Ckbk, a new digital subscription service billed as “Spotify for cookbooks”, is launching for the professional market with licences in place with publishers and big name UK chefs including Gary Rhodes and Ken Hom.
The firm is offering chefs, restaurants and other food professionals access to a range of classic reference works and technique manuals, alongside cookbooks. Its consumer service previously launched in March and has racked up more than 800 annual paid memberships people through a Kickstarter campaign.
There are currently 75,000 recipes from 350 cookbooks on the platforms, including thousands of recommendations from other chefs.
Matthew Cockerill, ckbk’s co-founder and c.e.o. told The Bookseller there were 60 deals with publishers in place, including with Routledge for Escoffier's Guide Culinaire, the OUP’s Oxford Companion series, Pavilion for Anna del Conte, and Unbound for work from Jonathan Meades and Rowley Leigh. Ckbk also licenses titles directly from over 100 authors, mainly in cases where rights have reverted.
The platform offers premium membership at £8.99 per month but there is also a free, three-recipe option. Publishers receive a cut of the subscription revenue, paid out in proportion to usage.
Cockerill explained: “We just rolled out a nice feature where you can see the most popular recipes for a given book or author. This is the sort of data cookbook publishers and their authors have never had before.”
He said: “Cookbooks are a vital professional resource — chefs including Marco Pierre White, Alastair Little, Jeremy Lee and Giorgio Locatalli all point to cookbooks as having had a formative influence on their career. Ckbk’s collection has been curated with more than 8,000 recommendations from chefs and other food experts, and we are pleased to be able to support the next generation of chefs by making the best and most professionally-relevant cookbooks available online.”