FRUSTRATED at the lack of quality and choice in the ready meal market, chef and food technologist Graham Wilkinson established Grand Central Kitchen (GCK) in 2010. Manufacturers of high quality ready meals, salads and deli products, the entire range is handmade by chefs in small batches.
Conveniently packaged in an 800gm dual oven foil tray and film sealed, GCK’s ready meal offering is aptly named Table for Two with each meal designed to feed two adults. Available in eight variants including Italian Meatballs, Beef Chilli Con Carne and North Indian Lamb Curry, the prepared meals are accompanied by five salads including Pumpkin, Red Onion & Israeli couscous, and a Potato, Bacon & Mushroom remoulade. Lasagne, fish cakes, chicken & mushroom risotto cakes as well as a range of tortes are available under the brand’s deli line.
With 30 years experience in the food service industry, Wilkinson has used his knowledge to ensure the company produces high quality products with no preservatives or additives used. Local produce is used as much as possible and the range is manufactured daily using traditional slow-cooking methods to retain the home-cooked appearance and flavour.
“GCK has been founded espousing the principle of the slow food movement – food that tastes good which is produced in a clean sustainable way and uses natural ingredients. Consistent with this philosophy we strive to source ingredients from local producers and businesses, even procuring whole spices from local spice merchants and roasting and grinding them ourselves,” says Wilkinson.
Wilkinson says its products have been well received as consumers are returning to dishes they have grown up with.
“These dishes are often labour and ingredient intensive and need to be cooked slowly for many hours. At GCK we can do this without having to compromise on the ingredients or speed up the cooking. If the dishes need four hours them we allow four hours, not something that is easy to do at home,” he says.
While no new products are currently in development Wilkinson says GCK is always looking for ways to improve and expand its repertoire.
The GCK range is already stocked in Farro Fresh, Moore Wilson and selected New Worlds with supermarkets being a growth area for the brand. For more information visit www.gck.co.nz