Calorie counted food deliveries. Healthy take out concepts. Strictly portioned meal kits. Is this healthy eating, in fashion 2021 – or is it just about outsourcing the cooking issue to yourself?
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past year of gradual lockdown, it’s that being able to cook simple, healthy meals – for yourself, your roommates, your family – is a super power. But it’s not a superpower that you were born with; it is one that is refined with practice and repetition. Without universal cooking-based home economics classes for all students, many of us don’t learn to cook until we’re older.
While we may have taken actual cooking classes in the past, the virtual world offers new solutions in 2021. Chef Eamon Lynch recently created Sprig Cookery School, offering a range of structured online courses for all skill levels, with cooking and demonstration options. He is a great advocate for people learning to navigate the kitchen.
“Cooking on your own is so much healthier and gives you a lot more control,” he says.
At Sprig there are three levels: “Basic courses are designed for inexperienced cooks who want to develop their cooking skills. Technical courses are those that focus on a central topic such as pasta, bread or pastry. Explore courses are intended for all skill sets who want to learn more about a specific type of cuisine.
There’s a mix of demonstrations and kitchens at Sprig, with some of the more advanced classes, with chefs like Grainne O’Keeffe and Niall Sabongi, and ingredient delivery.
Lynch believes that cooking lessons from Zoom can be as effective, if not more, than a hands-on lesson: “I think it’s a huge advantage to be able to work from your own kitchen, with your own pots and pans, your own utensils can be much more of a learning experience than entering a cooking school where everything is set up for you.
While Lynch started her school on the web, Yvonne Carthy led Hey Pesto! Boutique Cookery School at home since the last recession. In the fall of 2020, she took her classes online, working with photographer Jeff Harvey, and says the shoot setup is now “like in an interactive TV studio.”
It’s also extremely useful for his students: “They find it easier on Zoom because they can see everything. We have five cameras and it’s very interactive. They can ask questions and show me what they’re doing with their own cameras.
Carthy has a particular and personal vision of novice cooks. “I didn’t learn to cook until I was 30,” she says. “My mom was working, so I didn’t have time to learn. I lived on tuna and coleslaw sandwiches in college and when I was an engineer I ate in restaurants all the time.
After a career change that involved the 12 week certificate course at Ballymaloe Cooking School, Carthy now teaches many absolute beginners, tailoring her classes to different levels. Some of the dishes she finds popular with people new to cooking are fake dishes, for example, fried rice with eggs, and simple dishes – like pasta sauce from scratch – “so you know this. that there is “.
“Eat positively” is how Carthy describes it. “Eat balanced, cooked from scratch and where you know where your food is coming from. This is your new superpower: to cook healthily with care.
www.sprigcookery.com, from 40 € per Heypesto.ie course, 20 € per course
To get the most out of these classes – and for the most fun – you’ll need to bring your device into the kitchen so you can cook at the same time. Just make sure it’s in a safe place.
Catherine Fulvio offers one-to-one live cooking lessons and more in-depth, pre-recorded cooking classes like Healthy Meal Prep for Two which focus on different cooking skills and techniques. Videos and notes are online, as well as an opportunity to ask the tutor any questions you may have. From € 29 per lesson. catherinefulvio.com
Cepta Mahon runs online classes and cooking sessions with the aim of helping you cook delicious, nutritious and tasty meals. Mahon’s “contagious enthusiasm and achievable recipes” are praised by past clients, her grades and lessons are clear and easy to understand, and she is good at instilling confidence in people in the kitchen. € 20 per lesson. www.cookalicious.fr
Tara Walker, author of Good Food, No Stress, trained at Cordon Bleu, has always been committed to making food accessible. Her live online cooking classes, like Simple Summer Souppers and Healthy BBQ & Sides, have fans all over Ireland and beyond – from the Bronx to Canada – who give Tara credit for making her a better cook in lockdown. -out. 25 € per lesson. Eastcoastcookeryschool.ie
: A great teacher and communicator, Donegal-based McDermott condenses his knowledge into succinct 45-minute online lessons. Each class focuses on a recipe: Once you’ve prepared your way through their Ultimate Gourmet Burger, Seafood Chowder, or Seriously Good Meatballs with Spaghetti classes, you’ve got the building blocks for some family favorite dishes. € 20 per lesson. chefbrianmcdermott.com
Karen Coakley runs her home cooking groups via WhatsApp, bringing people together to learn how to cook. She uploads a meal plan on Mondays, records two to three recipe videos each week, and is available all day, every day, to answer questions in her inimitable and friendly manner. Four weeks for € 55. kenmarefoodies.com