A home cooked meal is hard to come by in college, and even with the plentiful variety of restaurants and cuisines overflowing in Berkeley, nothing quite matches that taste of home cooking. Fortunately though, the homegrown, Oakland startup Josephine understands your craving for a home cooked meal and is bringing the neighborhood together to satisfy it.
Josephine crowdsources everyday cooks from the Oakland and Berkeley area to cook quality homemade dinners for anyone to buy from 5-7pm. The menu changes day to day depending on the home chef, but it always has at least one carefully crafted entree.
Dishes span all cuisines—from Italian influenced Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta and Garlic Breadcrumb Cauliflower to French inspired Beef Bourguignon and Gratin Dauphinois and down-home Backyard BBQ Ribs. The home chef personally makes every part of the meal, and then packages your hand-made serving in its own, individual plastic container.
Unfortunately, Josephine doesn’t deliver (yet), and customers have to physically pick up their meals from the cook’s home, usually in Downtown Berkeley, Elmwood or other nearby neighborhoods.
However, what Josephine lacks in convenience, it more than makes up for in home-cooked taste and homegrown service. Spoon ordered the Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma with Flatbread and two Israeli Salads from Suzie Z in Albany, and it did not disappoint.
The chicken was crispy but moist, and had that comforting caramelization that you can only get from a home pan that’s been used over and over, and the tahini sauce was so creamy and tangy that you knew it had to be made just an hour ago.
The two Israeli salads, a cucumber and bell pepper salad and carrot-parsley salad, were especially cool and refreshing on a sunny spring evening. And of course, the most memorable part of the order was Suzie welcoming us into her home and personally giving the food.
It was a little more of a trip than Spoonrocket, but well worth the homemade taste and comfort. Josephine’s definitely making college (and the rest of the neighborhood) a little more homey.
If you don’t have time to pick up from Josephine, check out these four delivery services around Berkeley.