Celebrity Chefs Offer Online Demos to Help Us Work on Our Cooking Skills While We're at Home
As people stay home to #flattenthecurve and prevent the spread of coronavirus, several chefs and industry professionals have found a way to engage with social-distancing viewers via virtual classes.
Some, like Massimo Bottura and Antoni Porowski, have been posting videos with guided cooking demonstrations and helpful tips for viewers looking to make the most of pantry ingredients. Some of the demos will cost you, but for a good cause—Sean Brock is offering paid virtual classes so he can continue to support his staff as restaurants are forced to close.
If you're spending more time than usual in the kitchen, check out these short cooking demos and get cooking.
The Queer Eye star and cookbook author has started a mini-series of lessons called “Quar Eye: Cooking Lessons in Quarantine” on his Instagram page. The idea is based on “preparing good food that’s good for us, and that makes us feel good,” using ingredients that you likely already have. In the first episode, Porowski talks about how he wanted to make huevos rancheros, but couldn't get all of the ingredients—so he pivoted and made an omelet served with black bean salsa. Other meals demo’d so far have been "zoodles" with meat sauce and spinach, salmon and squash, chicken strips, and more.
Giada De Laurentiis, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Valerie Bertinelli
Giada De Laurentiis, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Valerie Bertinelli hosted a "progressive dinner party" on Instagram, where they each filmed a demo cooking a different dish. De Laurentiis made aglio e olio pasta with bacon, Guarnaschelli made chicken thighs with peppered carrots and onions, and Bertinelli made a warm kale caesar.
Jewish Food Society
Last week, the Jewish Food Society announced “Tradish,” a series of pantry-forward cooking demos, step-by-step videos, new recipes, and more in the hopes of providing comfort during unsettling times. So far, the Society’s culinary director, Arielle Nir Mamiye, has signed on to demo her family’s recipe for Moroccan harira soup, and program director Amanda Dell highlighted paprika potatoes. Baker and pastry chef Zoe Kanan also walked viewers through her go-to challah recipe. You can find the stories saved on the Jewish Food Society’s profile. The Society encourages viewers to reach out to older relatives and ask them what they ate growing up.
“Our goal is that Jewish Food Society can be a place where our community can sparkle and be a beacon of hope and understanding. We look forward to staying connected and hearing all about your #Tradish,” the post says.
The Food & Wine Best New Chef is starting a series of live demos on Instagram called "Eat Clean While Quarantined." Each day, he'll post a recipe—the first is a chorizo and white bean stew with charred shrimp—with the ingredients listed, and then, viewers can follow along on Instagram live.
Lena Sareini, pastry chef at Selden Standard in Detroit, shared a tutorial for easy homemade sourdough on YouTube. She's joined by her brother, Ali, who's never baked bread before.
The Osteria Francescana chef has been streaming live episodes of #kitchenquarantine on his Instagram account. Bottura has also been sharing feed posts for refreshers, such as the prep for “Charlie’s favorite chocolate sauce,” and Q&A sessions where he answers cooking questions from viewers. He makes a point to note in one of those sessions that these lessons are not master classes, but rather demos of fun dishes you can cook at home. Meals so far have included “everything mac and cheese” and a Japanese soup from Taka (the sous chef at Osteria Francescana).
The chef behind Madre in New York City has launched a "chef on demand" program, where he will act as a virtual consultant to create dishes for you using the ingredients you have at home. Here’s how it works: you can contact Migliore via email or Instagram—if using e-mail, the subject line should be “At Home Chef Consultant.” Provide your preferred form of contact, a list (or picture) of your pantry ingredients you’d like to use, how many people will be eating, your level of experience and available equipment, as well as dietary restrictions.
There are three different packages available: $15 for one meal (one entrée and one appetizer), $25 for two meals (two entrées and one appetizer), and $40 for three meals (three entrees and two appetizers). You’ll be asked for a 50 percent deposit for the consultation, and then, once confirmed, the consultation will get started.
In addition to posting on his own account, the chef has been hosting live cooking demos on Food Network’s Facebook page every night. The #SymonDinners, as they’re called, have so far included meals like pork chops and black beans, lentil stew, and recently, “pick a meat chili.” Symon is available to answer questions from viewers during the live sessions.
“Going to do this every day, keep getting us through, keep cooking, keep using up what’s in the pantry, answer as many questions as we can, keep a little bit of normalcy in our life so we can get food on the table for everyone,” he said at the beginning of the lentil stew episode.
On Instagram, Brock posted that he would be offering virtual cooking classes from his home. Viewers can work with him to decide what they want to learn, and then cook with him via FaceTime. All proceeds will go toward paying Brock’s staff at Audrey in Nashville and also Joyland, whose opening was put on hold. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
A Venmo account has also been set up to help the staff.
Beyond individual chefs and cooks, some businesses are now offering virtual classes and guided tastings as well.
The week of March 23, the Sonoma winemaker will launch a series of virtual wine tastings called “At Home with Kendall-Jackson,” which will be available on the brand’s Instagram and Facebook profiles. One video already went up on March 20 featuring Randy Ullom, Kendall-Jackson’s Winemaster, who led a tasting through Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
New York’s famous cheese shop has decided to suspend classes and education for “at least two weeks” starting on March 16; however, it will be offering virtual classes in the meantime. According to the website, when you sign up, you’ll get a shipment of four cheeses and pairing items, as well as a personalized pairing guide. Pricing and times are available on Eventbrite.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.