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The world’s best chefs, at your fingertips

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Popular chefs are using their restaurant downtime and this lockdown to share recipes and videos from their kitchens on social media.  

Need inspiration in the kitchen and have time on your hands? You have the world at your fingertips; or more specifically, some of the best chefs in the world.

Their restaurants are closed and they are on lockdown too, so chefs worldwide are turning to Instagram and other social media platforms to inspire people to take interest in cooking while staying safe at home. Celebrity chefs have turned their kitchens into virtual classrooms, sharing recipes, showing how to cook and plate, answering cooking questions, and even doing tours of their homes and giving you a glimpse of their family lives. All free.

Even if you don’t want to cook or replicate their recipes, there’s much joy in watching the Bottura family cook together or listening to chef and actor Antoni Porowski reading the daily news with a glass of wine. Some of the videos, of stock simmering, of dough getting kneaded and bread baking, are just ASMR.

Here we choose some of our favourite online classes.

Kitchen Quarantine with Massimo Bottura

Regarded as one of the best chefs in the world, Massimo Bottura launched a live cooking show on Instagram called Kitchen Quarantine’. It involves his whole family, and invites people into their kitchen to watch them prepare the family dinner.

Every night at 8pm CET, they prepare dishes like bechamel, salad and meat, Japanese soup, spicy Thai green curry, salad and boiled meat, and tortellini in panna (cream). The videos are in Italian but an English translation is provided. Bottura even shows videos of how he prepares for the dishes, and answers viewers’ questions.

Quar Eye with Antoni Porowski

Quar Eye star, and chef Antoni Porowski is sharing recipes to make while quarantined, in a series called ‘Quar Eye’. There are recipes for Parmaggedon – a ‘healthyish’ chicken parm; Farro-Way from Others Bowl – a farro, chicken and sweet potato bowl ‘made 6+ feet away from everybody else’, and Lost Track of the Date – turkey meatballs with tiny bits of dates. The recipes are fun and he employs a waste-free, use-everything approach to cooking. If for nothing else, follow him for the creative names!

Cooking with kids, with Padma Lakshmi

Host of Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi, is sharing advice and videos on how to cook with kids, alongside tips on shopping and stocking the pantry: ‘stock up on frozen vegetables and shelf-stable items that provide protein, but last longer than a steak or more costly items’. Dishes include turning leftovers into soup, Chipotle Chicken, black-eyed peas with polenta, and Sweet & Sour Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes. She shares the videos on Instagram and the recipes on her website.

Keep Cooking and Carry On, with Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver is shooting his cooking show, Keep Cooking and Carry On, from his home in Essex; his wife Jools films the videos on her phone. The show offers simple recipes and cooking tips to viewers at home during this pandemic. The episodes screen on Channel 4 in UK, but he also shares some videos on Instagram, and Facebook. The dishes are simple, including making tagliatelle from flour and water using tinned tomatoes and garlic to make a simple sauce, soda bread, cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese, flourless cakes, and a sauce that can be frozen.

Recipe of the Day, with Nigella Lawson

British cooking show host and writer, Nigella Lawson’s Instagram page offers a recipe idea every day for at-home cooks. Her #recipeoftheday series has Thai-inspired chicken noodle soup, chocolate pudding, chickpeas with arugula and sherry, chocolate-topped banana cake, minestrone, Mexican lasagna, and scones. The recipes are straightforward and diverse, sourced from various cuisines and chefs.

The Baking Club with Christina Tosi

The chef and founder of Milk Bar, Christina Tosi, launched an Instagram Live series in which she leads a baking class daily, at 2pm EST. She shares the ingredient list a day earlier, and then goes live the next day creating something out of it. There are recipes for cut-out cookies (using just five ingredients but with her own twist, carrot juice, and cola infused glazes), oat bars, and meringues. She also welcomes suggestions on what to bake.

At home with Geoffrey Zakarian

New York celebrity chef (star of Chopped) and restaurateur, Geoffrey Zakarian is cooking daily on his Instagram account under the hashtag #athomewithgz. He shares videos, and recipes for simple dishes like scrambled eggs, tuna salad sandwiches, and guacamole. His tutorials are useful in a way that they emphasise maximizing the minimal, like- five tips for boiling an egg.