Ever wanted to come home from work and find that dinner’s already been made? No, we’re not talking take-out or delivery. I mean that someone’s come over and laid out something that tastes like what Mom used to make.

I know I have. You walk in, kick your shoes off and all you want to do is relax. Unfortunately, you have to get up and pour something unnamable from a can, into a pot and heat it up. Maybe you turn on the oven and stuff a TV dinner in there. You know it’s not healthy, but you’re just too beat to care.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve nixed great meal plans in favor of some quick refried beans stuffed in a tortilla. It’s shameful. But what if you could change it?

Never fear, there’s a new app on the market that can change the way you look at cooking. Chachi’s Homemade Food hooks you up with cooks in your area, ranging from gourmet to good ol’ home-style. Maybe a mom’s made a little too much for dinner and wants to share. Maybe there’s a budding foodie who wants to get some fresh input on his newest creation.

There’s all that and more with Chachi’s.

A Sense of Foodiemunity

With social media becoming one of the primary ways we communicate, there’s little surprise that we want to share what we’re eating with the world. There’s thousands of groups, hash tags, and the such for that with a million and one different categories. This app makes that possible in one go- except you’re not just sharing pictures, you’re sharing dinner.

Before the internet was such a reliable mode of communication, people traded recipes with potlucks and community dinners. Maybe they got something new off of a television show and shared it with all their friends. While we’ve found other ways of trading recipes, it’s all become a little impersonal. It’s hard to “talk shop” with other cooks, or to find in-person feedback for a dish that you’re trying to recreate.

Chachi’s is taking that idea and throwing it out so locals can start talking about food again. That means better tips on what’s great in your area, what’s not, and who really does cook the best bowl of chicken and dumplings that you’ve ever had. You may be surprised when you find it isn’t someone that works at a restaurant.

A Pinch of Passion

For those who are gifted in the culinary world, Chachi’s can be a springboard. Whether you’re looking to launch a business in the future or just trying to share your creations with the world, this app is a great way to do it.

It also enables those who love cooking but may not have a huge background in it to learn something new. Want to make an Indian curry dish but you’re not sure how to toast the spices? Or maybe you aren’t sure just how elastic a bread dough is supposed to be. Find someone in your area with the talents you want to learn and request a quick clinic. Most chefs are delighted to show someone around the kitchen. Not to mention, there’s no better way to learn authentic cooking styles than from the people who know them best.

This is also an excellent way for cake decorators and home bakers to get started and get their name out. No fuss, no muss, and no high advertising budget needed. You can really show off what you can do and have people book birthday cakes and cookies well in advance.

Add Ingredients Me to You

Communication is easy with this app. If you want to message someone for a quick chat about your allergies, you can do that. Your potential chef can then get back to you and let you know if it’s possible for them to accommodate your needs before you book the meal. The best for instance I have is my own experience. I’m allergic to some pretty specific things, one of which includes paprika. While looking around for my own test run, I found out that paprika hides in some pretty wild things- even macaroni and cheese!

With such awesome communication, my chef was able to make me a batch without the paprika and it was fantastic. We’ll get to that soon!

For those looking for a specific flavor, you can also request ingredient lists. After all, not everyone likes beans in their chili. Maybe you want to avoid coconut milk. Talking directly to your cook makes it a lot easier than trying to figure out what’s in your fast food salad dressing with Google.

Mix It Up

No matter how great they are, everyone gets tired of the same old places every now and again. That’s why there’s usually so much excitement when a brand new restaurant goes in, or a new shop. People like variety, and that’s where this app really shines.

I live in the deep south in a moderately sized town. I expected to find a lot of fried chicken, maybe some roast pork, and probably a good bit of barbeque. While I did find those things, I was very surprised at what else I found.

I had no idea that there was an amazing Korean chef a few miles from me that makes some of the best gimbap I’ve ever had in my life. Not only that, she makes a fantastic vegetarian version too. It’s something that the vegetarians in this area can’t possibly find anywhere else. Why? Because she makes most of her ingredients, too.

There’s also an incredible Polish grandmother whose grandchildren live a few hours’ drive away. When she makes dinner, sometimes there’s just too much to save in the freezer. That means freshly rolled pierogies and hulupkis, something that you can’t get within a hundred mile radius at a restaurant here. And we all know that Grandma makes the best.

My Personal Experience

I decided to try Chachi’s after hearing about it online. It’d been a long day here at the farm. We’d welcomed several new chicks, freshly hatched, as well as a litter of rabbits. That meant checking over a lot of little paws to make sure they were in tip top shape. One, a handsome blue chick, had a soft belly.

When a chick has a soft belly, it often means that they hatched out a little bit too early or that they were slow to develop. With some tender love and care, that chick is now starting to grow his feathers out- and learning to crow. Still, his first few days were worrisome and he required a lot of extra attention to get to where he is today.

After the hatch, I was in no mood to cook. I already had a few hundred loads of dishes in the sink and I really didn’t want to add more to the pile.

I pulled out my phone and got on Chachi’s. Within a twenty minute radius I found a half dozen options that sounded right up my alley, as well as my husband’s. That isn’t always the easiest thing to find given that I’m trying to feed a carb-addicted vegetarian (me) and a carnivorous keto dieter (him).

Could the chef make their macaroni and cheese without paprika? Sure. Was it possible to substitute some greens for my husband’s noodles? Of course. I set up a time for pickup and all my dinner worries disappeared. I breathed easy and settled in to patch up the little chick who needed an extra helping hand.

I almost missed the time window the chef and I had agreed on. You get distracted when there’s just so many cute baby animals running around.

I drove up to a cute Cape Cod style home, with a blue BMW in front of the garage and a quaint herb and flower garden planted in delicately curving rows out front. It was the kind of thing you see as the perfect piece of suburbia in one of those prime time family dramas. I opened my truck’s door and I could smell some little slice of heaven before I got to the front door.

A woman about ten years older than me answered the door, smiling and inviting me into her home. She knew who I was on sight and had my order already stacked in pink tinted tupperware on the counter. With a flourish she whipped out a Food Lion grocery store bag and started to pack my stuff up.

We chattered as she worked and when I left, it was like leaving a friend’s house. The drive home took half the time it would’ve taken to go all the way into town. The convenience was nice, but what about the taste?

Our chef’s dishes got a solid A+ from me and my husband. I had macaroni and cheese and seared tofu with mixed vegetables. My husband had a stir-fry of chicken and mixed vegetables on a bed of sautéed spinach and kale. The flavors were light, the food delicious and fragrant, and I gained a new friend out of the experience.

That little rooster will be head of her new flock of chickens before the year is over, and I know I’ll be back to try more chefs on Chachi’s soon.