Kismet Trailblazers: Territory Foods & Chef Tony Campos & Chef Vice Cole

Photo courtesy of Territory Foods

Photo courtesy of Territory Foods

We recently tried Territory Foods, one of the newer kids on the block when it comes to healthy meal delivery. Most meal delivery services have ingrained the “we make clean eating easy” one liner into their marketing boiler plates, but Territory Foods lives up to its claim. We tried six of their prepared meals with each one fully loaded in flavor—so much that it makes picky eaters like us completely rethink clean eating. The secret is in their approach: Partner with creative local chefs with expert input from nutritionists to deliver tasty options free of dairy, gluten and refined sugars. 

We caught up with Chef Tony Campos and Chef Vice Cole, two of their independent and talented chefs, to chat about the role of food in an ever-changing landscape and the importance of shared values in partnerships like with Territory Foods. Campos and Cole are the co-head chefs of EliteEats, which takes a unique approach to delicious and good-for-you Paleo food for active people.

What’s your food philosophy?

TC: Food isn't just for satisfying hunger or cravings, its for health & well being, it's for performance, and it's for body weight/composition. While it should be enjoyable and flavorful, it should also serve to optimize each of the above.  If your diet isn't promoting health and longevity, helping you get through your day, and supporting your physique goals then it's an obstacle, or worse, a slow-acting poison.

VC: There is no “CREATE with out “EAT”

Why is this approach important in 2019?

TC: We live in a time and place where the primary causes of US morbidity and mortality are linked to lifestyle choices (like diet!) which lead to problems related to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, all of which are preventable!  Paying closer attention to our relationship with food could have a profound, far-reaching impact on our daily lives.

VC: This approach is important to both the creators and the diners. We can’t grow creatively as creators or diners without tasting where we’ve been.

How do you proceed working towards a sustainable menu concept?

TC: We begin by working with our vendors to carefully source ingredients, keeping an eye out for items that are organic, locally raised/grown when possible and high quality.

VC: Are the current food trends something that is sustainable? Can this menu concept maintain sustainability through the lifespan of a trend? I want to create something that can be replicated by my team with the same love as I put in. Loving something should not be difficult.

What is the purest thing you've ever tasted?

TC: When I was a kid my grandmother had a variety of fruit trees growing in the back yard: avocado, orange, tangerine, lemon, pomegranate, fig.  Whenever each fruit became ripe for the picking, my grandmother would task me with bringing a basket or two into the kitchen. I would practically eat half of what I picked before making my way back into the house.  Straight from the tree, every piece of fruit tasted so good, to say nothing of the delicacies my grandmother would create with the fresh ingredients.

VC: The cooked flesh from a wild rabbit less than an hour after it was eating something, itself.

What was your first experience with sustainable eating?

TC: Breastfeeding.  Though eating with consideration for my own intentions probably began in my early 20's when I began noticing how certain foods affected how I felt, how much energy I had, my overall well being and eventually, how I performed during certain activities (gym, backpacking, etc).  From then on, I began to pay closer attention to my relationship with food.

VC: Not my first time at a farmers market, but living from a farmers market by continuously purchasing local and organic; I've survived and maintained a space in sustainable food!

What do you love most about what you do?

TC: My team.  They're dedicated, hard-working and committed to producing healthy, quality meals to help support the dietary goals of others.  They make the job that much better.

VC: I have always loved having an idea made into reality from my hands. It's solely beneficial surrounding myself with people who can feed off as well as into this lifestyle.

What is the one dish on your menu that most engages you?

TC: The dish I eat the most is our Buffalo Chicken with Cumin Carrot Raisin Slaw.  It's crisp and delicious and I just can't get enough of it--in spite of the fact that I've been eating it a couple of times per week for the last 4+ years.  

VC: My Grass-Fed Beef Chili, of course. Passion and my selfishness for all the elements of flavor I was hoping to reach. You need to be able to impress yourself every now and then. My Mom had a great Beef Chili recipe. This wasn’t at all hers, but I could never say she wasn’t a major influence.

What do you consider the most overrated ingredient?

TC: Truffles. They're not that great, overpowering, overused and very expensive.

VC: Sriracha. It doesn’t belong in everything, and certainly not ON everything.

If you could only eat one thing today, what would it be?

TC: Eggs. I have eggs every day, they're quick, easy and delicious.

VC: My mothers meatloaf.

Photo courtesy of Territory Foods

Photo courtesy of Territory Foods

About Territory Foods

Their mission is rooted in making a real difference on the issues most important to them: transparency, sustainability and philanthropy. It’s super simple experience that starts online and ends with incredible food for the week. 

How it works

Weekly plans can be personalized by when you get delivery—right down to what size meals you’d like, a nutritional approach you may be following (i.e. Whole30), ingredients you’d like to avoid and more. Or you can leave it up to their experts and they’ll recommend a plan. You can select to have your meals delivered on Mondays, Thursdays or both. 

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