Published in The University of Warwick Student newspaper, The Boar, in November 2012
Great excitement! The homemade food shop COOK has arrived at Leamington Spa. Located on Warwick Street in the heart of the town, this authentic and bordering-on-gourmet food outlet is not to be missed.
As well as providing authentic, genuine home-cooked ready meals, this trendy parlour comes equipped with extremely friendly staff who are always ready to offer you tasters and nibbles whilst you browse.
One of the greatest perks about COOK is the fact that they are careful to create meals that are healthy and go towards a balanced diet, providing you with at least one of your five-a-day every time.
In addition, there appears to be substantially less added salt than in many ready meals. The range in the types of cuisine is impressive, as they cater alike for curry lovers, candle lit dinners and those in need of rustic winter warming dishes to fill up any hungry student.
COOK offers hearty chicken stews and casseroles – which is what the family run company originally started off cooking- lasagnas, boozy beef bourguignons (two portions £8.99), pies and much more.
They also do themed fare, such as ‘Brit Pots’. I’m not sure about the name, but it does indicate that they are going for typical traditional treats – including such tasty british dishes as sausages with bubble and squeak and onion gravy. Other sections, such as their curry selection, always offer a number of exciting enticements to boot.
Another section that is creatively thought through is the vegetarian options. Being a vegetarian myself and normally having very little to choose from when I occasionally eat out, COOK’s obvious effort to be veggi-friendly is a great selling point for me. I would recommend the vegetable and chickpea tagine (one portion £2.99). They also specialize in vegetarian curries, nut roasts, risottos, and tarts.
Each meal is complete within itself, so it really does make for a quick fix for dinner. There are several portion sizes of each meal to choose from, so whether you are entertaining friends, lovers, or family there will always be a generous range to choose from. There is an unusual selection of posh looking deserts with which to impressive any discerning ‘Other Half’. These include Raspberry and Rosewater Pavlova (!), and other delicious puddings like their Fruit Crumble for filling up your friends and serving six people for £6.99.
The fact that all their meals and puddings are homemade in the COOK chefs’ own kitchens should not be sidelined – as this is what COOK prizes itself on. COOK reminds us of this rare quality by attaching labels to each meal telling you who has made it – a quirky personal touch.
Another fantastic aspect of COOK is their creation of ‘One Pot Meals’, which are ready in five minutes cooked in the microwave – aka a student’s best friend. Many have less than 20% of your daily amount of calories, but are nonetheless very filling.
Their range of prices vary from £2.99 to £3.49 – so are cheaper than buying a sandwich out, which lets face it, is normally very disappointing. As a student always in need of a quick, filling and healthy meal – but rarely getting one- these ‘One Pot Meals’ definitely win outright over the average sandwich.
So every time you feel like splashing out and wasting your money and health on food like Dominos Pizzas, why to check out COOK instead? Their diversity is sure to excite, and provides a refreshing take on student eating.