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Here's the story 

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Growing up, our family wasn't wealthy but my parents never skimped on food. I remember waking up at 6am once and walking into the kitchen to find my mom searing chicken for our school lunch. I asked if she did this every morning, and I could just buy lunch if that was easier. Her response was, "Love is not just something you say with words."

Now that I have my own family with two young kids, I am committed to making family dinners part of our routine. With Zest, we recognize that food is an act of love and want healthy, flavorful home-cooking accessible for everyone.

Sam Kang
Founder & CEO

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Why we're here

We believe cooking at home is harder than it should be. Families striving for work-life balance often struggle with long work days and finding quality time together on weeknights. Zest streamlines planning, shopping, prepping and cooking, so delicious home-cooked dinners are an easy choice.

We want time back in our lives. A rotating menu of 15 dishes means minimal scrolling and decision making. Pre-cut vegetables means less than 10 minutes of prep. Oven cooking means food is ready in 20-30 minutes while you do something else. So, you can finish that email, build a fort with the kids, or indulge in a little self-care while dinner is getting ready without you.

We love exploring new things. Our chefs focus on simple ingredients elevated with flavorful seasonings and sauces, to give your family and your palette easy access to diverse cultures and cuisines.

We empower the average cook. You might be motivated to slave over a 14-ingredient risotto on a Sunday afternoon, but on a weeknight? Zest takes the pressure off, making it simple to feel confident and proud of the food you serve your family, even on those time-crunched evenings.

Meet the chefs


Michael Raub

Chief Culinary Officer

A serious culinary powerhouse with 13+ years of experience, including impressive stints as the Executive Chef of Michelin-starred Ame in San Francisco and Sous Chef at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Napa Valley. More recently, the major R&D guy overseeing menu development for 400+ corporate dining facilities.

An advocate for food equality and passionate about serving vulnerable groups, Michael and his wife support non-profits like No Kid Hungry and Meals on Wheels.


His favorite weeknight meal is Japanese curried vegetables with his 7-year-old and 9-year-old daughters. 

“I know a lot of people who want to cook, but are intimidated to learn how or don't have time to deal with it. Zest is an approachable, feel-good option.”

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Christian Godbold

Consulting Chef

Currently a commis chef at The French Laundry. A creative chef who honed his skills at well-known San Francisco restaurants Tava Kitchen and Archive Bar & Kitchen. Oh, and experimenting with an urban farm project, turning residential lawns into farms. 

He is dedicated to bridging the gap of food inequities due to socioeconomics, lack of cultural exposure and environmental conditions. He is excited to make global flavors accessible with Zest. 

“Dinner signifies the one time of day we have the opportunity to just stop. It’s time for my family to put away distractions and discuss our day. Whatever we can do to reduce the amount of thinking and planning, allows more time being in the moment.”

Meet the chefs
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