivery yet from Shef. This was my 7th chef and only two were good and the other 5 gave me food that went into the trash.

Of course there are so many chefs on Shef, that the 7 I chose are far from a scientifically representative sample. And, I do have to say that the 2 who were good were VERY good.

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Is there way for you to rate and provide feedback?

Yes, but some of the horrible food has semi decent ratings, which I am now extremely skeptical about. I also feel that people feel bad about giving low ratings to chefs cooking their food in their home kitchen. Like telling your aunt Thanksgiving dinner sucked. I was being nice and giving “gentleman C’s,” and trying to point out anything that was semi-edible.


So I’m continuing to make my way through the offerings on Shef. While I have had some REALLY bad food (bad as in the food went straight to the trash), if you are persistent you will find some great chefs as well as some food that you can’t find anywhere else in L.A., much less get delivered to your home.

For instance, there is Chef Padma G (they only give you first name and last initial) whose mission statement is to keep alive the traditional cuisine of Andhra Pradesh. Not sure where else I would find the traditional cuisine of Andrhra Pradesh in Los Angeles and I enjoyed her dishes. Homemade Authentic Dishes Delivered!

If you are a vegan, Chef Joseph W has some fine-dining level dishes – his food is good not just as vegan food, but as food period. Homemade Authentic Dishes Delivered! I’m not vegan, but I have ordered from him a few times.

I didn’t even think I liked Mexican cuisine until I tried some of Chef Mike S’s fusiony Mexico City style dishes. Homemade Authentic Dishes Delivered!

And new “trial” chefs are always popping up, including this Burmese one, Chef Nancy, Homemade Authentic Dishes Delivered! who I just put in an order with. No one else is going to deliver Burmese food to me. And if you order from a trial chef and leave a review, you get a $15 credit, which lessens the investment of trying a trial chef.

The sole Korean chef, Shef Patricia R Homemade Authentic Dishes Delivered! is always reliable and her prices are extremely reasonable. She also always throws in something complimentary which she does not have on her menu, such as bean sprout soup which I have enjoyed.

The wonderful Circassian chef, Muntaha O Homemade Authentic Dishes Delivered! is rarely seen, but if she does happen to pop up when you are ordering, her food is great.

Even though I have had quite a few duds (trial and error), I’m much happier ordering from Shef than when I was doing a lot of UberEats/Doordash, etc. and it is more economical. If you order from two different chefs for the same delivery day, you get a $10 discount for the second chef. I’ve been doing a lot of multiple orders and almost everything has kept well in the fridge for several days, meaning I never had to go hunting for food.