Jess' Underground Kitchen started around my kitchen table. A friend was devouring one of my weeknight dinners and made a flippant comment: “I’d love to pay you to cook my meals during the week.” It seemed like an interesting challenge!
We’ve come a long way since JUK’s first Thai green chicken curry back in February 2013, when customers used to pick up from the pink house in Ponsonby. It grew organically, by word of mouth... a delicious secret club.
It didn’t take long to realise that there was a gap in the market for freshly cooked, healthy convenience food. I never set out to fill it; I was just cooking the food I’d always cooked.
My week night dinners, but for hundreds instead of one.
Today, it’s more of an overground kitchen! My first cookbook, My Underground Kitchen, was published in April 2015, and contains over 80 mouthwatering recipes for home cooks – including many of the meals that feature on the Underground Kitchen menu.
My second cookbook, My Underground Deli, hit bookshelves in April 2017 and showcases 100 of our favourite recipes from the JUK delis.
Fast-forward to 2020 and amid a global pandemic, My Underground Everyday was released – my third and latest cookbook is full of freshness and flavour, with seasonal ingredients and clever ways to use up leftovers. Cooking at home has never been easier or more delicious!
In February 2016 I opened the doors to our flagship store – JUK Herne Bay. We serve up home cooking at its best – ready-to-heat meals, baking, seasonal salads and cabinet food, artisan deli goods and, of course, good coffee.
The following year we opened our second deli – JUK Remuera. On the corner of Bassett Road & Remuera Road, our light & breezy space is full of more Jess deliciousness.
After finding a gorgeous, light and sunny space we opened JUK Parnell. With seating front and back (feat. a stellar view out to the Auckland museum) this store is our largest format yet.
In 2019 we opened our fourth deli — JUK Devonport. A stone's throw away from the ferry building, this one is right on bustling Victoria Road.
We'd love to meet you...come and say hi!
Stock your freezer — let JUK cook dinner!
Our frozen favourites are handmade in small batches with real ingredients, just like you would make at home. They're perfect for having on hand to pop in the oven, when you need something more nutritious and delicious than takeaways. Stock up and you'll never go hungry again! You can collect from either of our delis during business hours, or opt for our handy delivery service. Read more FAQs here.
Love our food & want more?
Bespoke catering for your next celebration.
What do guests remember most the day after? How good the food was!
From weddings and birthdays to corporate functions and office events, we’ll work with you to create a custom menu packed with flavour that will set your special event apart from the rest.