Austin chefs connecting with home cooks through online classes – Food and Dining – Austin 360
With the coronavirus pandemic in the restaurant industry, Austin chefs have no idea when restaurants will open and go back to normal, or what that normalcy will look like.
Some chefs get creative by launching meal sets inspired by popular dishes in their restaurants, while others connect directly with home chefs through online cooking classes and live streams.
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Many of these courses are free and open to the public, usually on Instagram or Facebook. However, some chefs offer paid private lessons for individuals or small groups that allow people to connect with their friends and family members who are seeking refuge elsewhere.
Here’s a roundup of where you can find these types of free and paid courses for the foreseeable future:
The organizers of the Luck Reunion music festival launched a series called Prime Cuts on Friday night, where celebrity chefs and musicians demonstrate dishes and show off what they are cooking during the coronavirus pandemic. On the website, viewers will find a recipe card with ingredients so they can cook along with the video that starts at 6 p.m. You can also tip contributors and donate to the Austin Food & Wine Alliance.
Recent episodes have included chefs Mason Hereford from Turkey & Wolf in New Orleans, Ryan Pfeiffer from Blackbird in Chicago, mixologist Abigail Gullo from Paris Blue in Seattle and musician Robert Earl Keen. You can see who’s appearing each week on Luckreunion.com/primecuts, and you can check past episodes on the Twitch.tv app, available on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV or on facebook.com/lucktexasreunion.
Yuyo chef Maribel Rivero hosts free Instagram livestream cooking classes on Saturdays at 8 p.m. on her channel @cocinamaribel. She often hooks up with friends and other chefs from around the world, including a recent Gnocchi Day class in Uruguay that home cooks across the country celebrate on the last Sunday of each month. She moderates free Instagram livestreams for cocktails on Instagram on Thursdays at 4 p.m. Rivero, a James Beard semi-finalist, offers private lessons from $ 35 per class for four to ten people most days of the week between 12:00 PM and 8:00 PM.
Ian Thurwatcher, chef and co-owner of Intero, teaches online cooking classes (for up to six people in three locations) via Skype or Zoom. Each class starts at $ 65 and is tailored to what students want to learn, including classic dishes from Intero’s menu or a dish they’ve always wanted to master. Thurwatcher pursues a zero waste philosophy in the restaurant. Many of the courses include tips on reducing waste in the kitchen and stretching your ingredients beyond a meal. Participants can pick up ingredients from Intero or receive an ingredient list that they can buy elsewhere. Co-owner Krystal Craig will also be offering chocolate tasting and pairing classes soon.
Suerte chefs Fermín Núñez and Derrick Flynn record their cooking classes on YouTube. A lot of the videos are meant to help the restaurant’s emerging food set business, but they made the videos, many of which are very funny, available to the public for free. Search for “Suerte ATX” on YouTube to find it.
Chef Rick Lopez runs a free “Late Night Bite” series on La Condesa Instagram (@lacondesaaustin) every Saturday at 9pm searching his own pantry preparing salsas, tacos and other chef-ified comfort food. Look for special guests to join him and listen to new favorites from his cut-only playlists.
The chef at Il Brutto, Erind Halilaj, hosts free hangouts on Sundays at 6 p.m. on the restaurant’s Instagram page (@ilbruttoaustin), where Halilaj demonstrates popular dishes from the restaurant and with special guests including Charity Sadoy, the general manager of the Restaurants, general culinary education speaks about wine pairings and wines.
The Buenos Aires Cafe hosts short cooking videos on its Instagram (@buenosairescafeatx). In the last few episodes, gnocchi with bechamel sauce were recorded.
Local cooking teacher Rachel Zierzow has launched Cooking Together, a new online cooking subscription ($ 10 per month or $ 99 per year) that includes new videos and recipes every month.
Amanda Darby, owner of East Austin Culinary Studio, will be launching an online cooking class series for beginners in the coming weeks. You can sign up for their newsletter to learn more at eastaustinculinarystudio.com.
The Austin-based Pasta Social Club has also switched online. Head pasta maker Meryl Feinstein, who has a huge following with her homemade pasta shapes on Instagram, teaches two classes a week on Zoom ($ 25 per class) and is also available for private online classes that start at $ 49. You can find upcoming courses at pastasocialclub.com.
Barton Springs Mill founder James Brown and the extraordinary baker Abby Love have posted a series of YouTube videos explaining how to start, wait, and bake a sourdough starter.
The Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts has partnered with the Texas Restaurant Association’s ProStart program to bring the school’s online learning tools, including dozens of videos, recipes, and tutorials, to more than 15,000 culinary students in Texas.