New Startup instaChef Serves Fresh Cooked Meals From Vending Machines

"It's an experience to go up to a vending machine and have a hot meal come out from it," instaChef's head chef Brent Omeste said while prepping a batch of par-cooked fettucine.


Omeste was a local fine dining chef who owned a spot of his own. Now, he's working out of a commisary kitchen in Costa Mesa, preparing over a dozen different meals that are ready to go into these unique vending machines.

Rather than using a microwave, instaChef uses induction-based technology to finish the cooking process, giving customers a hot and fresh meal within minutes.


It's easy for one to be skeptical when first hearing about these "fully automated restaurant kiosks," as instaChef describes them on its website. But can a vending machine really serve hot, fresh, and high-quality meals?


There are some that specialize in a singular product, like brick-oven style pizza or udon. But Omeste is cooking up a variety of unique dishes, like truffle fettucine, bacon kimchi fried rice, and pepperoni pizzas with a dough that takes 36 hours to make.

He and his team also have to restock the vending machines daily to ensure that the freshest meals stay in rotation. It's a busy process, but one that looks and feels seamless when you pull up to one and tap a few buttons to order.

Foodbeasts Hunter and Anna got to try a majority of instaChef's meals, and were surprised at the freshness, noting it was way more than just "microwaved food" that you might expect when you hear about fast cooking. You can hear their full thoughts and reviews in the video above.


For those curious to try this machine out, the most public instaChef machine is currently located in the lobby of the Atrium Hotel in Irvine, California.

In the near future, instaChef plans to post their machines up in workplaces, shopping malls, and other spots with heavy foot traffic. You can follow them on Instagram to see where the next one is opening up.