FAQs

What is a Livery Company?
Livery Companies were established in the Middle Ages as trade guilds, whose members enjoyed a common trade or craft grouped together into societies for mutual protection. These guilds made provision for the poor, sick, and needy in their communities, as well as promoted the interests of their crafts, including: apprenticeship; trade control; working conditions; and, welfare. Their members - known as ‘freemen’ - enjoyed certain rights and privileges both in trade and in the governance of the City of London, given that they all qualified for the ‘freedom of the City’. The term ‘livery’ referred to the clothing or uniform worn by freemen to denote their particular trade or profession. Livery Companies are still formed today, reflecting modern trades and professions.

What do Livery Companies do - how do they contribute to society?
The short answer is a lot; not least, £40M annually to charitable causes, and some £800M annually if you included all the pro bono work and volunteering. For a more detailed answer click on the two adjacent booklets for information.

What is the Worshipful Company of Cooks role today?
The Company has three principle roles today: charitable activity; support to the catering trade; and, fellowship to bring them about.  The Company is also proud to support the City of London. These activities are largely undertaken through two committees:

• The Charity Committee
• The Assistance of Cookery Committee

What type of grants do you make?
The restriction of charitable money means that the Company can usually only support applications pertinent to catering-related projects or projects associated with the City of London. Our charitable objectives - the ‘tests’ for granting money - are guided by these two rules:

• The advancement of the education and general welfare of persons who are associated with the catering trade.
• The support of any charitable purpose associated with the City of London.

How do I apply for such help?
Applications for support should be addressed to the Chairman of the Charity Committee or the Chairman of the Assistance of Cookery Committee c/o the Clerk (see Contact Us) and include full details of the project, the amount of support required, and reasons why an approach is being made to the Worshipful Company of Cooks.

Do you make grants to individuals?
We have limited funds to make grants to individuals for approved catering courses or projects. They must be prepared to attend an interview.

Do you make grants to institutions for installing or refurbishing kitchens?
Grants of this specific type are only made if the charities are personally sponsored by a member of the Court. The member must personally know the organisation making the application.

Who may join the Worshipful Company of Cooks?
An applicant for the Freedom of the Company must be proposed and seconded by two members of the Court, who know him or her personally. Applicants must be over twenty one and normally under fifty years old, and they should have some connection with catering and/or the City.

What does the Cooks’ motto mean?
The Cooks’ motto is: Vulnerati non Victi
This translates (tolerably) as: ‘Wounded not Conquered’