It seems you can’t turn on the telly these days without there being a cooking show telling you how you should be eating – one says load it with butter and make everything delicious, the next says be super healthy and tailor your diet to your needs, and the next says somehow do both. These guilt-inducing shows seem to forget that we don’t all have professional-grade kitchens, several years’ training, or any time to make any of these impossibly delicious meals!
Well, thankfully for us, the Brighton-based brother-and sister food delivery company, Nude Food Prep, do. Max and Gemma’s simple to use and slick operation provides Brightonians with a vast range of healthy and delicious meals, prepared by them, delivered to your door, and tailored to your diet by a qualified personal trainer. In their own words: “We take the planning, shopping and cooking out of your day so you can focus your free time on what’s important!”
Unfortunately, with the current situation, they’ve had to suspend their service due to suppliers being unable to keep up with their demand. However, they are looking forward to once again feeding the healthy and hungry all across town when they can.
What inspired you to enter into the food industry, a notoriously difficult industry to carve out a niche in? Whose idea was it to start the company?
M: Gemma came up with the idea of a meal prep company after she followed one of my training programs to get back into shape after the birth of her second daughter and realised just how important her diet was to shedding the pounds quickly and safely.
G: Yes, I lost all my baby weight within six weeks and I know it was down to my macros and portion-controlled meals. I didn’t even know what a macro was before that time! (Macros are the basis of all meals – the nutritional breakdown of protein, carbs and fats per meal).
What’s it like working with your sibling?
G: It’s actually surprisingly easy! It’s a different kind of working relationship to what most people are used to as you can say exactly what you think without stepping on anyone’s toes. We both know where each other’s strengths lie so it’s a foregone conclusion who does what role within the company when a task comes up. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s the best and most annoying thing about working with each other?
G: Max does all the things I don’t like doing! No questions asked. But if I can’t get Max to agree with me on something then I’ll use the line “well, let’s call dad and see what he thinks shall we?” Works every time!
M: Gem is so fast with doing everything and she does it so well, so I know everything is always running smoothly in the background. Occasionally though it would be nice to not have to work to such tight deadlines!
How does the process work: do you both do everything: source ingredients, cook, deliver? Is one of you head chef?
We do almost everything together. In the kitchen Gemma is in charge of overseeing all the quantities, plating and weighing up etc., whereas Max is in charge at the hob overseeing flavours and cooking times. Behind the scenes Gemma correlates all our spreadsheets for shopping lists, customer data and meal lists, and answers customers’ emails. Whereas Max deals with suppliers, social media enquiries and gets all the practical jobs done like installing our fridges within local gyms.
Where do you source your ingredients from?
We use local butchers and farms for our meat and eggs – we really can taste the difference, so we are very particular about our meat. Our veg comes from local wholesalers who deliver on the day of cooking so everything is as fresh as possible.
Who comes up with the recipes, and what’s the inspiration behind their selection?
We literally just cook what we like. Luckily our palette seems to be well received! Our criteria for meals is always the breakdown of macros. If the macros work and the meal tastes good then we cook it. We’re always adding new meals to our menu when we get a taste of something we fancy and now we’re up to 34.
How many meals/portions do you end up cooking a day? What’s your most popular dish?
We literally cook hundreds of meals each cook. The favourites are the usual suspects – chilli con carne, chicken fajitas, pasta Bolognese. We ourselves eat Nude Food everyday so we know how important flavours and evolving menus are.
Who are your customers? Predominantly Brighton-based?
Our customers are all based between Shoreham and Brighton Marina. When we started we originally thought our customer base would be those in the fitness industry as our meals are so healthy, but it turns out there are so many people in Brighton that do office jobs who are looking for a clean healthy meal for lunch instead of a regular overpriced, calorific meal deal. And the fact that we deliver to their offices just seals the deal for them.
Do you tailor diets for individuals based on their health goals – e.g. losing weight compared to adding muscle?
Yes, we do. Max, who is a qualified personal trainer, writes plans for customers who have specific goals. It makes hitting that target even easier and even quicker, which so many of our customers can attest to.
You’re both clearly into fitness and cooking, but what do you like to do to relax and switch off?
M: Haha, we exercise and cook some more!
G: I have three children under five so spare time is hard to find! I will always try to make time for some yoga, running, healthy baking treats or, if time allows, extra sleep!
M: The only place you will find me when I need to switch off is in the gym! My wife is pregnant with our second child so family time is always top of the list.
The big question – if you meet up in the evening for a meal, who cooks??
M: Hahaha, take away all the way! But seriously, Gem is the hostess. She’s always cooking massive platters of food for friends and family. She’s a feeder!
You’re both born and raised in Brighton, and clearly love the city that you help feed. What are your favourite things about the city?
G: You can’t beat the beaches on a fresh sunny day. I could run along them all day long. I was training for the Brighton marathon but now that’s been cancelled. Hopefully it will be on again in September. Also, all the lovely independent shops in the Lanes, there’s no other area like it. Just take my money!
M: The social scene. Everyone knows everyone and it is so easy to build up a network here. The support for locals is unreal. It’s rare these days to be Brighton born and bred but there’s no place we would rather live.