This post is part of our Labor of Love series, featuring Vermont Creamery employees and friends. Click here to read other profiles like this.
Blue Apron is on a mission to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone—and that’s no small feat.
Creating recipes for home cooks of all skill levels, while honoring their philosophy of seasonal eating is truly a labor of love.
We chatted with Tim Kemp, the chef charged with crafting dynamic recipes made with fresh, sustainably-sourced ingredients, about his labor of love.
Name: Tim Kemp
Title: Culinary Manager
Duration of employment: A little over two years.
Describe your role: Our team is involved in selecting the ingredients and creating the dishes that Blue Apron sends to millions of people across the U.S.
Hometown: I grew up outside of Detroit, Michigan.
Favorite part of working at Blue Apron?
My favorite part of working for Blue Apron is that we are shifting the paradigm of how food is produced and consumed. The ingredients we choose and the menus we craft impact farmers and home cooks alike – at Blue Apron we can affect meaningful change in farming practices and push people to do things that they haven’t done before.
What do you look for in a product/ingredient?
We’re always striving to delight our home chefs with recipes and ingredients that are equal parts delicious and unique. I strive to use ingredients that may be new to our home chefs (think pink lemons and fairytale eggplant) to create one-of-a-kind menus.
When you’re not cooking up amazing recipes for Blue Apron, where can we find you?
I’m hanging with my 2 ½ year-old daughter Clementine; we spend a lot of time in Prospect Park here in Brooklyn. Whether we’re lounging on a blanket or watching her run around, I spend my free time just enjoying the adventures that come with young parenthood.
Country you want to visit?
India. The country is so regionally diverse, especially where cuisine is concerned.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in the work that you do?
The biggest challenge is translating our culinary knowledge to that of the home cook. When I create recipes for Blue Apron, I think of somebody that’s never cooked anything before. What if this is their first box? We want them to be able to replicate recipes having very little experience; our goal is to make our home cooks look really good.
Guilty pleasure food?
I like frying up a veggie burger and making my version of a vegetarian patty melt; just add cheese and ketchup.
You have a pretty unique opportunity to decide what’s for dinner for many Americans – how do you approach this challenge?
Here in New York City we’re exposed to all different types of cuisine, so we want to turn people on to different things they wouldn’t necessarily think of for themselves. Trying to have a little something for everybody is pretty challenging.
Must have kitchen accessory or tool:
The microplane is the best tool ever. I think it’s revolutionized cooking.
Do you have a favorite Vermont Creamery product?
Crème fraîche is a really great product, it was also our first dip into the Vermont Creamery school. The beauty of crème fraiche for a Blue Apron customer is in its versatility; you can cook and bake with it, it can be heated and holds up well in sauces. That’s a product we’re super psyched about.
You’re throwing an impromptu dinner party for a small group of friends – what do you cook?
I’m a big fan of the picnic lunch; I like to put together some meats and cheeses; both raw and roasted vegetables with some cheese, something crunchy, some fresh herbs. I do a lot of vegetarian cooking at home; vegetables are, in my opinion, the hardest things to cook…they definitely have a personality.
What makes great cheese?
I love all cheese. Cheese is like wine; there’s taste of place, a style. You can feel the cheesemaker in the product and I love cheese that speaks to the journey of its maker - a time, a place and a person.
Check out all our cheese butter love here!