I Tried the Chef’s Banquet ARK 2020 Emergency Freeze Dried Food – How was It?

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Written by Bernie Carr

I received a review sample of the Chef’s Banquet ARK 2020 food storage kit.

What is the ARK 2020?

The ARK 2020 stands for All Purpose Readiness (ARK) – 2020 calories for 30 days. The kit contains emergency food for:

  • 1 person. 30 days at 2,020 calories per day
  • 30 days
  • Average Serving contains about 200 calories
  • Average of 49 grams of Protein per day
  • Average of 28 grams of Fats per day
  • Packaged for Long-term Shelf Life, up to 25 years shelf life


The kit came in a plain box, with just the name and address, with no special labels, so it does not advertise that your are ordering emergency food or prepping. The box itself has the following dimensions:

  • Net Weight 35 LBS 13.6 OZ (16.26KG)
  • Ship Weight 40 lbs
  • 8.5 Gallon rectangle bucket with handle and lid (stackable and transportable)
  • Dimensions: 12” x 12.5” x 18”

The entrees are in large resealable mylar bags. For example, the Spanish Rice entree has 30 servings per container. So if you do open one, you don’t have to eat it all at once, just measure half a cup for each serving you are preparing.

The back of the bucket shows a list of 10 different entrees and nutrition information.

The bucket was definitely airtight actually difficult to open but I got it open eventually. The back of the bucket shows a list of 10 entrees:

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal (120 Cal/Serv, 60 Serv, 7,200 total Cal)

Six Grain Rolled Cereal (84 Cal/Serv, 90 Serv, 7,560 total Cal)

Spanish Rice (180 Cal/Serv, 60 Serv, 10,800 total Cal)

Chicken Flavored Rice Orzo Pilaf (200 Cal/Serv, 60 Serv, 12,000 total Cal)

Savory Black Beans & Rice (170 Cal/Serv, 30 Serv, 5,100 total Cal)

Creamy Cheddar Cheese Grits (200 Cal/Serv, 30 Serv, 6,000 total Cal)

Cinnamon Rice Pudding (200 Cal/Serv, 15 Serv, 3,000 total Cal)

Old Fashioned Hearty Potato Soup (150 Cal/Serv, 15 Serv, 2,250 total Cal)

Cheddar Broccoli Rice (140 Cal/Serv, 15 Serv, 2,100 total Cal)

Creamy Mashed Potatoes (160 Cal/Serv, 30 Serv, 4,800 total Cal) 


Preparing a meal is very easy. Just measure the dried mix, add water and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Taste test

I decided to try the Rice Pudding for this article.

Entrees come in resealable mylar bags

I followed the directions in the package. First, I added 1/4 cup of the rice pudding to 1/2 cup of water in a small pot. I let it boil, covered it, then lowered the heat to medium low. It simmered for 20 minutes, then I checked it. The simmering rice smelled delicious.

Cooked rice pudding entree

The cinnamon rice was cooked, but it was on the dry side and not creamy enough to my liking. I tried cooking another batch, but doubled the amount of water this time: instead of 1/2 cup of water, I added a full cup of water and simmered for 20 minutes.

The second time around, the result was more like rice pudding. It smelled wonderful, and the texture was creamy and soft. I had the rest of the family try it and they liked the second batch a lot.


If you buy this product, be aware of the following:

  • Because it requires water to cook, you will need to make sure you have enough water storage for meal preparation.
  • You may have to adjust the water quantity and possibly the cooking time.
  • It takes 20 minutes to cook so you you will need to have backup fuel if utilities are out.
  • The servings are not individually wrapped but the bag is re-sealable. If you open one, remember it is no longer airtight so it should be consumed.

Overall, I liked the Chef Banquet ARK 2020. The entrees taste decent and calorie dense. Besides saving it for emergencies, you can also use it for camping or for a quick meal.

I did sign up as an affiliate, since I liked the product. Here is my link:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.

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