By Pui Kuan Cheah
Brought to you by Bon Appetit (BA) magazine is Gourmet Makes, a series hosted by pastry chef Claire Saffitz. Filmed in the iconic BA Test Kitchen, it is safe to say that Gourmet Makes is the most popular series among their YouTube audience (countless memes from this series can be found around social media). In this, Saffitz creates an improved and “gourmet” version of familiar American snacks and treats, such as M&Ms and Pop Tarts.
Each episode takes us on a journey with Saffitz that’s full of research and experimentation, from getting exact measurements for replication, to the struggles of tempering chocolate. Sometimes, it gets so technical that you feel like you’re watching a science experiment of trial and error, and yet you can’t keep your eyes off the screen. Whilst some creations are more successful than others, it’s always satisfying to watch Saffitz finally conclude the process after days of frustration.
Gourmet Makes is an addictive watch, owed to the combination of Saffitz’s determination, the chemistry between her colleagues that make appearances in her show, and the humorous video editing. The episodes vary in length, sometimes going up to almost an hour — perfect for all of us stuck at home with plenty of time. Also, if you’re feeling adventurous and can gather the right ingredients and materials, you could even give the recipes a go yourself!
By Asher Kay Cox
Even before a nationwide quarantine, I could sometimes spend hours watching Brad Leone in videos on the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen Youtube channel. For those not in the know, Bon Appétit is a monthly food magazine and Youtube channel, with some truly great series including Gourmet Makes, where longsuffering baker Claire Saffitz is forced to recreate popular snack foods, and It’s Alive, my personal favorite, where Brad Leone explains methods of fermentation and what he calls ‘controlled rot’. He looks at different ways of preserving and altering the food we eat.
Brad makes anything and everything, beet kvass, cured egg yolks, kombucha, and even spends years carefully making miso. It’s Alive is silly, with editing from Matt Hunziker poking fun at Brad’s inability to stay on track and his pronunciation of various words, in particular Brad’s pronunciation of water – ‘wourder’. The editing shows off Brad’s non-sequiturs and hilarious interactions with his co-workers.
The first It’s Alive quarantine episode came out last week, with Brad in his home kitchen, showing fellow Test Kitchen chef Sohla El-Waylly how to make a delicious looking ginger and garlic paste over Zoom, and I can’t wait for more. It’s hard not to feel isolated right now, but the way Brad talks at the camera is the best distraction I can find!
By Omo Ifabua
Many foodies, myself included, may be struggling to get creative with food during lockdown, especially when shopping is limited to essentials, but Rie McClenny makes it seem easy. Make It Fancy is perhaps the most bingeworthy food series I’ve come across on YouTube and I’m sorry in advance for the hours you’ll spend watching it. Split into short 10 minute clips, the aim of each episode is for Rie to turn a ‘not so fancy’ household essential into a ‘fancy’ gourmet dish, providing viewers with a step by step guide on how to make the magic happen.
Rie, aka ‘The Dessert Snob’, never fails to impress with her masterpieces, with my personal favourite being her Southern inspired spicy chicken and waffles dish made from… Flamin’ Hot Cheetos! The chef entertains her devoted fanbase with her witty remarks and light-hearted attitude when something doesn’t immediately go to plan, although this is a rare occurrence.
Each episode ends with her friends and colleagues at the Buzzfeed ‘Tasty’ kitchen attempting to guess the ordinary item camouflaged in her final piece of artwork and then begrudgingly imitating the series’ signature dance move whilst singing the Make It Fancy slogan. I encourage everyone to check her out on Tasty’s YouTube channel and join in with my obsession.
Channel Name: Tasty, Series: Make It Fancy
Rie’s Instagram: @thedessertsnob
By Hannah Penwright
Barry Lewis started a food Youtube channel without even knowing how to poach an egg. So, it began being as much a journey for him in the kitchen as for those watching. Over the past 11 years, he’s grown into someone who clearly knows their stuff in the kitchen, and now makes more than just recipe videos.
There are loads of different series such as kitchen hacks, gadget testing and giant food on the channel (check out the original giant food videos featuring his friend James if you need a laugh). There are over 1,500 videos, so plenty of choice if you fancy having a bit of a binge-watch, or ‘Barrathon’ as Barry likes to call it.
He’s often joined in videos by his wife and two daughters and over the past couple of weeks they’ve all been filming livestreams together during lockdown. Every weekday, they cook something different and there’s lots of fun and laughter along the way. If you want to cook along with them, Barry’s been sharing the ingredients for the recipes on social media beforehand. Or, if you just want to watch, they’re always filmed over lunchtime so it’s a great thing to watch whilst you have a break from working.