In the wake of last week's order from Springfield, Missouri, leaders instructing restaurants and bars to close for dine-in service, local business owners and chefs are finding creative and safe ways to provide food to the public.
As of Friday, Progress is now offering take-home meal prep boxes with recipes in addition to fully prepared to-go meals from the menu. Prices vary from $25 to $50 per kit. According to head chef Daniel Ernce, these low-key recipes are similar to what he makes for himself in his home kitchen, and they don't require extensive prep or cleanup. But regardless of their simplicity, they remain flavor-forward.
Despite the obstacles, Ernce says the Springfield community has still been showing support during these unprecedented times. "We've seen business and sales increase with each passing day," he says. "Guests are tipping generously, which goes into a relief pool for our staff."
Customers can choose from three kit options, and Progress offers optional wine pairings:
- Steak Dinner Box, Feeds 2-4, $50: Dry-aged strip steaks, roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary and chimichurri sauce. Suggested wine pairing: Conundrum, Red Blend, California ($19)
- Curry Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Kale Box, Feeds 4, $35: Vadouvan (French aromatic curry), roasted chicken, roasted carrots and kale curry vinaigrette. Suggested wine pairing: Jax ‘Y3,' Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, California ($25)
- Vegetarian Roasted Cauliflower with Cucumber Salad Box, Feeds 4, $25: Spiced, roasted cauliflower wedges, garlic hummus, cucumber and chickpea salad with yogurt dressing. Suggested wine pairing: Textbook, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, California ($19)
Each kit comes with the option to add a $9 side salad with lemon-thyme, ginger or buttermilk herb dressing.
"The to-go meal kits have been extremely well received," says beverage director Michael Schmitz. "It’s given people the option to get raw food materials without any store visit. In addition, the recipes have been a fun layer for individuals and the family to cook together."
Progress, 2144 E. Republic Road, Springfield, Missouri, 417.799.9388, springfieldprogress.com