Star Cooking: 7 Online Classes to Sharpen Your Skills
You may not be able to dine at your favorite restaurants right now, but you can sate your culinary appetite online thanks to these expert chefs—and a top-secret recipe
Spending all your time at home inevitably means devoting a great deal of it to the kitchen. As Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura has remarked of being in lockdown, “You rediscover old books, old records, and the pleasure of cooking.” For many of us, rediscovering that pleasure has meant going virtual: according to YouTube, views for online cooking classes have increased by 45 percent.
Bottura, head of the famous Osteria Francescana restaurant in Modena, Italy, is part of that trend. He hosts Kitchen Quarantine, cooking demonstrations on Instagram TV that have been streamed hundreds of thousands of times. And he’s not alone: a feast of culinary tips can currently be found online thanks to celebrity chefs, cooking schools, and even brands. Get a taste of some of the best, here.
Cook Along with Celebrity Chefs
Perhaps best known as the food guru on Netflix’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Porowski has headed to Instagram to share Quar Eye: Cooking Lessons in Quarantine. His video series promises to help its more than one million viewers prepare “food that’s good for us and makes us feel good.” Fan-favorite installments include “Meet Less Mondays” and “Let Me Outside Leftovers,” where he crafts dishes using everyday ingredients you’re sure to have in your pantry.
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Rucker, chef and co-owner of beloved Portland restaurants Le Pigeon and Canard, has also turned to Instagram with Cookin’ with the Ruckers—live-streamed lessons that share easy family recipes, while involving his wife and kids. In shows aired three times a week, he combines his toddlers’ enthusiasm with his own excellent cooking to create simple, delicious meals such as miso cod rice bowls. A mouth-watering line-up of dishes is to come, including the signature steamed burgers at Canard.
Everyone’s favorite fiery chef devised the concept for his new YouTube cooking show, Ramsay in 10, long before lockdown. But its premise—Ramsay and his celebrity chef friends show you how to create great dishes in under 10 minutes—couldn’t be better for nights when you want the ease of take-out, without even having to order in. With recipes like gourmet ramen and shrimp scampi on the cards, there’s a lot to like about the lightning-fast episodes.
If that leaves you wanting to learn more of Ramsay’s culinary tricks, sign up to Masterclass. Here he teaches knife skills, shares presentation tips and takes you through a range of recipes—including his famous elevated scrambled eggs.
While the Barefoot Contessa’s offering may not strictly be a cooking class, it’s definitely worth an honorable mention. In a must-see Instagram video (created at 9:30am on a recent Wednesday morning) Garten talks her followers through her “favorite tradition”: cocktail hour. A delightful few minutes ensue as she makes a larger-than-life cosmopolitan—using “good vodka,” of course—and serves it in an enormous Martini glass. “It’s always cocktail hour in a crisis!” she says, providing reasoning that’s virtually impossible to argue with.
Try a Serving of Top Online Classes
The Chef & The Dish
Thanks to its private, one-to-one online lessons from chefs around the world, Forbes has called The Chef & The Dish “more than just a cooking class—it’s virtual travel.” Book your class and you’ll receive personalized demonstrations and coaching via video call, giving you a virtual seat at the table with a pasta expert in Tuscany or pad thai pro in Bangkok. With a limit of two people per class, the sessions are perfect for a date night from home.
A collective of chefs, bakers, pastry makers, and sommeliers, Fēst offers guided, live video classes with a focus on helping to improve your culinary techniques. Sign up to receive video calls, and an expert will guide you and your family through every step of creating and plating an amazing dish. The most recent addition to their class line-up is “What’s in Your Fridge?”. Simply email them a photo of the ingredients you have, and a chef or baker will design your recipe ahead of time. During lockdown, Fēst will also be donating 100 percent of its profits to the Food Bank of New York City.
Tolosa Winery’s Virtual Wine Tastings
Why not round off the great meals you’ve learned to cook with an excellent selection of wine? California-based Tolosa Winery has launched Tasting Tuesdays, virtual wine tastings held on both Instagram Live and Zoom. Each week’s wine selection is posted on social media, giving you the chance to order a bottle ahead of time. If you can’t make the scheduled classes, or would prefer a one-to-one experience, private classes are available to book too.
Whip Up a Super-Simple Secret Recipe
Florida‘s Walt Disney World has a reputation to uphold as the happiest place on earth. So, while its gates are temporarily shut, it’s bringing joy to your kitchen instead, with the release of its famous Dole Whip recipe. The frozen pineapple treat needs just three ingredients: a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, half a cup of pineapple juice and two cups of frozen pineapple. Simply add everything to a blender, pulse until super smooth, and then squeeze the mixture out of a star-tipped piping bag to recreate the iconic Disney swirl.
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