It’s the End of the Road for Wandering Cooks

It’s the End of the Road for Wandering Cooks

After ten years, Wandering Cooks, beloved culinary incubator, commercial kitchen, and dining spot in West End that has helped many fledgling food entrepreneurs kickstart their hospitality business, has served its last dish.

“Wandering Cooks is closed. For good,” the sad notice on Wandering Cooks’ social media reads

“Wandering Cooks, the project to which I have devoted myself for the last decade, is closed for good. It is time to accept that the market has made this decision an obvious, if not extremely difficult, one,” Wandering Cooks founder Angela Hirst wrote.

Wandering Cooks started out as a commercial kitchen, helping launch some of today’s well-known eateries including El Planta, Alphabet Cafe, Nodo, and Pie Town. A year after shutting down due to COVID-19, the culinary incubator expanded its offerings and included a bar and restaurant along with a farmer’s market, before moving from Fish Lane to Vulture Street in 2021.

“Then, something called a lockdown happened. The irreparable exodus of so many of our partners, and the effective end of what we’d long been. A year or so in the dark. Then, gently, a farmers market, some coffee, then a little food of our own. Then a lot of food of our own. Then eviction from our home of 8 years,” Ange furthered.

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With their new, two-storey warehouse space, Wandering Cooks evolved from its previous incubator concept and grew into a full-blown culinary kitchen plus a beer garden, focusing on locally produced ingredients and serving up to a hundred customers each night.

Sadly, when borders were opened, patronage dramatically declined. This led to the painful decision to finally close the beloved restaurant for good.

“Alas. Borders open. New year, new world. A ghost town, again. It’s time,” continued Ange. 

She then closed her farewell statement stressing that the business “never has a premise. It’s been people.” She further wrote, “So I guess I don’t really know what the question of Wandering Cooks was after all. But I reckon the answer turned out to be love.”

The dining spot officially closed last May but Ange assures everyone that she is doing OK and feels well supported. 

And as their way of properly saying goodbye, the Wandering Cooks will hold an event on 2 July 2022 at Lucky Duck Cafe & Bar from 5 pm till late. This will be a reunion of sorts as everyone who had been part of the Wandering Cook’s journey is expected to join the event.