Matthew Cockerill

I have a lifelong interest in food, starting from having been brought up on a farm where the family business was supplying potatoes to major retailers and manufacturers. I went into science, with a Cambridge degree in Natural Sciences and PhD in Biochemistry, but the love of food continued, including learning about Japanese food and cooking from fellow lab members. The early part of my professional career was spent transforming academic publishing, as co-founder of pioneering open access publisher BioMed Central, which made the peer reviewed results of scientific research available to all, with no access barriers. At BioMed Central, we started an interdisciplinary journal called "Flavour", with support and encouragement from Harold McGee and the team at Noma, but in the end following my passion for food demanded that I leave science publishing and strike out to develop a new digital subscription service to bring together the best material on food and cooking, and so ckbk was born. The starting point in building ckbk was to ask hundreds of leading chefs and food writers to share their top 10 cookbooks to build our the 1000 Cookbooks list, which helped us to identify a 'critic's choice' collection of books that have long term value. Already we have more than 600 cookbooks available in full on the ckbk platform, including many by GFW award-winners.

Special subjects

I have a particular interest in Japanese food (I have a thriving wasabi patch in my garden), the science of cooking (Harold McGee is one of ckbk's advisors), and also potatoes of course. I am keen to visit Peru at some point, and back in my science publishing days was in touch with Solanum expert Sandra Knapp at the Natural History Museum.

Languages spoken

- English - German (Intermediate) - Japanese (spending a lot of time recently learning Japanese on Duolingo, but my abilities once the conversation departs from the topic of food are very limited!)

Regular work

Co-founder and CEO of ckbk (1000 Cookbooks Limited) I am involved in a hands-on way with all aspects of the business including commissioning, writing and editing our features section and newsletter (together with GFW-members Susan Low and Mex Ibrahim, our freelance editorial and social media team), setting up livestreams with authors, signing new licensing deals and developing marketing partnerships. With my techie hat on, I especially enjoy working on plans for new features to add to ckbk.

Advisory boards / Awards

Not directly related to food, but I am a board member of: - The International Standardized Randomized Controlled Trial Number Organization ( - Portland Press (the publishing arm of the Biochemical Society)

Commercial interests

Co-founder of, and shareholder in, 1000 Cookbooks Ltd.

Matthew Cockerill