Cookery was founded in 2014 by Alison Fletcher. As a former marketing director for Burger King, Alison wanted to carve out a more personal relationship with customers and founded Cookery to be a destination for home cooks. As an avid home-cook herself, Alison is passionate about perfecting recipes and hosting – both key ingredients for the busy holiday season.
We met with Alison at her newest location in the Manulife Centre to find out her top tricks to tame holiday stress this season.
COOKERY IS THE START OF YOUR CULINARY DESTINY
Combining her 20 years of sales and marketing experience with an affinity for cooking makes Alison an expert worth seeking out. All this unbridled culinary excitement is now on display at her 5 locations, including her cousin’s Melissa Perrotte outpost in Montreal.
All her staff are trained to understand the unique lifestyle habits of each customer to match skill level with expectations. Maybe you don’t need to buy that top-of-the-line pan if you ultimately willl only be using it to make Grilled Cheese.
But for the seasoned chef, a Lodge Seasoned may be a better fit. These pans come with a triple-seasoning, like a family heriloom without the hassle or family. She actively engages her team to ensure each purchase is backed with cooking advice. Like bringing proteins to room temperature before cooking. And definitely warming up the pan, then warming your fat before adding that protein.
Any cast iron pan sold comes with a tutorial on how to wash and maintain it (a quick wash and rinse, then seal with veggie oil in the oven).
TRUSTED ADVICE FOR ALL YOUR KITCHEN CHRONICLES
This customer-focused dedication feels like a having a match maker for all your domestic duties. And let’s face it, with grocery bills climbing every morsel matters. Whether you’re butchering whole chickens with a safe and durable knife or by protecting your food against going bad with quality reusable containers, it all adds up.
Zwilling’s Fresh and Save works well for mise en place for entertaining and for batch cooking. These glass vessels remove air and stack easily so you can safely store food for future use. Oxygen can really effect the quality of food, especially produce, so purchase the best fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables and preserve them at the peak with these genius glass containers. Cookery has them all stocked, including the accompanying sous-vide sacs for gourmet cooking.
COOKERY IS IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN
Maximize the potential of those precious ingredients by using proper tools and techniques. Alison always suggests using a timer. And checking at the halfway point to ensure proper cooking can protect against food waste.
A good meat thermometer is an asset, accuracy is crucial especially for costly cuts like beef tenderloin. Alison feels it’s crucial to go above and beyond to support consumers with their budgets. She commonly matches pans, knives and appliances to the customer specifically, ensuring they’re not wasting money unnecessarily on things that above their capabilities or requirements.
Especially when it comes to knives. Too often someone will come in to purchase a new blade, when really, they haven’t invested in the maintenance of their current knife. With knife sharpening services offered at every location, half the time she talks people out of buying a new knife and instead restoring what they already own.
Cookware also is worthy of a rescue “I’ve never met a good, quality pot that I couldn’t save…” said Alison. Pots that are boiled dry, even the darkest most deformed pans stand a good chance of being rehabilitated here. Using a softer metal, like a copper scrubber to tackle big messes is her go-to. A $7 scrubby may be the correct course of action rather than shelling out for a brand new $300 pan.
WOMEN-LED, CANADIAN OWNED
All of this fosters confidence and preserves against gadgets and gear going to landfill. Creating trust and actually getting to know her clients makes Cookery is a shining example of why bricks-and-mortar stores really matter.
Shops are located in Roncesvalles, Yonge and Eglinton, Bloor W Village, Leslieville, Yorkville and Montreal. Check out Cookery-Store.ca for more on cooking classes, knife sharpening and product demos.
All images by Libby Roach.