New Meal Prep Kitchen Opens

Monday, September 08, 2008

New meal prep kitchen opens Set another place at the table in the land of meal preparation kitchens.

A franchise of the national chain Entree Vous has opened in south Fort Myers. It joins places like My Dinner Factory in Fort Myers and Bonita Springs and Dinner by Design in Cape Coral.

These are places where people can assemble entrees to heat and eat at home or freeze for future use. The kitchen staff does all the prep work, offers guidance and even cleans up the mess afterward.

What sets Entree Vous apart from other prep kitchens? Some of the food is prepared on site from scratch instead of arriving prepackaged.

"We have a stove," said owner Paul Hambleton. "We make sauces. We make cheese fillings. We add fresh herbs." For lasagna Bolognese, for example, the staff browns ground beef and pork with onions and garlic, then adds jarred marinara sauce.

"That's what gives it a little more gourmet flavor," Hambleton said.

Unlike some prep kitchens, Entree Vous accepts walk-ins as well as appointments.

Customers also order food in advance and pick up it ready to eat rather than assembling it themselves.

The take-and-bake plan means time- and money-starved families might be able to enjoy a home-cooked dinner without all the shopping and chopping. An entree such as artichoke and feta stuffed chicken breasts, for example, costs $26.99 and feeds four to six.

Entree costs average about $4 per serving, Hambleton said.

Entree Vous has six workstations set up with bays for holding ingredients like fresh cilantro and lime juice and soy sauce in squeeze bottles. Spices are arranged on a shelf over the prep counter, with appropriate measuring spoons alongside. Recipe directions in large print are attached to the station.

Free samples are usually available. The chicken caprese dish a breast stuffed with sundried tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella was very moist and the filling remained intact after slicing.

To learn more about Entree Vous and its September menu, go to, call 489-3733 or visit the kitchen at 13401 Summerlin Road (in the Albertson's plaza at Cypress Lake Drive).

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