Your Chefs of America Review 2013: Dan Costa’s Entrée Venture

Szechuan-Chicken-Stir-FryModesto, CA – Your Chefs of America is a new entrée “gourmet” meal created by local Modesto resident Dan Costa. Costa is a well-known businessman and philanthropist in the Modesto area. Some of his achievements includes: bought, developed and sold a restaurant chain, founded a military clothing/tactical company, 5.11 Tactical, in which he later sold for approximately $300 million and in addition Costa holds an annual Thanksgiving buffet for the less fortunate.

I went to one of the local Save Mart Supermarkets that carried Costa’s Your Chefs of America entrees. While at Save Mart, I was given a small sample of one of the 10 different prepackaged meals. The specific sample I ate had pasta and chicken. It was very good and with each bite, it made me wanting more of it.

I asked the chef/salesperson which was the best selling entrée and he told me it was the Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry by Chef Surla, who owns Surla’s restaurant in Modesto. I purchased this package and this review will be focused on this specific entrée.

I called Surla’s restaurant hoping to find out the price of the entrée if I were to order it at their restaurant. However, they did not offer it, which was quite a disappointment.

The presentation of the entrée was very good. It is packaged in a clear box with the ingredients needed in clear view. The entire package looks like a bigger, clearer, but more rectangular version of the very popular Lunchable box.

The process of the making the entrée ready to eat was quite simple. It took me exactly 10 minutes to finish cooking. In addition, the company’s website, had terrific video tutorials in aiding my preparation.

The secret sauce was average. It had a spicy kick and it taste somewhat thick. The vegetables are fresh and locally grown and packaged. It was crisp and very good.

Overall, the entrée was good, however the one major gripe that both my date and I had was the rice. The rice tastes a lot like a mixture of beach sand and mashed-up clay. It was gritty and the rice particles were firm and very hard. I immediately threw it out and cook my own homemade rice.


Package: Good. Clear. User friendly. Simple. Straight forward. 4 out of 5 stars.

Sauce: Too thick. Too spicy for some. Average to Good. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Vegetables: Fresh, crisp, locally grown. Great. 5 out of 5 stars.

Rice: Unimpressive. Too gritty. 0 out of 5 stars.

Overall:  I like the concept of a nice healthy gourmet meal for $10. What I liked was that everything I needed to cook the meal was in the box. All the condiments, sauces, vegetables and chicken/meat needed was arranged nicely and ready to go.

However, if you want to cook for a family of 4, you must purchase another package, which will be another $10 or more. But you are going to get a “healthy” meal. How “healthy” it is yet undetermined as there was NO nutrition facts label on the package.

This specific entrée disappointed me, specifically the rice. Coupled with the overall experience, I am going to give Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry 3.5 stars out of 5.


Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry-package