There are still thousands of chefs across the country cooking in cafés and restaurants, soldiering on with takeaway and home-delivery initiatives in the face of this pandemic. Countless others, like the rest of us, now find themselves at home – but it hasn’t prevented them from sharing their wisdom and showing off their skills.
Last week, some of the top talents in the Sydney dining scene began posting recipes and tutorials on their Instagram accounts. CicciaBella’s Mitch Orr talked us through timeless pastas like Bolognese and carbonara. Danielle Alvarez, the head chef at Fred’s in Paddington, offered lessons in baking cakes, dressing salads and roasting whole fish. Merivale maestro Dan Hong went all out with videos featuring miniature Mr Wong prawn toasts, lobster “ma goreng” and an over-the-top cheese toastie with confit garlic and Kewpie mayo.
On Friday, April 2, culinary icon Maggie Beer got in on the action, with the launch of a social-media series, Cooking with Maggie. The beloved television host, restaurateur and cookbook author will be putting up a new video each day, focusing on simple techniques and rustic, nourishing dishes utilising pantry staples and produce from her very own garden. So far, she’s whipped up her famous eggplant and eggs, as well as a side dish of caramelised onions with Persian feta, and an inspired take on the Tuscan bread-and-tomato salad, panzanella.
Beer is no stranger to cooking on camera, of course, but the fifteen-or-so-minute segments are especially lo-fi, shot by her assistant on a phone in the beautiful Barossa Valley kitchen that will be instantly recognisable for fans of The Cook and The Chef. It’s a big part of what makes watching them so charming, along with her winning smile, sense of humour and enthusiasm for quality ingredients. A warm hug and a home-cooked meal at mum’s may not be a reality for many of us right now, but tuning into these tutorials is pretty much the next best thing.