Cooking with your laptop – the YouTube way

Mar 17, 2017

Tasty TV

Over the years, YouTube has become the place to go for how-to information on anything from appliance repair and home construction to investing in the stock market and even piloting a blimp.

But did you know you could use it to learn how to whip up some pretty impressive meals, too? Yes, chefs and cooks of all backgrounds and levels of experience and accomplishment regularly post their DIY videos there, just waiting for you to check them out and even try your hand. So if you’re at a loss as to what to make for dinner tonight – or you simply want to wow your friends and family with your prowess in the kitchen – here are a few food-oriented web series worth considering.

“Laura in the Kitchen”: Laura Vitale is probably one of the most famous chefs on YouTube, logging nearly 1,200 videos on the site since 2010 and even branching out into her own Cooking Channel series “Simply Laura.” Here, the focus is on Italian cuisine as she walks viewers through the preparation of everything from yogurt zeppoles and cod arrabbiata to chicken cordon bleu pizza and grilled scallops on the half shell. She even does requests.

“My Cupcake Addiction”: Bakers will want to check out this YouTube mainstay hosted by Aussie Elise Strachan, who offers up recipes and how-tos for a variety of confections, along with kitchen tips and travel videos. Her motto is “Life Is Sweet” and her more than three million subscribers aren’t likely to argue.

“My Virgin Kitchen”: Self-taught British chef Barry Lewis is your host for this series of how-to tutorials that puts the emphasis on ease and fun as he prepares home-cooked meals. Along with the recipes – which include items such as fluffy Japanese pancakes, mini scones and carrot cake – there are also gadget tests and unusual segments like “Cooking With a Dishwasher.”

“Kawaii Sweet World”: Teen baker Rachel Fong hosts this informative series from the basement of her parents’ Northern California home, in which she walks viewers through recipes she herself came up with. “Kawaii” in Japanese means “cute,” and that reflects in confections such as Disney Tsum Tsum cake pops, no-bake unicorn cheesecake and gingerbread girl cake.

“ChefSteps”: A cadre of James Beard Award-winning chefs not only demonstrate modern culinary concepts and recipes but they also explain how and why they work. From exotica such as lorighitta (braided pasta) and kouign-amann (a croissant-like pastry) to how-tos on the more mundane dishes like chicken or chuck roast, these folks aim to make viewers better in the kitchen and, as their motto says, “cook smarter.”

“Cooking With Dog”: No, it’s not what you think. A mysterious and unnamed Japanese chef prepares a range of dishes popular in Japan while canine host Francis narrates the recipes step by step in English. Bento boxes, sweet-and-sour meatballs, gyoza (fried dumplings) and yakisoba noodles are among the menu items prepared and consumed, no doubt followed by a belly rub and nice walk.

“You Deserve a Drink”: As the title suggests, libations are at the center of this 2014 Streamy Award-winning series hosted by actress/comedian Mamrie Hart, who offers up original cocktail recipes, then prepares and consumes them. After that, all bets are off. Guests such as actress Grace Helbig and “The Bachelor’s” Nick Viall join her as her partners in mixology.

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