Jack cook is a fourth generation butcher, who was introduced to the craft by his father at the family’s butchers shop in Devizes, Wiltshire. Jack has always been proud of the family business, so it would be a natural progression that he would join the family business and learn it inside out, to one day, take over from his father.
If it’s not enough that Jack chose to pursue the family tradition out of sheer passion for the trade and optimum respect for long, hard hours needed to achieve optimum success, he’s also a teacher and a businessman in his recent capacity of company director with his father Steve Cook, mother Liz Cook and brother, Charlie Cook. Having won many industry accolades over the years, Walter Rose and Son was crowned Britain’s Best Butcher’s shop in 2016, a fantastic achievement! This national recognition for best practice tells Jack that all the interruptions to sleep by chefs and staff, very early mornings, hard work, constant haggling, price-watching, managing the team, respecting transport laws with deliveries, industry regulations, endless paperwork and cancelled holidays have all paid off – Certainly not a job for the faint-hearted!
Jack prides himself on the provenance of Walter Rose meat; its field to fork story is tantamount to its success in supplying more Michelin-starred chefs than any other butcher in the country including Hywel Jones, Tom Kerridge, Guy Manning and Glyn Purnell. All meat is reared and respectfully slaughtered in Wiltshire, one of the best natural environments to produce meat in the world in terms of climate, environment and pasture quality. Jack is proud to state that Walter Rose meat is the best available, cut and handled by its in-house team of expert butchers who not only taught him the art of butchery but have been working for the company since before his birth!
Jack is an expert in whole animal butchery with the business acumen to head-up a market-leading catering butchery supply as well as a high-end butchers shop and deli, both with a national distribution network to trade and consumer.
Although Jack performs many different roles, by far the most rewarding for him is as a teacher. Jack holds regular butchery classes at Walter Rose HQ in Devizes and regularly visits high profile chefs in their kitchens for butchery-lead menu development master classes. Walter Rose has supplied London’s Harrods for the last two years and regularly visits the chefs for CPD sessions in butchery to enhance their food offer in their luxurious restaurants and meat counter in the famous food hall.
Jack teaches the next generation of chefs through butchery demonstrations at Chefs’ Forum events all over the UK and via ‘butcher and the chef’ lectures in colleges with The Chefs’ Forum Academy. One of his great friends is Roux Scholar, Paul O’Neill who regularly demonstrates on stage with him to showcase the importance of a strong relationship between the butcher and the chef. Adding a dash of humour, the duo inspires young chefs, arouse interest in butchery and promote the importance of maximising profit and minimising waste.
Jack plans to one day publish a cookery book all about meat, aimed at the novice cook and meat lover with easy tasty dishes for all occasions; from quick meals after work to long and slow cooks for the weekend.