Chef Matt Worswick has launched a new premium food delivery service, Cook + Thief, backed by Mr & Mrs Smith founder Andrew Graham.
The Cook + Thief concept, described by Worswick as a "virtual food market", takes recipes from chefs including Ollie Dabbous, John Chantarasak, Neil Rankin, Tom Griffiths and Andrew Dargue and develops them for the premium delivery service.
Dabbous is providing dessert inspiration, with Griffiths' offering recipes for the grill. Dargue has shared a selection of vegan plates and Chantarasak has added his Thai-inspired creations. Rankin is a recent addition to the team, and his vegan burger is available alongside 25 other dishes currently on the menu.
Worswick will take charge of the ‘What We Like' section, which will include dishes such as 10-hour smoked lamb tagine (£12.50), ultimate mac and cheese (£9.50) and a side of truffle fries (£8.50).
Worswick was an early casualty of the Covid-19 crisis when his planned new role as executive chef at the Shanghai Edition, where Jason Atherton oversees three restaurants for Marriott International's lifestyle hotel brand, fell through in January.
He told The Caterer that it was empowering to be cooking so freely and alongside such incredible chefs in his new venture.
Warswick said: "We sold more than 1,000 dishes last week, during our launch week. That's great for the chefs working with us as they all get a percentage of the sales on their dishes."
The chef explained that Graham had been toying with the idea of Cook + Thief for some time, when he and Worswick were put in touch by a mutual friend. "The timing was right for us both and, once we'd made the decision to work together, it all fell into place in just five weeks," he said.
The development kitchen, based in London's Battersea, employs a brigade of six chefs managed by Worswick. They develop and prepare dishes for delivery from Wednesday to Sunday within a 15-mile radius of the site.
Dabbous, who was an early adopter of the service, added: "I love Cook + Thief. Their attention to detail is second to none and my dishes simply couldn't be in better hands."
All of the dishes are delivered in heat-retaining, sustainable, biodegradable packaging, in a patent-pending sturdy swing-lid box. Cook + Thief employs its own fleet of uniformed riders who are fully trained in customer service.
Worswick was previously head chef at the one-Michelin-starred Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey, where he spent nearly four years.
Worswick, who won an Acorn Award in 2014, joined Pennyhill Park in 2016 from Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa in the Wirral having started his career at the Crofters hotel in Lancashire. He went on to work at St Martins-on-the-Isle on the Isles of Scilly with Kenny Atkinson and Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham with David Everitt-Matthias. He was appointed to his first head chef position in 2013 at Glenapp Castle in Ballantrae, Ayrshire, where he won a Michelin star at the age of 26.
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