Chef Omar Andrade with daughter Eva
In great demand ... Omar Andrade, pictured with daughter Eva, has started Hungry Mondays, a business selling home-cooked meals to time-poor workers. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

AN INCORRIGIBLE entrepreneur, Omar Andrade loves getting frustrated. It's in these moments of irritation, he says, that he often finds his best ideas.

After working for several years in the early 2000s as a ''not very good chef'', Mr Andrade realised that many similar young chefs in Sydney felt their creativity stifled while working as apprentices. So in 2009 Mr Andrade opened an ''illegal'' restaurant - Transient Diner - an unlicensed eatery, that operated out of hairdressing salons, a band rehearsal space and a rented mansion in Camperdown.

Fast forward to September, 2012. After a year running his first legal restaurant - El Capo in Surry Hills - Mr Andrade, 34, has left to turn another frustration into a quirky business idea.

During his time in charge of El Capo, Mr Andrade was frustrated that his restaurant made money only while it was open.

It got him thinking: could he make money from the restaurant while it was closed?

''I had a kitchen, the 14 to 16 hours the restaurant was closed, the coolroom, produce,'' Mr Andrade said. ''I thought, there's got to be a better way.''

One Sunday night, before locking up El Capo, Mr Andrade put on a massive pot of stew. After 16 hours of slow cooking, he chilled the meat, vacuum sealed it, and sold it in plastic packs, which he labelled ''Hungry Mondays''. The slow-cooked fast food became so popular that about a month ago Mr Andrade closed El Capo and committed full-time to the Hungry Mondays takeaway business.

''I don't have to pay wages … it became a very good business model,'' said Mr Andrade, who cooks the meals with two business partners and drives them in Eskies to offices that sign up for the service, and two ''drop-off points''.

For the time being, Mr Andrade is renting kitchens for two or three nights a week, slow cooking while the restaurants are closed, and selling the packaged meals at the Hollywood Hotel in Surry Hills and a cafe in the Central Station tunnel.

A bartender at the Hollywood Hotel, Jared Wren, says the pub now has a queue at 4pm every Monday waiting for Mr Andrade's drop-off, and that the meals are sold out by Tuesday.

Mr Andrade now complains about a new frustration: too much demand and not enough supply. ''I need a kitchen to take it to five days,'' he said.

''Right now I am trying to find a defunct restaurant that's going out of business … and go in there and start cooking more and more and more.''