Independent candidate Ian Cook has been at Mulgrave local for a lifetime; his children were born there.

Cook ran a local catering business, ‘I Cook Foods’, that was shut down by the Health Department in 2019 after a listeria outbreak. He has made several allegations about why the business was shut in an alleged scandal dubbed ‘SlugGate’ by the media, so named over a slug found in an inspection of the business premises that Cook claimed was planted.

He was vindicated when the Supreme Court former chief health officer Brett Sutton was found to have unfairly shut down a Melbourne catering business recently. Ian and Ben Cook walked tearfully out of the Supreme Court on Monday, November 13. Cook, who contested Mulgrave at the 2022, finished second on first preferences but fell well short of victory.

“My previous business, Cook Foods, was located in Dandenong. Between my business, my family and many friendships, I have had close ties to this community for decades, especially the Greek community.” While operating I Cook Foods, we also provided services for Meals on Wheels, both in Mulgrave and across Victoria. He said that this led him to develop a “new food technology out of respect” for older people so that their meals, which needed to be pureed, “would taste good and look appealing, and allow them to dine with dignity.”

According to Cook, Greek community elders in Malgrave have built a strong foundation for their children and grandchildren and must be respected.” It’s important to me that the Greeks, the elders who helped to build the society we now live in -their families and the up-and-coming generation in the area, are treated are not ignored by mainstream politicians.”

Cook said that as a family man and small businessman, he knows how “difficult it is to provide for our families and manage the increasing cost of living.”He said that unfair state government taxes on properties undermine the Greek community’s endeavours for their children and grandchildren.” Keeping jobs, businesses and sole traders going is very important in Mulgrave, an electorate rich in cultural diversity and the many small businesses that are the backbone of this electorate and the state.