While restaurant dining rooms and bars remain closed during Minnesota’s stay-at-home order to combat the spread of the coronavirus, many local chefs (and mixologists, too) are using virtual platforms to share their talents. Shaped by cooking programs from Julia Child to the Food Network, they’re hosting their own instructional shows right from their personal kitchens. Uploaded mainly to Instagram, these home videos help chefs reach new audiences, even as some of their restaurants sit idle.
Whether they first came to it out of a sense of duty or a sense of boredom, whether they’re using it as a marketing opportunity or a way to bring awareness to a cause, most of these budding home video stars say they are driven by a devotion to their craft.
Here’s our guide to the best cooking videos by Twin Cities chefs.
Credits: Former head chef at Corner Table in Minneapolis; the first woman named “Queen of Porc” as the winner of the national Grand Cochon whole-hog cooking competition (2018).
What you’ll learn: Inspired by the efficiency of French cooking, Tomlinson shows how to make ingredients stretch. One episode is devoted to roasting a chicken — and then making stock out of the carcass. Every video recommends a wine pairing from New France Wine Co.
When/where: “Karyn’s Quarantine Kitchen” posts three to four days per week on Instagram TV (IGTV) at instagram.com/katomlinson.
Credits: Chef and co-owner of World Street Kitchen and Milkjam Creamery in Minneapolis, and Grand Catch in St. Paul; “Iron Chef America” competitor (2010); guest judge on “Top Chef Middle East” (2020).
What you’ll learn: Wadi asks his Instagram followers to vote on what he should cook next in his “Social Deliciousness” series. He makes dishes from his Palestinian heritage and other Mediterranean cultures: Greek spiced lamb chops, kofta meatballs with tahini and pomegranate, “crispity” chicken with olives and lemon.
When/where: Every few days, Wadi posts videos to IGTV at instagram.com/samehwadi, where he’s also archived some earlier stories.
Credits: Chef at St. Paul’s Handsome Hog and managing partner of Madison Restaurant Group; competitor on the 2018-19 season of “Top Chef”; winner on “Iron Chef America” (2018).
What you’ll learn: How to make meatless burgers meaty, by topping them with chili and Spam. In a joint video with chef David Fhima for their charity the North Stands, Sutherland makes killer buttermilk biscuits.
When/where: About once a week, Sutherland hosts a live video on Instagram at instagram.com/chefjustinsutherland. Check his feed ahead of time for notice about upcoming videos, as they are only available live.
Credits: Former pastry chef at many Twin Cities restaurants; co-author of the series “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”; Zoë Bakes blogger (zoebakes.com).
What you’ll learn: Lengthy tutorials, delivered live, from easy (blueberry muffins) to hard (brioche braid). Viewers can ask their baking questions in real-time on topics such as vegan and gluten-free replacements, and whether ingredients really need to be room temperature.
When/where: Saturday mornings on IGTV at instagram.com/zoebakes.
Credits: Longtime Twin Cities chef and owner of Fhima’s Minneapolis; executive chef for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx.
What you’ll learn: Interspersed with videos of his family dancing, he posts lessons full of easy tips and tricks for home cooks making French and Mediterranean dishes such as tarte Tatin and crêpes. His videos bring awareness for the North Stands, which raises funds for Minnesota hospitality workers (thenorthstands.org).
When/where: About weekly on IGTV at instagram.com/cheffhima.
Credits: Co-owner of Smack Shack in Minneapolis, Burger Dive in Roseville and the Lexington in St. Paul; “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” (2012).
What you’ll learn: With multiple camera angles and a microphone, and filmed in the restaurant kitchen, “Cooking With Smack Shack” has a different vibe from other videos. Viewers can cook along, using pre-portioned ingredient kits sold at the restaurant. They sell out fast, usually on Tuesdays, but the videos remain online: jambalaya, lobster roll.
When/where: Weekends on Facebook Live (facebook.com/pg/SmackShackNOLO/videos).