The co-founder of COOK Food, the company that makes 'remarkable food for your freezer', shares his online haunts.

Ready meals of old were ghastly. Do you remember? Well, ditch that memory and discover COOK Food, our go-to website when hosting or feeling frazzled. In 1997, Edward Perry and Dale Penfold founded COOK Food with the premise of trying to cook and sell frozen ready meals that would be made like you would at home. We can vouch personally for their recipes (especially their beef bourguignon and chocolate roulade). Every dish is prepared by hand so they look and taste homemade. For savvy hosts and frazzled families, COOK Food is a most welcome addition to their online shopping list.


After leaving school Edward worked for his parents’ small bakery and café. He teamed up with his favourite customer, Dale Penfold, a chef, and with a small bank loan they started making and selling frozen food from a shop called Cakes & Casseroles in 2007. After a name change to COOK and a few very difficult years (nearly losing their precious independence during the recession), the company has grown to have a turnover of £50m. It has a large kitchen in Kent, a kitchen making puddings in Somerset, and a network of over 80 shops nationwide.

COOK remains a family-owned business with a strong ethical drive to be ‘a force for good in society’. They are a certified B Corporation, accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, and are currently 28th in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For list. Edward lives with his wife Sophie and four children in Kent. We asked Edward to think about his life online and share his favourite sites.

My favourite website... The Daily Mash - Because it is deeply irreverent, funny, very rude yet insightful take on the news.

My favourite app... Vivino - It enables you to take a photo of a wine label anywhere, whether it be at a friend’s house or in a restaurant. It tells you where you can buy it and for how much.

My blog of choice... Farnam Street Blog - I got on the personal development train quite late in life and this is a fantastic source of wisdom and ideas about the art of living.

My internet hero... Tim Berners-Lee - For giving the internet to society. I often wonder what might have happened if it had been created in America.

My most recent buy online... some Timberland boots from the Timberland website.

Book just downloaded... Sapiens, a Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - It is utterly brilliant.

My favourite tweeter... doesn’t exist - I don’t tweet. I don’t trust myself as I frequently forget to engage my brain before speaking and tweeting is a dangerous business if you run a brand and you are chronically impulsive like me. I feel the same about Instagram.

Social media allowed me to meet... Xanthe Clay - The superb Telegraph food writer. She tweeted something nice about us recently so I invited her to the kitchen. She visited recently and was lovely.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to… Retail Week - For what's happening on the high street and The Grocer for what’s happening in the food world. And COOK obviously.

Pet hate about life online... The most frequently heard phrase in our home is ‘S***, the ******* internet is down again.’ We live in the countryside without broadband. It is constant source of irritation for both my wife Sophie and I.

Standout online memory... The day we started selling stuff from our website eleven years ago.

iPhone or Android? iPhone 6. I am deeply ‘untechie’ but I love it very much. It has changed my life.

November 2016