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Hi lovely people, how are you all holding up? If you’re anything like me, emotions will be up and down and everywhere in between, you’ll be losing track of what day it is and be very aware that comfy clothes are the only ones making it out of your wardrobe (who am I kidding – they were always my go-to anyway). One thing that’s helping getting me through though is cooking, and although there are many, many bad things about the current situation around the world, live/online classes have exploded – and I’m all here for it. Not only is it wonderful to have human contact that’s different from your isolation buddy, I feel like I’m getting behind the scenes action of my favourite food people and restaurants. Plus, I’m learning. I’m trying those recipes I’ve been putting off for a while because I didn’t think I had the time, or because if I made them it would mean cookie no. 4683925 for me and Rob. I say, bring on the cookies! The cinnamon buns, the slow cooked ragus, the fresh pasta. I’ve always found joy through food, but I’m feeling it now more than ever. And thanks to the list below – the best online cooking classes and Instagram Lives you can do from home right now – there’s ideas out there aplenty.
Where: PUFF the bakery
What: PUFF The Bakery have just launched their Puff pastry school, an 8 week pastry course with three recipes a week, step by step videos, theory lectures, recipes sheets and Q&As. Designed by co-owners Rav and Nicola, two pastry chefs with over 14 years of pastry experience, it looks amazing. Side note: Rav’s new book, The Pastry Chef’s Guide is getting lots of love and is on my to-buy list for sure.
Where: Bon Appétit YouTube
What: It’s safe to say that over the past year I think I’ve watched almost every Bon Appétit YouTube video (let’s not count the hours spent, shall we). The team are brilliant, the editing is brilliant and I feel like I learn something new every time. Search through the archives, pick a video, open up the adjoining recipe on their website and get cooking.
Where: The Bakehouse
What: I’ve long been a fan of Joy from Joy the Baker and have seen she’s doing Bakehouse Live Zoom classes. She says these are Bakehouse-style workshops that she’ll be teaching from her kitchen to you in yours. You can bake along or save simply watch and bake later on your own. Classes range from $22 to $28 dollars and a majority of the proceeds will go to benefit the New Orleans Women’s and Children’s Center as well as Second Harvest Food Bank. Just a note that recipes might only be in American measurements – so worth checking with her beforehand.
Where: Leith’s School of Food & Wine
What: Leith’s have put two of their most popular professional courses online and they look really, really good. They’re an investment – we’re talking proper school with homework and classmates – but if you’re looking for professional level cooking and theory lessons and now seems like a good time, these are for you. Their Essential Cooking Certificate is a 24-week course that will guide you through all the fundamental cooking skills, techniques and practices that every cook needs to thrive in a modern professional kitchen. Each week, you get to unlock a new batch of video-based sessions that take you step-by-step through the process of cooking everything from choux pastry to shellfish. At the end of the course you’ll get a certificate of Completion, and earn the opportunity to come to London to receive full accreditation. I spent three months completing the Essential Cooking Certificate a few years back at the school itself and I LOVED every minute of it; I couldn’t recommend the course and the team more. Also available is their Nutrition in Culinary Practice Course, which combines nutritional theory with practical cookery tuition. Use the code ‘EMMAHATCHER5’ for 5% off each one.
What: Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co have started a #honeyandcoathome series from their south London home. The ingredients you need are posted to their Instagram feed beforehand, and you can follow along on stories to see them cooking in action. They’re brilliant at answering any queries you might have too.
Where: @naomiannedevlin and @cannellevanille
What: Gluten free baking queens Naomi Devlin and Aran Goyoaga have been running joint Instagram Lives on Fridays at 5pm BST. They’ve been chatting all things pastry, substitutions and techniques for handling tricky doughs. Naomi has also started doing her own cookalongs on Saturday morning at 11am BST which are well worth a watch. I tuned in and made her gluten free hot cross buns over Easter and they were every bit as glorious as you’d imagine.
What: Baker and food writer Edd Kimber (whose latest cookbook, One Tin Bakes, is published this June), posts lots of great content on his stories and IGTV videos, including a ‘Technique Tuesday’ series. His food photography alongside his recipes is pretty amazing too.
What: Christina Tosi, pastry chef and founder of the US bakery chain Milk Bar runs a daily Baking Club on Instagram Live every day at 6pm, feat. great music and a very cute doggo. She uses mostly store cupboard ingredients but lets you know what you need to try and have in advance. Think cookies, meringues and tarts, with substitutions always welcome.
What: The team at Bread Ahead are running live tutorials every day on Instagram until the end of April. All sorts of techniques are covered, plus to my delight, a gluten free bake sneaks in every now and then – last week it was iced doughnuts.
What: Me, nattering way! Come and say hey on Instagram, where I’m running live cookery demos at least every other week. The focus is on FODMAP friendly recipes that are wonderfully forgiving, and also adaptable to whatever you’ve got on hand at home (my favourite kind of cooking).
What: Amazing photographer Issy Crocker has been running Instagram Live photography workshops from her home and studio. Keep an eye on her account for when the next one will be. A long time girl crush of mine, it’s been brilliant to see behind the scenes action of how she works, while learning about everything from her camera equipment, to her favourite food styling tips and tricks.
What: Partnership Additions are running a series of video art workshops, taught by their artists to help us through isolation and to help bring creativity to our homes. Each class is free, but if you’re in a position to, they’d love you to donate £10 to @trusselltrust for watching.
What: Marguerite is a network for women who work in the arts, founded by Joanna Payne. They’re running Marguerite Creates at 11am on IG Live every Saturday and Sunday during lockdown in the UK – tune in this Saturday to learn how to take better still life photos on your phone with award-winning photographer Holly McGlynn.
I’d love to hear about any others you’ve come across in the comments x