Like many people who seek to live a healthy and happy lifestyle, I love fresh produce. And if you couple this love with a culinary curiosity, a DIY attitude, and some pent-up creativity, you’ve got a recipe for an experimental home chef.
I must admit, however, that my No. 1 resource for culinary learning over the years has been The Food Network and The Cook channels. But in recent months I’ve grown tired of seeing the same faces—though I still love them. So recently I’ve turned to the Internet, where a small army of chefs and DIY home cooks proliferate. Impressed but quickly overwhelmed, I narrowed my search to video content (I’m a visual learner, after all), and there I stumbled upon a new crop of personalities who blog but also film in the short-series format that I’ve grown to love.
Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites:
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Rachel Khoo is a gorgeous Brit who moved to Paris seven years ago to study at Le Cordon Bleu, where she obtained a pastry degree. So far, she’s published three cookbooks, her third being her first in English, “The Little Paris Kitchen,” which spawned her fist cooking show, sharing the same title. It’s here that we find a true connection to Khoo, who takes us through culinary adventures big and small, all with the intent of making us more capable. If you’re a fan of Nigella Lawson, you’ll fall head over cutting board for Khoo. Follow the episode series and take a culinary journey into all things French—including the French-inspired soundtrack she creates for each episode.
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Another budding culinary talent of note is 25-year-old Irishman Donal Skehan—a.k.a. the Kitchen Hero. Unlike Khoo, he is not classically trained but born from the bloggersphere, where he started writing about his culinary journeys in 2007. To his credit, he has published three cookbooks and has also produced two prime-time cooking series for Irish television. And luckily for us, his new cookbook, "Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked,” comes out this fall, and his new culinary journal, “Feast: A Dinner Journal,” looks promising.
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The third and final program that has my attention is a new series called “My Life in Sourdough.” Quirky and not yet established, it blends new food with new love in New York City. The format is reality TV meets culinary exploration, making it a little bit kooky and indirectly educational. The first episode exposes a lot, leaving us feeling for the main character, Jeanne, a rosy-cheeked French home chef who is perhaps still idealistic enough to stick it out in NYC, despite a rocky beginning. My curiosity is piqued. For beginner chefs, check out the “life changing tips“— they will have you giggling.