Toronto may have a world-class restaurant scene, but nothing compares to the taste of a home-cooked meal. Luckily for us, we locals can now get delicious home cooking sent to our doors thanks to a new Toronto-based app called Cookin.
The app was founded by two longtime friends, Morley Ivers and Michael Baruch.
Back in 2021, Morley read a New York Times article about Blue Jays player Vladimir Gurrero Junior who missed his grandmother’s home cooking so much that the team hired her to travel with them and prepare their meals.
Using this story as inspiration, Morley and Baruch set out to create an app that brings people together through home-cooked meals, and this past fall, Cookin officially launched to the public.
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Cookin is described as “a marketplace for cooks and chefs alike to share their stories, heritage, and passion through homemade meals,” and “the best way for hungry people to enjoy incredible homemade food.”
The new food delivery service launched in the city in October. It already has around 50 home chefs cooking on the app, with 900 applicants still under review.
Cookin’s Director of Growth Matt Rice told Curiocity in an interview that the app services all areas of the city that are “south of Thornhill, east of Etobicoke and west of the Beaches.”
The way it works is very similar to any other food delivery app. “This is meant to be ready-made food,” said Rice.
“If you want a salad today, you’d open up the app, there’s a cook called Amanda who is making grilled salmon filet with a Mediterranean quinoa salad.”
“You’d add that to your cart — the salad with protein is about $20. You check out and pay a $1.99 delivery fee, and then that gets delivered to your door in about an hour.”
According to Rice, the cooks that are preparing food on the app range from professional chefs trying out new menu concepts to parents who are interested in making some extra cash with their family recipes.
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Cookin performs rigorous health and safety checks. Every chef is required to obtain an Ontario food safe handling certification and is subject to virtual kitchen inspections and spontaneous check-ins.
The app taps into a large network of drivers, who pick up and deliver the meals either from the chef’s home or the Cloud Kitchen that chefs have access to cook from at no up-front cost.
The availability of meals depends on how many chefs are cooking on that day. Some days there are as many as 15, and each has a menu of around three to eight dishes.
However, as more applicants are reviewed that number is likely to grow. Cookin plans to expand its network to service more areas of the GTA within 60 to 90 days.
It’s about time that Toronto has more variety when it comes to food delivery apps, and it’s safe to say that there’s no service quite like this one in the city.