How coronavirus is elevating our our cooking habits: The lockdown is creating an army of amateur chefs says LEE BOYCE, food subscription box sales are booming - and we're wasting less

I am the chef of the house anyway, batch making meals for my young daughter and baking healthy(ish) snacks – but this has been a different style of cooking. If there is a new series of Masterchef, where contestants have to scratch around in cupboards and go elbow deep into freezers to whip up a hearty meal, I'm applying. One positive, I feel, from this devastating coronavirus pandemic, is the willingness for more people to get in the kitchen to cook and adapt recipes for the ingredients they have knocking around.   Perhaps it is a combination of having more time, wanting to learn a new skill or to stop relying on convenience food as much. Research this week suggests people are spending more time cooking, widening their cookery repertoire and even enjoying it. The reliance on convenience appears to have abated somewhat.  People may be waking up to the notion that they're not as useless in the kitchen as they kept telling themselves. All it takes is some cubed chicken, good quality breadcrumbs, a touch of pepper and turmeric, and bosh, in they go - sorry to sound a bit Joe Wicks there. Essentially, you pay a weekly amount and a box turns up on your door with all of the ingredients, measured out, to make an array of tasty fresh dishes. On the portion aspect, it's not a bad thing to have the right amount of food rather than going back for that second helping - both for our waistline and bin. Gousto itself is not taking on new customers – along with an array of subscription services, from the milkman to wine deliveries, who simply can't keep up with the surging demand.  A friend, who lives by himself and has been a Gousto advocate for years, told me recently that in his postcode, he is usually one of five deliveries on a Friday. If it manages to keep that same level of custom across the country, its growth is likely to have been stratospheric.  Gousto raised £33million from investors this week, including Joe Wicks. Gousto says it was a 'tough decision' to stop accepting new customers, but that it's working to increase capacity soon and opening another factory in Lincolnshire later this year. Hiring has already started for around 100 roles at the company's existing facility in Spalding.  It plans to fill around 400 roles within the next four months across teams in Spalding and its HQ in London, with an aim of increasing headcount by more than 700 by 2022  Gousto saw revenue grow 70 per cent annually in the first quarter, with more than 4million meals delivered to 380,000 UK households monthly - again, this is before coronavirus bit. It claims that its focus on data, artificial intelligence and automation set it on course to have put over 400 million meals on tables by 2025. Founder Timo Boldt tells me: 'We continue to be laser-focused on our vision to become the UK's most-loved way to eat dinner.' As a result, two fifths enjoy cooking more now than they did before with 89 per cent vowing to continue making food from scratch once the restrictions are lifted. It also emerged that of those with children at home, 40 per cent said their youngsters have shown an interest in cooking during the lockdown.