Cooking Trends in England 2014


England is becoming a nation of increasingly confident cooks. All across the country, budding chefs are taking to the kitchen with new found inspiration and passion. But what’s brought on this change, and how long are we willing to spend in front of the stove each night?

We undertook a survey at the end of 2014 to reveal the answers to these questions and the changing cooking habits of England.

Cooking Trends In England Header


Without further ado, here are the results of our survey…

Do you take pictures of your food and post them online?

More of us do not take photos of our food, than those that do, in fact, 55.6% do not. What is surprising is that 17.4% of us always take photos of our food! Putting that percentage into numbers, that’s 9,224,167 of us that always take photos of our food, according to the survey we ran.

Statistics Do People Take Photos Of Their Food

Does age play a role in this?

Age does play a large role in how likely you are to post photos of your food online. 70% of people aged between 18-29 in the UK post pictures of their meals online. When we consider that 90% of the 150+ million users of Instagram are under the age of 35, this statistic is much easier to digest.

How did you learn to cook?

34.2% of us do not attribute our ability to cook to any particular source. They claim to have picked it up naturally over time. 33% learnt how to cook from their mothers, while 5.3% learnt from their fathers.

Statistic of How People Learn to Cook

Further analysis revealed…

  • Households with a combined earning of more than £40,000 are more likely to have learnt to cook during their time at school, or from cookery books.
  • Those aged between 40 – 49 are more likely to have learnt from their mother, or picked up their cookery skills naturally.
  • People who live in the South of England are more likely to say they acquired their skills naturally.

How does England rate its cooking ability?

When asked to speak objectively and rate their cooking ability out of 10, the most common response from the people of England was a 7.

Furthermore, 7.8% of those surveyed were confident enough to rate themselves as a 10, whilst only 2% would admit to being a 1.

How England Rates it's Cooking Ability

Who does the majority of the cooking in your home?

The majority (66.4%) of people claim that they do the most cooking in their home. 14.4% of young people said that their mum does the majority of the cooking for them and 7.4% of men passed the responsibility of cooking onto their wife. However, 60.4% of men said that they do the majority of the cooking, versus 72.4% of the women surveyed who said that they do the majority of the cooking.

Infographic Cooking At Home

How much of your time is spent cooking each day?

The majority of those surveyed (32.2%) said that they spend 30 minutes to one hour cooking every day. With 26.6% spending an extra half-hour creating their meal, and with just 8% spending over two hours cooking.

And if you don’t feel like cooking, what’s usually the reason?

Infographic Average Time Spent Cooking Uk

Do you agree with the move by the government to make cooking lessons a compulsory part of the school curriculum?

As of September 2013, cookery lessons became compulsory in the school curriculum for those in year 9 and below. Do you agree with this move?

We asked the public’s opinion on the change…

Of those surveyed, 69% agreed with the change. Women were more in favour of the change than men were.

Inforgraphic Cooking Habits of England

How many times a week do you sit down with family and/or friends and eat together?

When it comes to eating together, 32% of Britons manage to do this between one and three times a week. However, 12.6% said they they never sit down to eat together.

Infographic Cooknig Habits of England

How many people are vegetarian or vegan in your household?

79.2% of those surveyed have no vegetarians or vegans in their household, whilst 11% have just one vegetarian or vegan at home. However, 2.4% of families said that everyone in their home was either vegetarian or vegan.

Infographic On Amount of Vegetarians or Vegans in Uk Household

All figures and statistics were collected from a survey carried out by Wren Kitchens in 2014. All entries were from people who reside in England.

How did you learn to cook?


About Author

  • I’d say learning to cook for me was a combination of my Mum’s teaching and picking it up naturally.

  • Sinead ORourke

    I learned to cook from school and from my mum.

  • Tracy K Nixon

    I learned how to cook frommy mum – who always cooked our family meals from scatch (and still does!)

  • Monica Gilbert

    I learned to cook from a variety of sources: my Mom, trial and error, looking at cookbooks, and activities at school and Scouts. I’m using the internet now to learn even more.

  • Ann Robinson

    I learned to cook by cooking with my mum, by doing home economics at school and by trial and error by myself

  • Tracey Peach

    I learned how to cook from my Mum too, she cooks traditional English food mostly so showed me how to cook them too

  • Laura Cooper

    I learnt to cook from my mum from the age of 13. She started off with chilli.

  • Sarah Maclean

    I learned how to cook the basics and classic dishes from my Mum, although I have taught myself more exotic cuisine in recent year, using cookbooks and internet recipes.

  • Sandra Clarke

    I learned to cook at school, then by trial and error over the years but I don’t class myself as a very good cook.

  • Angela L Paull

    A bit at school, some from my mum and by just giving it a go (with the help of cookery books)

  • Tania Atfield

    Learnt some from school, very badly and most of it on my own with a lot of phone calls to my mum for advice.

  • Vera Pope

    I learnt myself when I got married and then ever more when our daughter was born as I wanted her to eat fresh healthy food

  • Claire Blaney

    I learnt from trial and error and watching cooking shows


    My mum taught me how to cook. We used to bake fairy cakes from the age of about 4

  • Will Tunnicliffe

    I learnt from my grandpa who was a great cake maker and could always get a sponge to rise perfectly

  • Colin Anderson

    my mother taught me how to cook and what a good cook she was

  • Marion King

    i learnt to cook at school, i started at 11 years old, but i’m still learning at 66!!

  • tuffy1782

    I trained as a chef many moons ago, My mum taught me most of what I know though 😀

  • Victoria MyLittleLBlog

    i watched my mum from time to time, but my daughter or my hubby are my muse

  • Kirstin Lydon

    I learned to cook in Home Economics lessons at secondary school although I did help my mom sometimes in the kitchen when I was a child.

  • Tara Watkins

    I learnt a bit about cooking in school but my Mam and Nan taught me the best over the years :)

  • I was taught to cook by my Mum. If she’d never have taught me, I’d be useless as what we learnt at school was pathetic and not even worth the effort.

  • jackie Chapman

    I was taught the basics by my Mum but shes not the best cook to be honest! I really learnt to cook properly by a friend who inspired me with her Persian cuisine!

  • antonia richardson

    I was taught to cook at school

  • maureen moss

    when I was under 10 I used to go and sit with the lady next door who had been in service as a young girl …she taught me how to cook many things including seed cakes made with BUTTER something not common in the early 50s…Oh how I loved those afternoons and scrapping out the bowl and licking the spoon.

  • laura stewart

    my grandma taught me to cook

  • Marie Booth

    To be honest I just learned to cook myself. Reading recipes and following them to the letter helped too

  • Claire Hull

    I learnt to cook myself

  • clairdownham

    just picked it up

  • Sue Obrien

    Just trial and error! I didn’t have a choice once I got married or we would have gone hungry! lol. I didn’t really learn from my mum when I lived at home because she is the type of cook who throws everything in creatively and it always comes out wonderful. I’m the opposite. I can’t cook without following a recipe to the letter!

  • Bridget Heather

    My mum walked out on us when i was 12 and my dad was a framer and was always busy and had no idea how to cook so i mucked in and managed to put something on the table every night and it gradually got better and grew from there

  • Sarah Walford

    I learnt to cook when I was at University, Living on my own for the first time came fairly hard and I had lots of disasters to start with but a lot better now!!!

  • Miriam Said

    I learned to cook by watching my mother and I also had home economics lessons at school, so I also learned to cook there too.

  • jennifer bolognesi

    My father was Italian & did all the cooking. I would watch him & learn especially the dishes I loved to eat

  • Ursula Hunt

    My mum taught me the basics and my son who is a chef has meant in later tlife I have learnt lots of different methods and dishes

  • norrisluvsmary

    I first learnt to cook at school, and loved it, so took over the cooking in the house for my mum, dad and 3 sisters. It just went from there, i still love it, and finding exciting new recipes is something i love to do x

  • Hugh mclaughlin

    Self taught and learning all the time

  • Ann Gwillim

    My mum was a really good cook so just by watching her I found when I got married that cooking came easily to me.

  • Zoe Goulding

    My mum taught me how to cook, school cooking was hopeless, my mum still give me tips and recipes now

  • Wayne Roberts

    Mum taught me to cook.

  • Hilda Hazel Wright

    I did the occasional baking with my granny, but mostly I learned by finding out what I needed to know as I went along! Now I pick up inspiration from allsorts of places, then look up what I need to know on the internet before deciding how to go about it based on my tastes and requirements!

  • angela sandhu

    I learned to cook from my mum

  • tabbaz

    I taught myself with many mistakes and lots of help from Mrs Beeton. My mother was not around after I was 11 and so I learnt to cook for my father and I

  • Andrea Williams

    I learnt from my mum, at school and doing it for myself.

  • Ben Hitchen

    i just wing it and see what happens. If its half way edible, i consider it a result!

  • Robwhufc

    My Ma taught me the basics, the rest from the telly mainly

  • Suz Brzeski

    i baked with mum when i was a kid and learnt that side of things then, i was always a pretty fussy eater though until i spent the summer abroad when i was 18- my friends mum showed me all of her recipes, and it gave me a lot more confidence and widened my palette… i eat pretty much anything and love experimenting.

  • ashleigh allan

    My mum taught me how to cook!

  • Lila B Taylor

    my mother taught me how to cook

  • Fiona

    Although I try to cook, still have a lot to learn but enjoy the tips on tv cooking shows

  • Compgirl87

    I learned quite a lot from my parents but also from cookbooks and trial/error.

  • Yolanda Davis

    My Mum taught me a lot; the rest I learnt myself.


    I only learned how to cook when I got my 1st house and my now husband taught me lol

  • Lois Eaton

    My mum taught me a little and I learnt a little more at senior school but most came from trial and error when I got my first home.

  • Kumba

    I still haven’t learned, I normally just follow my finance’s instructions :)

  • Helen Kate Greaves

    Through practice.

  • Paul Wilson

    I learned to cook from my Mum.

  • David Clarke

    My mum taught me some and the rest I learned from practise, watching, reading, discussing etc

  • Gale Grant

    I learnt to cook with my mum who always involved us all in preparing meals and is a great cook – lovely nosh is the best incentive.

  • Caroline H

    I taught myself, from recipe books and, later, websites. Mum, *whisper it* isn’t a good cook but does admit she has no interest in it so who knows where my interest comes from.

  • Rachel Eades

    My mum learnt me how to cook xx

  • Jayne Townson

    A little bit at school and the rest I’m picking up as I go along.

  • karen

    my mum mainly let me start helping to cook when i started doing food technology at school

  • herbz

    I learned to cook from loads of different ways and people including my mum, dad, brothers, schools classes and personal experience.

  • SteveComp100

    I learnt from my Mum how to cook the best Sunday Roast. She said it was something that would come in handy, and she wasn’t wrong!

  • Kristy Leanne Brown

    I learnt to cook by been abandoned in the kitchen!

  • carolyn

    I learned to cook from my mum. I was home schooled and we had cookery lessons several times per week.

  • Gemma Brown

    my mum was never any good at cooking (sorry mum) so i bought some cookery books. i love cooking now

  • Edward Guerreiro

    I got some of it from my mum, and more from youtube/online. Also, as i’m always learning, the latter will take a greater proportion of the credit as time goes on.

  • Margaret

    I learned to cook helping mum in the kitchen, then read loads of books and experimented myself

  • emma walters

    interesting answers, i taught myself to cook with the help of recipe books. I wish i was better at it than i am

  • Fiona

    when I met my husband really, learnt loads from him

  • Jo m Welsh

    I learnt some from my mum and some if it is just trial and error and trying differant recipes.

  • Laura Asplin

    My husband taught me to cook, well he is still teaching me! I still have a lot to learn!

  • A Smitherman

    Partly my mum but mostly just by going for it and no it hasnt always worked but thats half the fun! I also dont think you ever really stop learning when it comes to cooking….

  • sian hallewell

    I taught myself to cook, got married at 18. Never much of a food fan, so not something I learnt to do at home, but suddently had to find out how

  • Stephanie Whitehouse,

    I learnd alongside my mother, and then carried on because I love eating

  • Fingers Crossed

    my nan taught me, and she was a cook at windsor castle

  • Susan Ellams

    i just had to learn when i moved out from mum and dads. salads at first !!

  • Donna Towner

    My mum taught me the basics I’ve taught myself from recipe books the rest 😀 i’m not brilliant but i cope

  • Helen Warrener

    i learnt to cook mostly from reading and trying out recipes from mums cook books as she was never a interested cook and once i started secondary school my domestic science teacher was a brilliant inspiration

  • flossiecrossie

    My mum and grandma taught me the basics, school taught me a little more, and the rest has bee self taught through trial and error.

  • Fiona

    my parents taught me

  • Doreen Mccarthy

    I learnt everything from my mum, she was a really good cook, and she taught me to always make the food really flavoursome

  • Charlotte Hood

    I basically followed recipe books and made it up as I went along. If I had any problems I’d phone my mum!

  • Maria Taylor

    I learnt some things from my Mum, she was a very basic cook though, I learnt more exotic recipes from TV and recipe books

  • Eva Appleby-Gill

    Mostly from cookery books x

  • Laura Jayne Bates

    from watching cookery programmes and the internet

  • Paul Walsh

    I am still learning. My mum taught me quite a bit but I seemed to have forgotten most of it so having to relearn everything.

  • Lyla

    I learned to cook through trial and error because mum wasn’t into cooking. My childhood meals were mostly out of packets and tins

  • Mary Chez

    My aunt taught me how to cook

  • Harley Richardson

    My mum taught me!

  • Kate Jones

    My gran taught me to cook. She’s a chef and I would always help her in the kitchen

  • Teresa Lee

    My Mum mainly, but I also learned lots from my Gran and Aunties

  • JamieLMDJs

    My mum was the WORST cook. Her speciality was burning – BOILED POTATOES. She’d literally over-boil them for so long that all the water evaporated and they burned to the bottom of the pot in a black mess.
    This meant I had to teach myself to cook if I wanted to eat something worth eating. When I moved away to Uni at 17 I had to full time fend for myself. While most of the other students in the communal kitchen were microwaving ready meals, or oven chips/pizza in the oven, I was knocking together spag bol from scratch or conjuring up a full roast dinner.

  • Kat Lucas

    My dad and grandmother taught me to cook and it was everything from scratch.

  • Jan Taylor

    My mum taught me to make scrambled eggs when I was little. I’ve never stopped cooking since.

  • Karl Foxley

    I am self taught and it has been an interesting journey. I originally followed recipes to the word but now I have the confidence to experiment with my cooking.

  • Angela Wilcox

    my mum taught me to bake and cook basic things, but it was only when I met my husband I learned to cook more complicated things as he enjoyed cooking

  • Lucy Pasifull

    I learned to cook by watching my mum.

  • jane templeman

    at school

  • Pete Cleasby

    learnt to cook by myself as I went along, some mistakes and some successes

  • Lance Bellers

    Started doing the Sunday roast, now getting more adventurous with recipes from Waitrose magazine etc

  • Samantha Atherton

    I learnt the basics from my Mum and then when I left home followed recipes I found online & magazines.

  • Angela Louise

    My mum taught me and i picked up the rest myself xx

  • Martina Pichova

    I learnt from cookery books in my early 20s

  • ✰★ღ Kayleigh ✰★ღ

    I learnt from my dad

  • Kevin Cozens

    I still can’t cook, but I just bung a load of veg in the steamer, and it comes out wonderful :)

  • Angie Hoggett

    we had lessons at school but I cooked more with my mum

  • Kate Kathurima

    I learnt at college years ago

  • Grace

    I learned to cook through watching a lot of cookery shows and trial and error, slowly but surely gaining confidence.

  • Laura Pritchard

    I learned to cook (kind of!) from watching my mum but I’m not inventive or creative at all – I have 5 or 6 recipes I can do by rote & anything else needs a very clear recipe!

  • Christine Caple

    I learnt a little from my mum, some from books, and the rest I just picked up as I went along.

  • Claire Woods

    A little from my mum but mostly just tried on my own.


    I learnt some from my mum, but our kitchen was tiny so that was ltd, a bit from school but lessons were short so it tended to be things like fairy cakes and a bit from TV. I think because my Mum and grandmas cooked from scratch it was a question of attitude, kind of “obviously you’ll be cooking diner” and that gave me the confidence to try, and keep on trying, until I mastered it.

  • i learn from my mum and at school

  • Rebekah Weeks

    At school and from family

  • Dave Edwards

    a lot of trial and (mostly) error

  • Amanda

    I learned from friends, magazine recipes and trial and error by experimenting.

  • Hi Jamie, this is probably one of the most entertaining responses we’ve had, haha. Burning boiled potatoes… Brilliant.

  • I’m in the same boat as you. I’m jealous of the creative cooking types :(

  • Maybe they should teach people in schools how to cook Sunday roasts? Yummy. We’d be a nation full of children cooking our Sunday dinners.

  • JamieLMDJs

    Always funnier when it’s true!
    I remember going home at Christmas after the first term at Uni and the first thing my brother and sister said when I walked in the door? Not – Hello Jamie. Not – Good to see you. It was – ‘can you cook the dinner tonight’

  • Haha. I can see you were the designated family cook then!

  • JamieLMDJs

    They just get that luxury at Christmas now.

  • thriftymum

    The basics from recipes but the rest by just a bit of experimentation

  • Rahat Hanif

    I learnt to cook by mum and trying stuff myself.

  • jodie wren

    I learnt to cook from my mum mostly, although my dad taught me how to make bread and at school we did a hotpot and sandwiches – i still remember those lessons!

  • Tamsin Dean

    I just watched people like my mum and grandma

  • Jenny Brady

    I learned to cook partly from my mum and partly by using cookbooks and food magazines myself.

  • Rachael Medley

    I have spent a small fortune on cooking magazines learning to cook as no one else in my family have the skills!

  • Dawn Henson

    My mum taught me to cook and bake. I loved her food and I hope mine tastes as good!

  • Becky John

    My gran taught me

  • Emily CD

    I was cooking from a very young age with my mum. Always used to get involved doing little odd jobs and loved looking through recipes for something new to try. EJ Dunn

  • Emma Gallagher

    I learned to cook at School – We had compulsory Home Economics classes circa 1982!

  • Sheila Reeves

    I learned from a combination of my mum, school and picking up naturally

  • Kim Styles

    I Learnt to cook through a combination of a hateful cookery class at school where I was left crying into my pastry by a harsh cookery teacher, and being lovingly taught by my mum who was and is a wonderful homely cook . I love baking and cooking hearty meals for my growing family

  • LetsTryThis

    I learned to cook by experimenting with recipes.

  • Kerry bennett

    I learnt from my dad

  • Jennifer Deavall

    My mother and Home Economics at school

  • Kerry Lethbridge

    I taught myself to cook I watched a lot of cookery shows in my teenage years and experimented a lot with herbs and spices.

  • Karen Was-Verrell Holden

    By trial and error – mainly by following other peoples recipe ideas and trying to recreate them myself.

  • Anthea Holloway

    I learned to cook from my mother because our cookery lessons at school were woefully lacking and all we every learned to make was a cheese and mashed potato mess!

  • angie thompson

    My mam learned me how to cook everyday meals, the rest I learnt by trial and error!

  • Kate Deakin

    I learned to cook from books as my mum thought pot noodle was a good tea. Nowadays I use the internet but I think I’m a good cook – trial and error and all that.

  • Kirsty Woods

    From cook books

  • snarepuss

    My mum taught me to cook :)

  • Annette Benjamin

    I learnt to cook from watching my Mum and step-mum, but things really took off when I went to uni.

  • stewart biddle

    My wife taught me before she came along the best i could do was pasta bake!

  • tracey gwynne

    I stood at the draining board and watched my mum. Everything from suet puddings, roasts even wedding cakes…amazing what you pick up sub conciously

  • James Travis

    With my Mum and at school

  • Paulina

    Was always on the phone to my mum while cooking and from one thing to another i became master in kitchen

  • I learned through you tube videos and just trying stuff out

  • Kat Glynn

    I taught myself to cook and bake. Trial and error method :)

  • Rebecca Hodson

    Both my brother and I spent time in the kitchen cooking ‘treats’ with mom when we were young, however I really started learning to cook meals when I became vegetarian aged 12. I had a few recipe books, but I mainly learned through experimentation.

  • Sarah Davison

    I taught myself…a bit of trial and error but just mainly following recipes

  • alice lightning

    I learned to cook by mum and my gran also we always watched a lot of cooking programmes like delia and fanny great inspirations and easy to follow

  • elizabeth woodhams

    we had proper cookery lessons at school, a full afternoon every week

  • sarah price

    my mum and gran learnt me how to cook xx

  • Lucy Caton

    I used to use recipe books, now I like to watch cooking programmes and have the confidence to experiment a bit.

  • yclark

    i learnt to cook both at school and at home from my mum

  • Claire Barker

    My Mum taught me how not to cook really, so she was pleased when I was old enough to lend a hand.

  • anneka hulse

    my mum and grandma learned me how to cook

  • Alex Brownlee

    i learnt to cook at school in Food Tech lessons

  • Monika

    my mum taught me from the young age and when i got older I used internet for most part

  • Jayne K

    Domestic Science lessons at boarding school. Made all the different types of pastry from scratch etc.

  • K Alman

    learned to cook from my mom and cookbooks

  • Kevin Carnes

    My Gran taught me to cook

  • Emma H

    Cook books and later google

  • Janet Rumley

    Mum taught me the basics and we also had lessons at school

  • Kelandab

    I taught myself to cook and have improved drastically over the years

    Kelly Ellen Hirst

  • Kirsten Barthy

    I helped my Mum while growing up and picked up my cooking skills that way

  • Happy Homebird

    My ex boyfriend showed me the basics and the rest I picked up as I went along.
    (sam fernley)

  • Nikki Stewart

    I am the eldest of 6 children so was always helping my mum when I was younger and I learnt to cook that way x

  • Lyndsey Beckford

    My mum taught me some and the rest I picked up on my own.

  • lee preston

    I think (I know) that I suck at cooking! But I’m a tryer 😉

  • Susan Trubey

    The internet is a great teacher

  • Erica Price

    I picked it up along the way including TV

  • sarahfleck

    I learnt by watching and helping my aunt and mum. the rest i make up as i go

  • Val burman

    My mother taught me, then I took domestic science lessons at school

  • Terri d

    my mom and nan taught me to cook xx

  • Jayne Debra

    My other half n kids will prob tell you I’m still learning!! haha. I learned by just having a go – my mum was not much of a cooker but I did used to help her bake at Christmas!

  • Claire Wilkinson

    my mum, nanna and grandpa taught me how to cook x

  • George Worboys Wright

    I learnt to cook out of necessity but then realised I enjoyed it!

  • Robert Price

    Watching my partner

  • gareth bennett

    I was self taught. I moved out of my mums when I was 19 and pretty much had to figure it out. I don’t think I do too badly at it these days.

  • Sam B

    My mum and nana taught me how to cook x

  • pam Lawrence

    My grandmother was a cook in service, and I learned her recipes as I learned her stories, and for me they are still remembered entwined. I did C&G 706/1 at catering college because I always loved food and cooking, and still watch all the programmes on TV around food, cooking and eating (although these days I also watch programmes on dieting too, probably because of all the others!!!!), and look at recipes, and invent and experiment pretty much daily!

  • Chloe Bailey

    I learnt from books and guesswork as wasn’t close to my mum

  • jackie lyon

    I learnt at school with the added advice from my Mum

  • Spencer Wright

    My mum was ill & my day worked away from home, so both my brother & myself taught ourselves to cook & run the house when we were about 11-12. Can’t live on crisps & sandwich spread!

  • juliebooth

    My grandma taught me to cook as my mum was too ill

  • Penelope Hannibal

    How learnt to cook roast dinners & very basic meals from my Mum & I used cookbooks to make more complicated meals. From there I taught myself with trial & error. :)

  • emmasfabulous

    Trial and error! Mostly TV shows :)

  • ♫ Alison M ♪

    My mum taught me then I used books

  • LucyDorrington

    I learned to cook by trial and error! Some of my early efforts were hilarious!

  • Gemma Chantler

    Helped my mum when I was growing up and learnt from her.

  • yasmine

    My next door neighbour she got me interested in cooking. Did lots of baking together

  • Karen Howden

    from my grandmother

  • Yastar

    My mother in law taught me how to cook…I love to cook and almost always cook from scratch.

  • Kittenpal1

    I learned at school. My mother is a great cook but never had the time to teach us. I am still very basic!

  • Sharon Beaman

    I learned to cook at school, my mum taught me, recipe books.