Lockdown kitchen malaise is not an option thanks to the chefs instructing and inspiring us just when we need it most.

While thousands of chefs worldwide are currently having to turn off the gas and hang up their aprons during lockdown, a handful of famous names in the culinary world are turning to their social-media channels as an outlet for their art, sharing recipes, techniques and clever larder staple hacks to inspire followers with their meal prep. While we might not be able to dine out any time soon, we can at least learn a trick or two from the pros to improve our lockdown meals. Here are seven of our favourites cooking up a storm in our feeds right now.

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver is no stranger to squaring up to a national emergency, from the obesity crisis to British school dinners. So when COVID-19 hit, who better than to show us what we can rustle up from our limited larder supplies? Jamie’s ‘Keep Cooking and Carry On’ series has been a huge hit on TV and his website is full of the videos and recipes featured, with flexible ingredients and plenty of alternatives if you don’t have what’s needed to hand. We’re loving the likes of back-to-basics risotto, bread and fresh pasta recipes, to inspiration for stretching leftovers to another meal and easy kids’ recipes, too.

Gizzi Erskine and Professor Green

Missing your cheeky cheeseburger or weekend Nandos? Gizzi Erskine and food-loving musician Professor Green have paired up on a brand-new Instagram account since lockdown – @gizandgreens – to share a series of ‘Monday Night Fakeaway’ recipes to help you replicate some of your favourite guilty food pleasures at home. So far they’ve tackled the Big Mac, a Doner kebab and chips, a chicken katsu curry and sweet and sour chicken. With step-by-step video tutorials from the pair, you have plenty of time to master all your favourites before lockdown is over.

Massimo Bottura

Three-Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura of the Osteria Francescana in Modena is heralded widely as the best chef in Italy. During lockdown he has swapped his world-renowned fine dining for simple pasta dishes, sweet treats and traditional Italian comfort foods that any nonna would be proud of. If you are missing Italy right now, this is the perfect slice of la dolce vita to add to your feed.

Jason Atherton

Sharing a mix of tutorials and recipes, chef-patron of hot London eateries such as Pollen Street Social and Berners Tavern, Jason Atherton has been teaching his 128k followers how to cook in his Social Kitchen Isolation series on Instagram. With videos on everything from how to prep lobster, to the perfect homemade pizza, the Michelin-star chef is sharing his top tips, while making them accessible and easy to follow, at home.

Jack Monroe

Over on Twitter, Jack Monroe aka the Bootstrap Cook, is coming into her own. Known to her army of 277k followers for her store-cupboard, thrifty meal ideas, she has been providing a brilliant service with the hashtag #jackmonroelockdownlarder, answering vital questions such as ‘can you use normal rice in risotto?’ (answer: yes), as well as offering substitute ingredients ideas when the cupboard is bare.

Yotam Ottolenghi

While he can’t be behind the stove at his two London restaurants and four eponymous delis, Yotam Ottolenghi has been busy at home, teaming up with a host of global cooks and chefs to share recipes from around the world, as well as some of his own signature dishes. There are beautifully simple recipes to inspire you out of a food slump, as well as more complex techniques to master (ever blackened a courgette?!) to keep you on your culinary toes in the coming weeks.

Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson is sharing a recipe a day from her indulgent archive over on her Instagram feed to fuel the nation’s sugar-high through lockdown. There are plenty of sweet treats to keep the troops happy, plus comfort food abound – from Italian pastas to one-pot wonders and easy traybake dinners for mid-week meal inspiration.

By Lydia Mansi
May 2020


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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.