An East Yorkshire chef who was inspired to create frozen restaurant-quality meals during lockdown has set up a professional kitchen in Pocklington.
Ali Bilton, who grew up in East Yorkshire, but travelled the world cooking for private clients in a career spanning over 30 years, launched a range of chef-prepared dishes for people to enjoy at home during the first lockdown in May 2020.
Such was the success of the range of her Ali Bilton Cooks meals, that Ms Bilton took the decision earlier this year to convert part of a historic property in Pocklington into a state-of-the-art professional kitchen where she and a small team produce an extensive range of frozen ready meals.
Of the launch, Ms Bilton, who was latterly head tutor at the Yorkshire Wolds Cookery School, said:
“The emphasis at Ali Bilton Cooks is on wholesome meals made from scratch using local, seasonal and sustainable fresh ingredients. We work closely with some of the region’s finest suppliers. They share our passion for top quality produce and high standards in welfare and food safety.
“What started out as a limited range has grown to over 100 dishes that include everything from dinner party classics like Beef Wellington with fresh truffles to everyday freezer staples like pies, casseroles and curries. Our dishes are blast frozen as soon as they have cooled, so they’re not only delicious, but they’re nutritious too.”
Ali Bilton Cooks meals are renowned for their ‘Yorkshire-sized’ portions, with one customer commenting recently: “We have just had the creamy sausage pasta bake, absolutely delicious. Chris said for a chap who can eat six sausages in one sitting, it was an incredibly good portion size!”
A typical three-course meal for two costs £25 and can be hand-delivered within a 25-mile radius of Pocklington every Saturday. A free click and collect service is also available Monday to Saturday from the Ali Bilton Cooks kitchen at 8a Regent Street, Pocklington. All of the meals have a six-month freezer shelf life and are supplied with full cooking instructions.
Ms Bilton also published a collection of 50 of her favourite recipes in a book entitled Ali Bilton cooks…her favourites in 2019.