A FORMER Stourbridge journalist is finally kick-starting a pioneering new home dinner party catering business – after spending a year sidelined by Covid-19 restrictions.

Pete Wallace founded Cooks in your Kitchen last August, offering dinner parties in people’s homes specialising in traditional Greek country cooking.

But just days after launching the website at the end of October, the second lockdown began – banning people from having indoor gatherings of more than six people from just two households.

Now he and cooking partner, professional freelance chef Rowan Craig, are finally looking to get out on the road to bring a taste of Greek sunshine and hospitality to people in their own homes.

Pete said: “It’s been a frustrating time, as it has for so many businesses, especially in the hospitality sector, but it’s great to be able to take bookings now.

“The concept is simple – we shop, cook and clean up, leaving clients to enjoy their home dinner party spending time with their friends and family instead of slaving over a hot stove – not to mention all that washing up afterwards!

“I’ve cooked dinner parties for crowds more times than I can remember, and know exactly what it’s like to invite people round then find yourself too busy to spend quality time with them.”

Pete, born and bred in Bromsgrove, began his journalism career as a trainee reporter on the Redditch Advertiser in 1988, moving over to Newsquest’s Stourbridge division in 1992, where he went on to work as group assistant editor for many years, responsible for looking after the Stourbridge News, Halesowen News, Dudley News, Kidderminster Shuttle, Redditch Advertiser and Bromsgrove Advertiser.

He added: “When lockdown put dinner parties on hold, we began offering a ‘meat-free mezze’ delivery and collection service – although there are plenty of meat dishes on the dinner party menu – and the feedback from both that and the initial dinner parties we were able to do in the beginning has been incredible.

“A lot of customers have said it’s the best Greek food they’ve eaten, including in Greece itself.”

Dinner party colleague Rowan has more than 16 years’ experience as a professional chef, cooking in kitchens in the UK and abroad, including France and Italy.

Pete added: “It’s great to have Rowan on board – we work brilliantly as a team and he has a wealth of culinary know-how.

“We’re chomping at the bit now to get out there and bring a true taste of Greece into clients’ homes.”

For more visit www.cooksinyourkitchen.co.uk, or search Cooks in your Kitchen on Facebook.