Talented cooks across Berkshire are being given the chance to show off their skills a build a reputation for their dishes without even leaving their homes.
Maidenhead business partners Dinesh Patil and Shabbir Mookhtiar set up Cook My Grub to give people the opportunity to move away from their local takeaway and experience home-cooked meals from a wide range of cultures.
The dads met at the school gates, while waiting to pick up their children and became friends, they launched Cook My Grub with an app and website last year just before the pandemic hit, and it has quickly grown.
Dinesh, 38, said: “We knew there were a lot of incredible chefs working in their homes making amazing food and we give them the chance to show off their talents.
“For example, we have a Mexican chef who can make authentic jackfruit tacos and some amazing southern Indian cooks.
“We wanted to offer people the opportunity to experience more traditional home cooking.”
He added it was a way of getting “different, healthier, food delivered to people’s homes.”
BerkshireLive email updates: We bring the stories to you
Signing up to the BerkshireLive newsletter means you’ll receive our daily news email.
It couldn’t be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions.
You can also enter your address at the top of this page in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
Changed your mind? There’s an ‘unsubscribe’ button at the bottom of every newsletter we send out.
You can also sign up to our website and comment on our stories by pressing here and signing in.
Customers can order a range of delicious home cooked meals, from Italian to Thai to Moroccan, with plans to expand Lebanese and Chinese options for diners in the pipeline.
Around 60 home chefs sell their dishes through Cook My Grub.
Speaking about their success story so far, Shabbir added: “Not only are we making the genuinely home-cooked food market accessible, Cook My Grub provides a platform for up-and-coming chefs to build their reputation and chase their ambitions to make a living out of cooking.
“With hospitality being one of the hardest hit sectors by Covid-19, there has never been a greater need for a service such as ours.
“As well as our rapidly increasing customers and orders, we’ve tripled the number of registered chefs on the app, which sets firm foundations for us as we push to be operational in another 10 UK towns and cities before the end of the year.”
A recent push for investment saw it gain £750,000 in support from investors and the owners are now looking to expand.
In the last quarter, the business has seen a 300 per cent uplift in orders, a 100 per cent growth in customers and a 200 per cent increase in active users.
The investment means the owners are able to expand to increase their local operations reach other parts of the UK.
Chefs working for the company are given food hygiene training and can expect to have their kitchens inspected to show they meet health and safety requirements.
All meals are prepared within the confines of the Food Standard Authority’s framework.
Because most of the people working are by themselves, customer orders do need to be made quite early in the day, but it is possible to get lunch delivered on the same day.
Dinesh, who built a career in corporate and commercial strategy before starting Cook My Grub, added: “There are currently 14 of us working on the site.
“We make use of around 20 local drivers.
“We will be looking to expand into a wider area and providing more options.”
Shabbir added: “It’s been an outstanding start to 2021 as we seek to build healthier, happier, and wealthier communities across the UK.
“The speed at which we’ve secured our funding proves that our simple solution fills a clear gap in the market for diners looking to order authentic home-cooked food from local chefs in a safe and controlled marketplace.”
More information can be found here.