Fine Dining on the Fly
Good To-Go creates dehydrated gourmet meals to be enjoyed anywhere
Five years ago, Jennifer Scism and her husband, David Koorits, were preparing for a weeklong backpacking trip in the Adirondack Mountains. They had almost everything ready to go when Scism considered their food for the week. As a longtime co-owner of the celebrated Annisa in New York City and a former Iron Chef winner, Scism struggled with the concept of eating tuna and boxed mac and cheese for a week. Her solution was to try creating dehydrated meals for the trip in hopes that something would be palatable. She started with Thai curry, marinara sauce, and pulled-pork chili. Scism watched the food transform in a countertop dehydrator, packed it up, and set out for the mountains. “The kicker is, I forgot to test it,” she says. “So, when we got up there, I was like, ‘Wow, hope this works!’” It did.
Today, Scism and Koorits are the owners of Good To-Go, a company specializing in lightweight, dehydrated gourmet meals. Scism spent years studying regional foods around the world, and her culinary influences are multicultural. Good To-Go’s product line includes bibimbap, Indian vegetable korma, pad thai, chicken gumbo, and New England corn chowder. Beyond a wide variety of meal options, what sets Good To-Go apart from similar companies is its process. “A lot of companies just get a bunch of different dried ingredients and put them together in bags and experiment with that. But you can get much better flavor profiles if you cook it [and then dehydrate it],” Scism says. Good To-Go operates out of a Cape-style house in Kittery with a staff of 19, 11 of whom are part of the production process. Its products are found in every state and Canada, and Scism is hoping to expand to Australia to offset the winter-season slump. For customers, making the meals is simple: just add boiling water and wait—usually 15 to 20 minutes. While Good To-Go was originally created for hikers, Scism has found that the meals also work for hunters, anglers, sailors, and just about anyone. “My lawyer keeps it in her drawer for lunch,” she says. When delicious meals are this simple, it’s hard to reach for anything else.