So we’re a little off schedule here at Foodie By Night, change is afoot and once the dust settles I just may tell you why. So forgive the delay, an article will be up tomorrow as per usual!
Today is all about learning to cook. The way we learn has changed drastically in the last 5 years and those changes have affected the way we cook as well.
The video-based cooking school. The video above is from America’s Test Kitchen’s Super quick tips series on YouTube, they cover everything from how to crack an egg to dry-aging a steak at home. And you can watch exactly what they do, over and over if you have to, to get it right.
It “used to be” that you learned to cook approximately three ways:
- You went to Culinary School (a very popular option after shows like Top Chef and Chopped aired).
- Someone taught you – often a mother, grandmother, aunt, father, etc. My sister took this route.
- You taught yourself through painful trial and error – this is where I found myself.
And that was about it. Options were limited and cooking wasn’t seen as a real “hobby” up until 4 or 5 years ago. You made the basics to make sure dinner was on the table, or like the little college foodiebynight, you ordered in. Personally I couldn’t cook, it was so bad that my parents used to pay my little sister when I babysat her so that she would make dinner (this became standard practice after I left the cardboard on the bottom of the frozen pizza for the second time…). And I hate to say it but even after I moved to college years later I still didn’t learn. At least I didn’t until Wolverine CuiZine happened. Some of you know that out of a crazy and random thought one night, I started a student food magazine and blogazine (see I liked digital media even then). Well a funny thing happens when you do that, people start asking you questions about food. And, much to my immediate panic, they’re not easy questions. What’s souvide? How do you make a Quiche? Why is my pie crust too dry? How do you correctly cook fish?
After embarrassing myself talking about quinoa on a local radio station, I hit the books. I have shelves and shelves of cookbooks and they are what taught me how to cook, that and GOOGLE. Yep google. In fact, Google taught me how to boil an egg (yes I was that bad). And now, voila! I make cheese soufflé, molten chocolate cakes, croissants and crepes! Nothing scares me (except maybe making haggis…).
Little did I know it was the dawning of an era of video-based online cooking schools. While working at America’s Test Kitchen they opened their online cooking school.
Right about the same time a favorite blogger of mine Lick My Spoon was in one of the first cooking school apps called Appetites which gives you recipe tutorials from a multitude of chefs and allows you to buy more recipes if you’d like.
And then there are innumerable cooking tutorials on YouTube. All you have to do is type in what you want to make and chances are you’ll find some tidbit of step-by-step information that will help. Whole cooking “channels” have been created to serves the needs of all us who thirst for a new technique or recipe.
I recently was under the mistaken impression that this trend had already hit its heyday but it seems that it’s only just begun. There are a number of new cooking-centric websites cropping up all over the net, each promising a richer, more in-depth service than the last like, for instance, Culination on Indiegogo.
Learning to cook and cooking itself has changed, I search the web for recipes now (and print them out) and I see more people bring their iPad/Laptop/phone into the kitchen. Anyone can access professional techniques and tips straight from their own living room. Anyone can learn to cook, all they need is the gumption to keep going when that first soufflé falls.