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Cooking In Quarantine: Chefs Go Digital With Their Demos

Cooking In Quarantine: Chefs Go Digital With Their Demos

With restaurant seating closed and all the time in the world to be home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s kind of the perfect moment to take your cooking chops to the next level. Chefs around the globe are taking their recipes and masterclasses digital, and you can learn all their secrets directly from your kitchen. 

Whether you’ve always wanted to learn how to make your own pasta, or want to have a virtual girls' night with friends, here are some of your favorite kitchen kings and queens that you can learn from: 

Nonna Nerina

Okay this one’s special because you’ve probably never heard of her. This 84-year-old Italian grandmother decided to pass along her secrets since her entire country’s in lockdown. Although Nonna Nerina usually runs pasta-making workshops in the Italian countryside, she’s now  gone (with help from her granddaughter) since her students can’t come to her. 

You can book a live two-hour pasta masterclass  and learn Nerina’s family recipes with basic ingredients from a shopping list she’ll send out a week before. 


Antoni Porowski

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.


Thomas Keller 

Thomas Keller is the legendary chef behind The French Laundry and Per Se, two of the best restaurants in America. You can learn from this icon via Masterclass, an online education site where he has two courses. The first is a 36-lesson class where you learn classic cooking techniques and recipes for glazed carrots, poached eggs, gnocchi and more. His second 22-lesson class has lessons on fried chicken, braising meat and more. Each class is available for $90 or as a part of a $15 per month all-access Masterclass pass.

Mathew Migliore

The executive sous chef at 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, all dietary restrictions, a list (or picture) of the ingredients you’d like to use, how many people will be eating/the serving size needed, and the meal option you're choosing.

There are three different options 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. 


The New York Times Cooking Youtube Channel

If you want to learn how to make pasta, rice and other dishes from The New York Times cooking team, the section's YouTube channel has helpful and entertaining videos. In addition to practical tips like one-pan dinners, there are also playful tutorials on “Harry Potter”-inspired desserts and how to make Internet-famous foods.


Michael Symon

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, sesame-roasted chicken with bean puree. 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.


Julia Turshen

Instagram direct-message Julia Turshen the contents of your fridge and pantry and she’ll share ideas for what to make with them for free. (She’s saved all of her tips so far to her Instagram Stories, so you can see the ideas she’s already shared for cooking with rutabagas, bok choy, and even chestnut cream.) She’s also leading a live daily food-writing course on Instagram, for kids and adults, every weekday at 2 p.m. EST.


Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray has shared a demo for chicken pot pie, as well as breaded and baked halibut/chicken. In the chicken pot pie video, she says, "Learning how to cook for yourself and the people that you care about improves your self esteem, it gives you focus, it gives you a place of center. It's calming, and it's nourishing, way beyond the food. It really is magic when you cook."


Binging with Babish

You can cook like you’re on a TV show by watching the YouTube series Binging With Babish. Pop culture dishes like the Turf 'n' Turf from "Parks and Recreation" or the famous "Spongebob Squarepants" Krabby Patty are among the recipes on this channel. The channel also has practical basic recipes like ones for cornbread, French onion soup and chili.


Tyler Florence

Tyler Florence shared a "livestream cook-a-long" on YouTube, as well as on his Instagram account. The video works through a two-course meal of roasted root salad with balsamic, citrus and arugula, as well as mushroom chicken marsala with Parmesan polenta.


Massimo Bottura

Massimo Bottura, chef of the three-Michelin-star Osteria Francescana, is teaching free live “Kitchen Quarantine” cooking classes on his Instagram daily at 8 p.m. CET (that’s 3 p.m. EST) with his family in tow.


Murray’s Cheese 

New York’s famous cheese shop will be offering virtual classes in the meantime until they reopen their in-person workshops. According to the website, you’ll get a shipment of four cheeses and pairing items when you sign up, as well as a personalized pairing guide. Pricing and times are available on Eventbrite.


New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI)

NOCHI has started offering virtual classes in a series called "Cooking in Quarantine." On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5p.m. CT, a chef will be available through Zoom to help you cook, answer questions, and more. You can register through the website—pricing is based on a pay-what-you-can donation system.


(curated from lists by Food and Wine, Daily Meal, and Food52)

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