Chef’s lockdown frozen ready meal venture launches own professional kitchen

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 grew up in the county, but travelled the world cooking for private clients in an international career spanning 30 years.

She launched a range of chef-prepared dishes for people to enjoy at home during the first Covid lockdown in May last year.

Read more: Hull’s 30,000 sq ft new food hall aims for two million visitors

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 the town into a state-of-the-art professional kitchen where she and a small team produce an extensive range of frozen ready meals.

Ms Bilton, latterly head tutor at 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 who share our passion for top quality produce and high standards in welfare and food safety.

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“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 earning a reputation for the ‘Yorkshire-sized’ portions, with a typical three course meal for two priced at £25. Deliveries and click and collect services are provided from the Regent Street kitchen.

All of the meals have a six-month freezer shelf life and are supplied with full cooking instructions.

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