NEW YORK - While eating out at restaurants is on pause for now, more and more people are taking advantage of the extra time at home to learn how to cook. Chef Jonah Miller sees this trend as an opportunity.
"I'm joining these groups via Zoom and cooking with folks all over the country and all over the world in some cases and sharing the history of dishes, tips, and techniques along the way," Miller said.
He owns Huertas, a Spanish restaurant in the East Village, and temporarily closed the business completely at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Takeout and delivery just weren't feasible, so he took his skills online. First, he did Instagram live cooking demos and then began offering virtual classes with as many as 60 students in some of them. He said this is the time to experiment in the kitchen.
"Maybe you've made burgers but you've never actually made the buns for the burgers," Miller said. "Almost certainly, you're not having guests over and you don't have to deliver at a certain hour and have things come out just the way you might expect."
Chinatown blogger Linda Cheng runs the Instagram food photography page @omgihtslinda. She is so accustomed to dining out and said she just started to cook for the first time in years.
"I'm testing out recipes like oxtails, Thai curry chicken wings with the air fryer, doing healthy alternative options and just making time go by quicker," Cheng said. "It's just a learning experience because I haven't used any of those recipes before so I'm doing my research."
So if you've always wanted to explore your creativity in the kitchen, the "pastabilities" are endless.