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May 29, 2014

Have your fast food and cook it too

Much to our disappointment here at CityMag, an easy way to solve our ‘what to eat’ problems does not yet exist. The food pill of science fiction movies is still a few centuries away - but, DIY gourmet is here to take us part of the way with a new approach to food convenience.

  • Words: Ying-Di Yin
  • Pictures: Brendan Homan

In an age where everything is available at the click of a button – clothes, books, gifts, groceries – there is no doubt the legwork of chores and daily habits has been cut out, making things like cooking sometimes feel like a waste of precious minutes. 

Grenfell Street business DIY Gourmet is a new twist on food delivery that caters to the fast-paced lifestyle, but still lets you lick the spoon. It offers hassle-free, good quality pre-packaged meals to cook in your own home. It’s an easy concept: customers call ahead or order online the meals they wish to cook, and DIY Gourmet collects the ingredients and packages them ready to be taken home and prepared. All meals are under $10 and take less than half an hour to make. It is a service designed to let you enjoy the process of cooking without the boring part where you wander around the supermarket confused by the fact that all the tinned tomatoes seem to be Coles brand now. And there is room in the cooking process to tweak the meal to your specific tastes.

Nick Schadegg, owner of DIY Gourmet, has spent 10 years working in hospitality and knew he would inevitably start his own business. After several years abroad and also working in the family restaurant, Alphütte on Pulteney Street, he has developed a strong understanding and appreciation for quality food.

DIY Gourmet is a new twist on food delivery that caters to the fast-paced lifestyle, but still lets you lick the spoon.

Founder and owner Nick Schadegg

Founder and owner Nick Schadegg

DIY Gourmet’s Baroque Paella

DIY Gourmet’s Baroque Paella

The idea for DIY Gourmet came to him when he was living in Berlin and noticed similar services starting up in the city with much success. One particular place, Kochhaus (unfortunately pronounced exactly as you’d imagine) attracted his attention.

“Their setup is a little different though,” says Nick. “They have all of the ingredients whole rather than chopped. It’s sort of like a small supermarket where there are stations for each menu item and you go around and pick up each ingredient yourself. I basically built on that idea, so with my shop all of the ingredients are behind the counter and already chopped.”

“Our main customers are people who live in the East End Apartments, who work in the office buildings around Hindmarsh Square or who generally reside in the east side of the city.”

While he did not intend for the business to solely cater to young, busy city dwellers, they have been his main customers. DIY Gourmet is another example of how the rapid evolution of Adelaide’s CBD has allowed food businesses that combine convenience and health to prosper.

Claiming a spot on Grenfell

Claiming a spot on Grenfell

Nick busily preps ready-to-cook-meals

Nick busily preps ready-to-cook-meals

Regular customer Mary Matthews says DIY Gourmet suits her because she “works late during the week and the meals are nice and easy to make and are all healthy options”.


Visit DIY Gourmet at 248 Grenfell Street, Adelaide. Order with Nick over the phone on 8232 7721 or by using the “order online” option at

Popular meals on the menu include  Pad Thai and Warm Prawn Salad. The menu has a variety of gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian options, as well as a focus on local produce where practical.“All of the fresh meat and vegetables are local, but a lot of the dry ingredients are from overseas. I try to buy South Australian ingredients whenever possible but there are some things that we just don’t make here,” Nick says.

Opening in January of this year, DIY Gourmet is a still a young business. However, with customer numbers growing each month, Nick hopes to eventually reach out to the suburbs and increase delivery services by buying a refrigerated van. So, when time is not your friend and you find yourself contemplating extreme measures like food pills, drop DIY Gourmet a line and reacquaint yourself with your kitchen and convenience all at once.


As it arrived: Tom Kar Gai for two from DIY Gourmet. This photo courtesy Joshua Fanning.

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