Cabin Fever Cooking: the chefs who are showing us how to cook online during Covid-19

Has staying indoors given you the cooking bug? If you're on the lookout for new recipes and methods of creating delicious meals, here are the chefs to follow


With a fair chunk of the nation staying home, Irish home kitchens have never been so busy. We find our selves dusting off pans we forgot we had and attempting things we’d usually only do once a year. But where to even start when it comes to looking for recipes? Searching online can be a minefield.

Fear not, an unfortunate silver lining to the current situation means that a plethora of talented chefs and home cooks are online, sharing with us their tried and tested recipes, insights and let’s face it some much-needed distraction. Here are some of the Irish accounts I’ve been tuning in into for inspiration and entertainment

Eric Mathews, Chapter One

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The head chef of Michelin starred Chapter One has been creating a bit of buzz online with his home cooking Instagram stories ‘Cabin Fever Classics’. So far he’s whipped up a divine looking Amatriciana pasta dish, perfect turbot with mussels and homemade Parisian steak and chips. Throwing in expert tips on garlic chopping, shopping and cooking, usually with a drink in hand and a few tunes thrown in for good measure, making these well turned out dishes seems very achievable.

 

Shane Smith 

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Nothing quite passes the time at home like baking, especially if you’ve kids to keep busy. It helps that the rewards at the end are (usually) worth it. Shane Smith, pastry chef from Airfield Estate has been keeping lots busy with his foolproof home baking tutorials on his Instagram stories and then helpfully posting the recipes on his feed. Soda bread, scones, seasonal tarts and cookies, he’s covering the classics we want to bake and eat at a time like this.

 

Niamh Shiels, Eat Like A Girl

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Was there ever a better time for chicken soup? This one is fab, frugal and easy. Here is how. Chilli chicken, rice and black bean soup. ⁣ ⁣ First, the broth. I used 2 chicken thighs and 2 drumsticks and I poached them for a good long time (as long as you have to get the goodness and flavour from the skin and bones) in water (more than you think, you can use 2l if you can let it simmer gently for longer) with about 6 whole garlic cloves, a teaspoon of peppercorns and a bay leaf. When you are happy with the flavour (give it a minimum 2 hours), strip the meat from the bones and strain the broth. ⁣ ⁣ Cooks tip! I like to remove the skin from the 2 thighs and fry them in a hot pan (in their own fat). Put in a pan and cover with a little greaseproof paper, enough to cover, and put a tin on that. Dry over a medium heat for a few minutes and turn (it will be hot) replacing your complicated tin and greaseproof paper and tin compression system 🤣 Season that lovely crispy skin (it should be like a wafer) and I eat mine straight away but it would be gorgeous on top of the soup too! And you have chicken fat for cooking the soup too. ⁣ ⁣ Separately in a saucepan sauté one finely chopped carrot, one stick of celery and half an onion in a little oil or if you made the crackling the rendered chicken fat. Add some rice, about 100g, whatever rice you have and add broth, about 1 litre. Let it cook away until the rice is soft and then add some of the shredded chicken, some beans (I used black beans from my batch cook the other night), some fresh coriander and some chilli oil. ⁣ ⁣ Save the rest of the broth for another soup tomorrow or to sip on. Season it with soy sauce and sesame oil if you want something lovely to sip on. You can bulk it out with noodles too. ⁣ ⁣ Look after yourselves, stay inside and watch out for #Covid19 symptoms!

A post shared by Niamh (pronounced Knee-uv!) 😀 (@eatlikeagirl) on

Niamh is an Irish cook and writer based in London that has an incredible repertoire of home cooking recipes and there couldn’t be a better time to delve into them. She cooks gluten-free for the most part these days but these dishes are not your average free-from fare. Taste and flavour are paramount with plenty of comfort food fixes. Noodles, stews, quesadillas, brunch dishes, roasts and plenty of bacon - she even has a book dedicated to it. And she’s great at interacting online should you have any questions.

 

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Gastro Gays

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This got a great bit of interest on our IG stories and on Twitter so let’s make it happen! #COVCookClub - a twice weekly digital cookbook and cookery club for the next wee while 🍴 Themes are available if you swipe along, and how to get involved is also there! The reason we want to keep it to cookbooks (or recipes published online from cookbooks) is because so often on Instagram, a comment of “RECIPE?” is posted under an image, so we want to make it clear to everyone where they can find it and encourage people to dust off a few titles off their shelf and stay inspired in the kitchen! We’d love you to get involved, so if you can share this out to your followers, we’d be delighted. Let us know if we’ll be seeing you (DIGITALLY!) on Wednesday! 👨🏻‍🍳 👩🏼‍🍳 🍳

A post shared by Patrick + Russell | GastroGays (@gastrogays) on

Patrick and Russell have been writing and cooking for their shared blog Gastro Gays for some years now so they have accumulated quite the collection of ‘stuff-you-want-to-eat’ recipes. They’re great at recreating dishes they’ve enjoyed on their many adventures - Piri Piri chicken, croquettes, taco fries, onion rings, French toast, fried chicken, pimped hot dogs and plenty more. They are also doing a #COVCookClub, a twice weekly digital cookbook and cookery club and make sure to tune into their podcast series Chew The Fat while you’re at it.

 

Chloe Foodie

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Chloe made a name for herself through her Dublin business Foodie Cafe along with her fun food-focused social media. Now based in Zurich she’s recently started working on her online recipes again, setting up a weekly newsletter, and sharing the sort of recipes that make you want to get in the kitchen - easy homemade dumplings, salted peanut caramel tart, tahini chocolate chip cookies. She might even make up a song as she cooks. All the good feels.

 

Gina Daly

Home cook, food blogger and mom Gina Daly started sharing her food on Instagram to hold herself accountable for what she ate on her weight loss journey. Her relatable, doable recipes struck a chord with many and she’s now on 80k+ Instagram followers and has just released a cookbook. Enjoyable recipes, made from scratch with plenty of vegetables thrown in will appeal to anyone at home with kids trying to keep things fun, think Big Mac Lasagne, Banging Beef Satay, Soy Crispy Chicken and her brilliant fakeaways that include a very tasty spice bag, cheesy fries and even a doner kebab.

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Caitlin Ruth

Chef Caitlin Ruth built quite the reputation during her time at Deasy's Harbour Bar in Cork, cooking wonderful Irish dishes with lots of local ingredients. Now she’s sharing her kitchen knowledge with us step by step on Instagram stories, posting her go-to recipes and techniques including basmati rice, braised lentils and a beetroot dinner with plenty more to come.

 

Paul Treyvaud

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Over on Facebook, chef Paul Treyvaud has started filming daily live family cook alongs with his sons helping him out. These recipes are all about getting families into the kitchen together so think achievable recipes the kids will eat like curry and tomato sauce. He posts the recipe details beforehand so you can get everything ready and encourages the grown-ups to have a glass in hand, which is always a good idea.


Read more: Coronavirus update: Preventative measures and closures to remain in place until April 19

Read more: These are the supermarkets offering home delivery during the Covid-19 outbreak

Read more: 1 week down: 5 lessons learned since the beginning of the Covid-19 measures

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