The Cook Shop Online is a family business.It was started through a shared feeling that although there were many kitchen gadgets and tools on the market, many had not been tested throughly to meet kitchen standards never mind industry ones. Often function had been ignored or sidelined for aesthetics.
The Cook Shop Online began as two kitchenware and furniture designers attending home wares shows and seeing products which were great for the home and the environment but that many companys were unprepared to take risks on, so they never reached a wider audience.
Out of a love of cooking and all the things that go with it - tools, equipment, recipes, travel, wine and friendships - Vin Roberts and Marilyn Parker Roberts decided to take a risk and began to import The Cook Shop Online's Best Seller - the bread knife.
Marilyn and Vin Roberts are the owners of a successful commercial design consultancy which focuses on the food and service industry, so came to the world of kitchenware product sales with ease as they had over the years recommended many items to family and friends. (Marilyn being famous in her inner circles for the Christmas gift tins of olive oil direct from Italy or the wine chiller ,a crucial gift at all times when faced with warm wine are well known jokes amongst friends!)
Marilyn Parker Roberts is the director of The Cook Shop Online and lives with Vin and their younger daughter in Surrey, with one cat called Dobby and two black Labradors, good old faithful Sam (ageing like a general in the army who is going slightly deaf - or is it selective hearing?) and Skipper, the family's new addition a 10 month old crazy puppy with attention deficit disorder and sometimes no ability to hear at all. He was brought in to try to tempt Lucinda, the family's elder daughter back from San Francisco where she had eloped in Austen style with 'some man she met in bar/coach house/place that served wine of a good selection at a reasonable price'. Luckily for Lucinda, the young gentleman was of good repute and soon made an offer she couldn't refuse - marriage - and even with the temptation of a puppy at a faraway home she left the safety of the known world for the new.
In America Lucinda was fortunate to meet a well known wine blogger, Doug Wilder, who recognised her enthusiasm for wine and gave her an unpaid position as his Executive Coordinator in the West Coast Wilder Napa Valley operation.
However due to Lucinda's visa she was still unable to earn money in the US, so after some negotiation she agreed to work part time on The Cook Shop Online' team as Marketing and Communication Manager.
So the team is:
Marilyn: (The 'Guv') - the one to email about new products and call if you want a chat. Always on the look out for the new and exciting and desperate to get it to the general public as fast as she can.She's so speedy, you might miss her if you blink...
Lucinda: (The One that Got Away) US counterpart to M. (Everything that Marilyn won't /can't do.)
Vin: The one who tests the products to breaking point (often,) cooks for Marilyn and sometimes Lucinda when she is 'home' and is chief purveyor of the tea.
Sophie: The one who is studying photography so is in charge of digital imagery.
Mary: Head of the design department of the 'other company' but often gets dragged into product testing and sample analysis. (She is well treated and only seems distressed if we make her miss the Archer's at 2pm - please don't call then - it's our busiest time!)
Outside work our great interests are food and wine. Most evenings find Vin & me in the kitchen. He prepares the dinner while I try to help by pouring him a glass of wine!
This love of preparing and enjoying good food has led us to become fascinated by culinary equipment.
Our kitchen, not surprisingly, is full of it. Not all of this equipment fulfils its promise. A lot of it stays in the drawer. However, some items get used many times a day, every day of the week. The bread knife is one such item.
It’s this realization that has lead us to create The Cook Shop Online on which we intend to offer the ‘really useful’ items of equipment to fellow enthusiasts.
Baked Salmon or 'O'Kelly Fish': (Taken from the Times Colour Supplement) Serves 4 Ingredients: 300 Calories per portion 400g trimmed green beans, blanched and refreshed 200g asparagus spears, bl...April 30 2013
Vin Loves to cook for dinner parties so it was no suprise to come home the other day and discover that he had recreated his own version of Nigella Lawson's Gelato Meringue Cake for a dinner party. ...November 28 2012
I thought that I'd mention the wine chilling sleeve as this hot weather definitely demands use of it or them! Anyway we were at a luncheon party on Sunday with some dear friends and w...May 29 2012
Recently, I was lucky enough to visit the Street Food Market outside the Royal Festival Hall in London - All day Friday, Saturday & Sunday - and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety ...May 18 2012
Vicky opened her bakery in Helston about 5 years ago. We were soon convinced that it was the best bread we had eaten, and ensuring that we had a supply on our visits to Cornwall b...November 12 2011
Every Christmas that I return to the UK to visit my family we have a 'Roberts Tradition' of my father and I making home made sausage rolls and then taking them with champagne up to the North Coast ...April 28 2011