TV chef Jamie Oliver has admitted that he prefers YouTube to TV cookery shows after hosting almost two decades of highly successful TV cooking series.
In fact, the Brit, who shot to success with the Naked Chef TV series, says he turns to YouTube to pick up on more exciting cooking trends. “I tend not to [watch cookery shows]. I don’t think cookery takes risks with new talent,” he told the Radio Times.
YouTube is packed with thousands of great food and cooking channels, even more so since the pandemic struck, and it can be overwhelming to work out where to start, which ones are actually worth your time and the ones from which you'll actually come away from having learnt something new.
With that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best YouTube food channels, some of our favourite picks from across the site.
Binging with Babish
With over 9 million subscribers, Andrew Rea's channel is definitely one of the most watchable. While Rea isn't a professionally-trained chef, his openness, easy confidence and velvety voice make the delivery of all his recipes and tips easier to absorb. What's more, in the true spirit of YouTube he still shoots, edits, and colour corrects the videos himself, despite now having a team of support staff.
Brian Lagerstrom, the clean-cut professional chef, baker, and home gardener, shares his approach to cooking with his chef's head on. He keeps up the momentum, encouraging viewers and home cooks to get going with a bit of know-how behind each technique with a wealth of easy-to-replicate dishes at home. He publishes a video a week, usually on improving technique.
Claire Saffitz, the self-confessed 'dessert person', former BA Test Kitchen pastry chef and all-round baking hero, has become a runaway success since she decided to go it alone with the publication of her first cookbook, as well as her breakout Dessert Personseries on YouTube, filmed in her home kitchen.
Flavour Hacking, a new food video series from Fine Dining Lovers, looks at basic ingredients, like eggs, tomatoes and potatoes and explores the best cooking and hacking techniques to get the very best out of them built on four main themes: caramelisation, the Maillard effect, umami and enhancers. Unmissable, even if we say so ourselves.
Great British Chefs
This tried and trusted source was founded over a decade ago to connect foodies and chefs. It's a great resource for chef-led recipes filmed in professional kitchens.
On Talbott's one-man show (he pretty much does everything, from concept to cooking, producing and editing) the trained chef sees himself as a 'bridge' between home cooks and pro chefs. He started his YouTube channel in 2012 and has amassed over 1.4 million subscribers since.
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen
Ottolenghi Test Kitchen is a new platform where the Israeli-born British chef and author, Yotam Ottolenghi, can be seen sharing recipes and techniques from his collection of cookbooks. It's all the more watchable as he gets the team involved.
The down-to-earth British chef and master of Michelin-starred pub grub has a series of cook-along videos on his YouTube channel, everything from great kitchen and cooking hacks and quick meals, through to proper "full on lush dishes", as he describes them.
This innovative channel has stood the test of time, clocking up nearly a decade, and it's not surprising given the breadth of innovative recipes and techniques the site offers. With a pro team of James Beard award-winning chefs, filmmakers, designers, scientists, and engineers behind it, expect chef-level content and compelling visuals. It's a great resource for upping your skills and exploring techniques and the science behind them. "We don't tell you how to sharpen your knife, butcher a halibut, or make macarons from scratch, we show you," they say.
Mark Moriarty - chef at two-Michelin-star restaurant The Greenhouse in Ireland, and a former winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition - put together a small selection of recipes inspired by restaurant techniques, to be created by people at home during the lockdown. Think braised beef cheek and slow-cooked lamb among many more.
Paris born chefRomain Avril makes exciting and inspirational videos about food and cooking on Frenchy Cooks. He's a self confessed pastry obsessive but tries to keep this channel as broad as possible. "I like to eat things that will not make me any skinnier," he says.
Rudakova is a professional chef and a food content creator who takes things up a gear sharing a variety of detailed video recipes in molecular gastronomy and fine dining.
The Secrets of Indian Cooking
Monica Haldar, the chef, presenter, food writer and authority on authentic Indian food, founded the acclaimed Indian pop-up restaurant and cookery school The Spice Club, as well as the online cookery school Shikshak. She is the host of Fine Dining Lovers' Secrets of Indian Cooking series, where she reveals the secrets of subcontinental cuisine in such an accessible way that really, you just want to get in the kitchen and have a go yourself. Trust us.
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