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Mark Bittman: Cooking! not shopping, not planning, not thinking, but it is."

It is cooking.
It's not shopping.
It's not planning.
And in a way it's not thinking.
But it is cooking."

-- Mark Bittman, the cookbook author, left his job as a New York Times columnist in 2015

If you want dinner built largely from food grown by Georgia farmers and recipes from Southern chefs, subscribe to PeachDish, which ships nationwide. If you live in Boston and prefer to avoid cross-country shipping, join Just Add Cooking and get boxes built with a New England sensibility and delivered by local courier. Devotees of the culinary sensibilities of Northern California can join Sun Basket, where one of its owners, Justine Kelly, the former chef du cuisine at Charles Phan's Slanted Door in San Francisco, develops the recipes.

Andrea Nguyen, a cookbook author, provided Vietnamese and dumpling dishes to Chef'd. Still, she isn't enamored with meal kits because they do not provide the human contact and pleasure that come from hunting for ingredients and exploring the market.

"Cooking is a whole sociological thing," she said. "I even like talking to the cashiers."

On a deeper level, relinquishing so much over to a company guts the essence of what it means to cook, said Laura Shapiro, a culinary historian who writes about modern cooking in the United States.


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