It was 1989 – the year that “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid 2 was number one; the year that the Berlin Wall came crashing down; and the year that Kooks Unlimited opened in Richmond, Surrey.The independently-run shop gave Richmond’s aspiring chefs and domestic goddesses somewhere to while away the hours, in between putting on the roast and letting the meat rest.
“Hooray!” the local Keith Floyd wannabes cheered. Their eyes were like saucers – Kooks Unlimited was packed to the rafters with cooking essentials and quirky kitchen accessories.
Never again would they find themselves caught short of a ramekin when a dinner guest unexpectedly brought a plus one. Or sadly scrap plans to make a yummy dish because they couldn’t find some obscure but ‘essential’ utensil.
Like a good cheese, Kooks Unlimited has got better with time. It’s now bigger, housed in a double fronted store and a basement packed with goodies. It stocks a greater variety of cookware – from high-end Le Creuset pots and pans to purse-friendly Kuhn Rikon Colori knives. It’s even expanded into cooking-themed gift cards and wrapping paper, and foodie presents for pets (because they deserve to eat like kings, too!).