A number of culinary superstars are stepping up their social media game to not only keep busy and sane, but also educate their followers on how to make do on the food front during these challenging times. Through cooking clubs, live tutorials, and recipe suggestions that make the most of limited fridge and pantry options, these celebrity chefs are converting their Instagram accounts into indispensable cooking resources. Below you’ll find our favorite accounts from familiar food world favorites that are absolute must-follows during the coronavirus quarantine.
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This Modena native and three-Michelin-star recipient is uniquely positioned (literally) to lift your spirits right now. His cheerful ongoing “Kitchen Quarantine” series consists of live videos (posted at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT) from the epicenter of one of the world’s major outbreak hotspots. Along with easy-to-follow cooking demonstrations, the exceedingly affable chef keeps busy by engaging in Q&As with hungry fans. Thankfully fluency in Italian is not required—his daughter/director offers English narration.
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From tips on how to easily regrow the green shoots of scallions to the best way to freeze a large batch of rice to the merits of saving your bacon grease, turn to David Chang’s IG, especially if you’re within a stone’s throw of a well-stocked Asian grocery store. Family is a key ingredient for the Momofuku maven. Teaching his 1-year-old son how to appreciate new food is a helpful guide for new parents, for starters. But his mother and grandmother’s cost-cutting kitchen hacks are useful for everyone.
Head to Michael Symon’s Instagram for quarantine-friendly recipes that probably pre-date your own isolation period. Many of the Iron Chef’s creations are one sheet, one pot, or one pan for those of you already fatigued from spending a ton of time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. He’s even looking out for the vegans out there with a Mac & “Cheese” with zero dairy but plenty of flavor.
Earlier this week, Jamie Oliver premiered “Keep Cooking and Carry On” on Channel 4 in the UK. For those who don’t have access to the series which navigates the complexities of a COVID-19 kitchen, we suggest turning to the British cooking sensation’s Instagram where you’ll find recaps and links to “easy” recipes for homemade bread, carbonara and much more.
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Ina Garten is the undisputed grand doyenne of simple yet elevated home cooking. Her most recent IG posts have centered on hacks of her own recipes along with a side of kitchen organizing tips. Best of all, the Barefoot Contessa is interacting with her followers so if you seek expert cooking advice or just want to check in on Jeffrey, chime in with a comment.
Richard Blais serves up a dollop of gallows humor with his “One Pot Apocalypse” posts which feature his ideas for cheats and shortcuts during the quarantine. Though his creations don’t exactly fall into the try-this-at-home category, it’s certainly amusing to find out how a “Top Chef All-Stars” winner whips up innovative culinary creations with limited options. Take his recipe for “Whatyagotchos” a wild mish-mosh of poached chicken, green olives, vegan mozzarella, dill, and keto ranch dressing that sounds odd but, at the very least, looks appetizing.
There’s no better chef to start an Instagram-driven baking club than the renowned Milk Bar founder. Christina Tosi posts the ingredient list the night before, and then at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, she goes live with instructions on what to do with them. The premiere episode featured instructions on how to make Cut-Out Cookies which could be baked on the spot or frozen for the future. Shockingly, the recipe consisted of just five pantry staples (all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, softened unsalted butter, kosher salt, and confectioners sugar). Tosi being Tosi, she took it a quirky extra step by making two different glazes, one infused with carrot juice and the other with cola.
Who would know better than a “Chopped” judge how to convert a limited selection of ingredients into something not just edible, but appetizing? Zakarian’s #AtHomewithGZ video tutorials don’t feature any curve balls like durian or dried tarantulas but instead focus on maximizing the minimal, whether he’s offering five options for boiling an egg or tips for a pared down big batch bolognese.
True to form, Giada De Laurentiis is serving up easy, comforting, family-friendly dishes during the quarantine with her Pantry Recipe Central posts. But like Ina Garten, this Food Network icon is adapting some of her most popular recipes for threadbare kitchens. No surprise, there’s a particular focus on Italian-influenced eats so if you’re craving dishes like chicken tetrazzini or slow cooker quinoa minestrone, Giada has you covered.
Header image courtesy of The Barefoot Contessa