How to watch Phaidon chefs’ cookery classes
Want to make pasta like Massimo, or uncover Jp McMahon’s Irish cookery secrets? You can right now, via your nearest screen
Cookbooks are an essential ingredient in all good kitchens, but sometimes it’s nice to have a little more hand-holding when it comes to new recipes and techniques. During lockdown, plenty of chefs and Phaidon authors have been turning to digital channels, and teaching home cooks how to prepare their dishes via Instagram, Zoom and other means.
Aaron Bertelsen, the vegetable gardener, cook at the iconic English country house, Great Dixter, and author of The Great Dixter Cookbook and Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots, has been downing his trug and switching on his webcam, to deliver online lectures.
The talks, the next of which goes out via Zoom on 16 July, cost £15 and last 90 minutes (including a short break). Just as in his latest book, Grow Fruit & Vegetables in Pots, Bertelsen goes from pot to plate, showing the participants how the produce is grown at Great Dixter, before going on to offer a live demonstration in which he prepares a starter, main course and pudding using Dixter produce.
Massimo Bottura’s cookery demonstrations aren’t quite so farm-to-table; his quarantine kichen series, still available via his Instagram page, was filmed during the Italian lockdown, one of the most stringent in Europe. Nevertheless, Bottura, assisted by his immediate family, still manages to show you how to cook up Italian classics, such as pasta al pomodoro, as well as more challenging recipes, such as green curry, and almond gelato with pistachio sauce. After something a little more highbrow? Well, Bottura has also recorded his own Masterclass series before the pandemic, and it is still available here.
Jp McMahon, the author of The Irish Cookbook, and the man behind Aniar, the terroir-based restaurant in Galway, on the West Coast Ireland, is also sharing his culinary skills with the world.
His classes are tailored to either individuals or the groups, and can be made to order, so that participants can decide in advance what they most want to learn and experience. How to prepare lamb rump with asparagus, peas and goats curd? The role of seaweed in Irish cuisine? Jp is your man. The costs of his lessons range from €225 for an individual, through to €560 for a group of four; they last for three hours, and cover five to six dishes. And Jp isn’t just talking at you during that time; he also takes questions, and allows his lessons to be recorded and shared. Find out more here.
Of course, sometimes it’s nice to get away from the phone screen, and so for an old-fashioned guide to all these chefs work, that’s guaranteed not to glitch or deliver the occasional unpleasant camera angle, order Massimo Bottura’s books here; Aaron Bertelsen’s books here; and Jp McMahon’s book here.