Keeping It Local — The Magic Makers Behind Our Food

by Jen Burdick
Keeping It Local — The Magic Makers Behind Our Food

Since the early days of Territory, we believed deeply in the power of a local chef network. Both from the variety and diverse flavor perspective, as well as the opportunity to support small businesses like ourselves — a commitment we hold near and dear.

We’re all diverse people, with diverse tastes and preferences. So, the idea of churning food out from a single massive kitchen seemed quite counterproductive, boring and a big reason why we went in the opposite direction.

Inherently, our model also allows supports the awareness and growth of the businesses our partner chefs own and operate. The culinary masterminds we have the great honor of working with are all independent chefs, who partner with Territory as one piece to their collective business strategy. The hustle is real, and we’re continually inspired by their drive, creativity, and shared commitment to showcasing the power of real food.

So, yes … while the food is ultimately what makes (our) world go ‘round, it’s the incredible culinary geniuses behind the food that deserve all the praise. So, today, a day to support small businesses and all the goodness they create, we jumped at the chance to shine a bright and love-filled light on the amazing humans who slay in the kitchen for us week after week.


Get to know our local chef networks

DC Area

Chef Rachelle replied to a craigslist ad posted by our founder for a private paleo chef in 2011. Since then, she’s steadily built up her catering business and has cooked over half a MILLION meals for Territory so far this year. Rachelle is our founding chef, the queen of all things Territory food, and an absolute expert and mentor to large-scale caterers & aspiring business-owners.

Chef Anna is real life Wonder Woman. After getting diagnosed with cancer, she left her job as an economist to pursue her passion of cooking. She and her husband opened DC Empanadas, joined the Territory network, and recently opened her first restaurant, Taqueria del Barrio. Anna has quickly become one of the most well-respected chefs and woman-owned businesses in DC.

Chef Damian is an idea man who does it all. Since he began catering for Territory 3 years ago, he has become part owner of Crooked Run Brewing and opened several very successful restaurants, including 3 taquerias (Senor Ramon), 2 artisanal grilled cheese restaurants (Bites), and is about to break ground on a cold-pressed juice cocktail bar & biscuit restaurant in Sterling.

Chef Andy is a former IT consultant turned chef and business owner. His company, Quickstep Catering, recently received a 2018 Couple’s Choice Award from Wedding Wire.

Chef Maria grew up cooking with her grandmother in Greece and is so committed to maintaining the traditional quality of her food that she will only use green beans, okra, and artichokes that have been imported from Greece. She owns an importing business and a catering business, which includes a partnership with Whole Foods.

Chef Meski grew up cooking with her family in Ethiopia. She started a popular Ethiopian food truck , Meski Healthy 2 Go, where her natural talent for creating insanely flavorful dishes from simple, clean ingredients was fully realized. We had the honor of joining Chef Meski at her home where she hosted us for dinner. With full confidence, we can say ‘Dinner at Meski’s House’ is far and above any Ethiopian restaurant in the DMV!

Chef Yigit moved to Baltimore from Turkey to earn his MBA at Johns Hopkins. After graduating, he opened a bagel company called C’Meet, after the Turkish word simit (meaning bagel), which also means Cultures Meet. It has since grown into a successful catering company.

Chef Ed Jiloca and Chef Laura are the husband/wife chef team behind Relish Catering. Ed is a renowned pastry chef and together, they’ve served high-profile clients and events in DC such as Hilary Clinton, John Boehner, the White House Correspondents’ after party, State Dept luncheons, and so on.


SoCal

Chef Terri, of The Spotted Hen, is not only a rockstar in the kitchen, she is also a literal rockstar. Before she was a Territory Chef, she played the guitar and sang in an all female punk rock band called the Red Aunts. We love her and all her delicious healthy comfort food!

Chef Dean, owner of Dean’s Catering lives and breathes the Territory lifestyle. A surfer, snowboarder, and mountain biker, he brings his love of adventure and California cuisine into all his Territory meals. His daring flavor combinations is a signature move, and why we love him so very much.

California Creationz is such an incredible and integral part of the Territory family. They not only create flavorful and authentic dishes for our eaters, they’re also responsible for the packing facility where our meals get bundled together for delivery. We endlessly impressed by their involvement in their local community, giving much of their time and food to charity and local school lunch programs.

Elite Eats, led by the incomparable Vice and Tony, bring so much passion and perfectionism to every meal they make. The chameleons of our chef network, they’re willing to tackle any flavor profile or meal style under the sun. We’re so grateful for their constant commitment to quality and their desire to innovate and evolve with the constantly changing culinary world.

Chef Pete of Pete’s Paleo is such an amazing addition to our network and we are so excited to have him back in California after a brief Hiatus. We are very grateful for his commitment to sustainable, local, and delicious meals. His passion for creating friggin’ good food is inspiring and contagious.

The Market Meal crew consistently brings high quality meals to our eaters every week with a narrowed focus on nutritional balance. The whole team oozes positivity with an unwavering commitment to fueling our community with clean, quality ingredients.

Chef Tro and head chef, Tom of Marbled LA are our newest additions to the culinary pack. Cool to note however, Tro has been a part of the larger Territory fam as a pick up location/gym partner since our 2015 launch in Southern California. His personal experience with and understanding of our community has allowed them to hit the ground running — his meals are rising to the top as some of the weekly faves.


Bay Area

Chef Deepak of Himalayan Chef developed a love for cooking as a child in Kathmandu. His culinary talents have taken him all over the globe — from luxury cruises to international 5-stars hotels. Needless to say, we’re incredibly grateful to have his expertise on our team as one of our founding chefs in SF.

Chef Jonnatan of FullSkoop rose to early prominence in the New York and Bay Area food scenes, even appearing on Iron Chef. He’s since returned home to the Bay Area, co-founded FullSkoop and is focused on his passion of producing ethically and consciously sourced “California Casual” dishes.

Chef Ali of BOXiChef began his career in a Five Star restaurant in Istanbul, and has since traveled with Celebrity Cruise Lines and opened Bellissimo Gourmet Italian Delicatessen in Napa. As one of our Bay Area founding chefs, he now focuses his talents on creating fresh, nourishing, good-for-you meals for active folks.

Chef Rahul of Bombay (Healthy) Belly grew up in India cooking with his mother where his love for spice was born. He and his business partner Jasmine dazzle our tastebuds by reinventing traditional dishes with a signature flair. Their ingredients are all locally sourced, and treated with such care and patience — often his dishes require hours on the stove to perfect the flavor.


DFW

Chef Adam & the rest of the Food Glorious Food (FGF) team have an uncanny ability to make nutrient dense, good-for-you food taste incredibly indulgent. If you’re looking at our DFW menu and find yourself drooling over the items that you typically don’t chalk up to be healthy go-tos, they’re likely a chef Adam creation. Orange Chicken, Burritos, Chilis, Thai Curry, & Chicken & Vegetable Fried Rice are just a few of the dishes he brings to the menu that are packed with flavor and nutrition.

Chef Doug and his team at Beyond the Box continually impress with both their culinary talents and their logistics management — it’s something to behold. Not only are they responsible for bringing insanely delicious flavors to our menu, they also manage our order fulfillment process. Ever wonder how different meals from different chefs/kitchen end up in the same box? Yep, these amazing folks. There’s really nothing they can’t do; throw a menu idea at them and they will find a way to make it flavorful, nutritious, and gorgeous.

Chef Soraya is the wonder woman behind Gather Kitchen, an incredibly healthy and fresh build-your-own-bowl style restaurant, and is the definition of Bosslady. The ultimate fempreneur, Soraya has a passion for spreading health and abundance to everyone around her, and her use of nothing but fresh and real ingredients support that goal. When not in the kitchen, you can find her speaking at women business events & kicking butt at studio classes.

Unrefined Bakery and their muffin magic! For those of us that have dabbled in the world of paleo baking, we know paleo baked goods are TOUGH to make — both from a scientific and a taste perspective. Unrefined Bakery manages to nails them both. Their muffins have fantastic texture, are way less dense than most paleo muffins, and are also 100% delicious — even withOUT any added sweeteners. Things dreams are made of!

Pure Plates nails the favorite-comfort-meals-turned-healthy-fuel move. Their dishes are simple, fresh, and full of flavor. The PP team is constantly innovating on current and new meal concepts to meet all the personal nutrition needs of our eaters. They’re also an absolutely joy to work with — truly some of the nicest folks on the planet.

Chef Tricia of Gourmaelo was at the forefront of the prepared paleo meals movement in DFW with her delivery company which launched 6 years ago. A seasoned chef who has bopped around over the years, she has a wealth of experience in the food industry. Now, she takes her passion for healing chronic illness through food to create amazing, nutrient-dense meals that both taste fantastic and promote a healthy body/mind. And if that wasn’t enough, Tricia also teaches cooking classes and is a personal chef.


Our hearts are full of gratitude for each and every one of our incredible chefs, their partnership in the intentional eating movement, and the role they play in making this world a happier and healthier place.

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