The joys of preparing food come in different forms. For some, it’s a time to spend with loved ones and enjoy some quality time together; for others, it’s a perfect opportunity to challenge their creativity and experiment with different food combos while exploring different cultures and cuisines. Whichever group you belong to, one thing is for sure – food blogs and vlogs are the perfect source of ideas and can be an extra motivational push to all of us who appreciate the taste of home-prepared meals.
One of our most favourite ones is by far Cook.ME – a place where you can find recipes for all levels of your culinary skills – from easy-to-do to most complicated “pro chef” dishes. You might say – “Ok, that’s nothing special. There are a bunch of food blogs doing the same!”, but we come to appreciate this platform in particular because of all its features!
Pretty cool, right?! Plus, those of you who are all about the community can join the family and post recipes of your own, learn DIY kitchen ideas and more.
We have sat down with Andrew Fricson, the co-founder of Cook.ME to talk about what prompted him to start a food blog and how it grew into the successful business it is now. We hope you enjoy the full interview below and get inspired – we certainly did! 🙂
1. Tell us about your background and why exactly you picked a cooking theme for your website?
Ever since my childhood I have watched and helped my mother in the kitchen. I’d observe her as she would pick the best quality ingredients and prepare meals with love. She has a flair for flavor and she garnishes even the simplest meals with that flair.
As I grew older, I became fascinated by restaurant chefs and I spent many hours at a local cafe lurking in the backdoor of a kitchen. Of course, I was thrown out of a kitchen a few times, but if anything, that just encouraged my passion and love of cooking! For me, cooking is like magic. I love to take a simple ingredient, like an onion and I imagine what I can conjure up with it – maybe a delicious mouth-watering pie with a succulent caramelized onion stuffing? If this isn’t magic I don’t know what is.
Now, more than ever, people are starting to really care about the food they eat and the ingredients they use. Cooking is a big and important part of everyone’s life. It doesn’t matter who you are, what your gender is or what age you are – everybody eats. Even small kids share their snacks with friends and can take part in cooking in some way.
This is a rare gift, yet it can be very simple at the same time. Like breathing, eating food is a constant in our lives. Every day, our dining experiences can range from a quick lunch on the go, exquisite fine dining in a top restaurant or just eating snacks with friends while watching TV.
2. There are plenty of cooking oriented websites out there. What makes you stand out from others?
We have been creating and cooking recipes for more than 10 years now. We know our onions. Our journey wasn’t always easy. In fact, it was very difficult at times, but we feel we’ve earned our success. Our team has enormous experience in this field.
This is how we see a perfect cooking website: straightforward, simple to understand, with high-quality photos and recipe descriptions. All our meals are prepared and tasted in-house by our team members. The main difference is that we cook simple and beloved home cooked meals and provide very detailed descriptions and images of each step of the cooking process. We even take it a step further by unveiling the secrets and nuances of our recipes that we’ve discovered along the way. There are so few cooking websites with step by step images – we are one of them. This is our main advantage and what sets us apart from others.
3. What is your website ideology a slogan if you have one?
Delicious and healthy meals that are easy to cook. Our recipes are trending more towards healthiness and simplified methods. By this, I mean that we try to communicate and interact by leveraging online tools such as polls, surveys and comment sections to get feedback on what we do. Engaging with our audience is really important for us.
Today’s trending recipes are those which are possible to cook at home in half an hour or less while still being healthy. If you are cooking at home throughout the day – breakfast, lunch and dinner, nutrition must provide all necessary microelements and vitamins.
4. Could you describe the Cook.ME team in a few words?
Our team consists of very different people – professionals with different areas of expertise who are really into home cooking and do it every day. We have been working together for more than 5 years already, and are lucky to have vegans, carnivores, athletes and parents with toddlers on our team. We actively discuss what we should add to the website and why. Members of our team frequently bring home-cooked meals to the office, share family recipes and sometimes we even have the pleasure of trying out new restaurants.
5. What is the future of cooking recipes industry from your prospective?
People will always have to eat. In the future, there might be new ingredients, new cooking methods and a much more serious and responsible approach to cooking. However, peoples’ interest in food will not change. Nowadays people are travelling more and they earn more money. Some people are interested in new things while others show interest in long-forgotten things. In my opinion, the cooking industry will only grow and improve and cooking related content will only get better with time.
6. There is a global trend of people having less and less spare time. Would you say that people are less interested in cooking at home and prefer food delivery instead?
I think people are starting to think differently about takeaway and food delivery because there is a move towards healthier food. People want to know what is in their food and they are not happy to eat greasy, unhealthy dishes.
One of our chefs realised this when she moved to a new neighborhood and it was too far to get delivery from her favorite takeaway. She decided to recreate the curry dish that she always ordered and she realised that she could have a restaurant style dish on the table quicker than the food arrived when she used to order in! It means that curry nights are now cheaper and she controls the ingredients that are used. There is a myth that great food takes a lot of time and we want to challenge that idea with our simple and delicious recipes.
7. Can you name one cuisine that is not so well known, but in your opinion has very delicious recipes and deserves more attention?
That is a rather difficult question. Currently, my family, my business and my friends are all located in different countries. I travel a lot and, of course, I have tried many different cuisines. If you are looking to try something new you should seek out Lithuanian vedarai, cold beet soup with sour milk or cepelini with ground meat and pork skins. During the summer Bulgarian cuisine is great – like fresh tarator soup with a paper-thin dough with a delicate cheese stuffing.
8. Name three things that are important when picking a perfect recipe for a home cooked meal
A photo of a home cooked meal that makes your mouth water, detailed step-by-step cooking instructions and reviews or ratings from readers.
9. Are you planning to expand in other markets to provide content for non-English speakers?
Of course! We are always moving forward.
10. What would you say to cooking enthusiasts that are potentially looking for a platform to share their recipes?
Welcome to Cook.ME! We are always open to new contributions from cooking enthusiasts. If you have a bank of recipes that you’d like to share, please get in touch with us, send us a sample of your work and we can start discussing how you can contribute. All you need is a passion for simple, home cooked food and a digital camera to take photos! Join us as we continue to expand the cook.me food movement.
Thank you Andew for taking the time to share details about your passion and business with us! We’re looking forward to seeing the future expansion of the platform as the user base continues to grow and multilingual part of the platform develops.
And as for you dear reader, if this story inspired you to think about kick-starting your own project, here is some useful advice that will launch your website and help you differentiate from competitors. You can always count on .ME as your online home to stand out from the crowd and communicate your uniqueness loud and clear. 🙂