The quarantine cooks making lockdown lunches fun

Right now you may be cooking more meals than you'd like to. Guy Kelly looks at the celebrities inspiring what we eat

 From their marble-topped- islanded kitchens to ours: ready, steady, cook.
 From their marble-topped- islanded kitchens to ours: ready, steady, cook. Credit: Instagram/Shutterstock

Just as with your least favourite child, or your increasingly bedraggled reflection, I expect you’re seeing a lot more of your kitchen at the moment, and finding it hard not to resent it a little more every day. Well, help is at hand – for the kitchen, anyway. In the time of coronavirus, self-isolated and formidably bored celebrity chefs around the world are doing what they can to help inspire you, whether you have next to nothing in the cupboards, a well-stocked larder, or 843 tins of chickpeas bought in haste one delirious Tuesday morning last month. From their marble-topped- islanded kitchens to ours: ready, steady, cook.

Jason Atherton

Jason Atherton Credit: Instagram @_jasonatherton

The AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year, whom Theresa May once hired to cook for Donald Trump (she couldn’t just have anyone decanting a vat of Diet Coke and a mound of hamburger meat into the appropriate crockery, could she?), has been sharing recipes on Instagram. A couple of weeks ago he also posted a video of Ronan Keating, for whom he’d made a takeaway roast, singing for his supper. Come on, Jason, as if we aren’t suffering enough.

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver Credit: Instagram @jamieoliver

When the nation calls, Jamie Oliver tends to answer. And so it proved last week, when Oliver launched a nightly show, titled Keep Cooking and Carry On, showing us how to cook with limited ingredients and budget. It was nice, but I’m still waiting to find out what to do with my freezerful of Turkey Twizzlers. Twenty-five minutes at 200C should do it, right Jamie?

Chrissy Teigen 

Chrissy Teigen  Credit: Instagram @chrissyteigen

One cookery show that should be commissioned is At Home with the Legends – currently an occasional feature on Instagram, peering into the enormous kitchen of singer John Legend and his wife, cook/model/presenter/social-media person Chrissy Teigen. Teigen drinks wine, Legend looks handsome, nauseatingly cute children pitter in and out, and you get the warm, fuzzy feeling that isolation would be a lot more fun with a reported household net worth of around $70 million. 

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay Credit: Tik Tok @gordonramsayofficial

‘In case you need a recipe tonight,’ Gordon Ramsay posted on Instagram recently. Here we go, we thought, another famous chef with a simple store-cupboard dinner that only requires a fully stocked deli to complete. But no, it was Ramsay and his 18-year-old daughter, Tilly, performing a ‘TikTok’ (life is too short) routine to the Yung Gravy (life is still too short) song Cheryl. ‘Juice, sauce, little bit of dressing,’ the lyrics go. Is that nutritionally complete?

Jack Monroe

Jack Monroe Credit: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

When Oliver’s series was announced, many asked why Jack Monroe, who quite literally wrote the book on cooking on a shoestring, wasn’t given the job instead. Still, Monroe has been providing a vital service on Twitter, using the hashtag #JackMonroesLockdownLarder to answer questions like, ‘Can you use normal rice in a risotto?’ (yes); suggest alternative ingredients (apple sauce for eggs in a cake); and devise recipes for whatever you have left – not including that 48-pack of loo roll. 

Antoni Porowski
Antoni Porowski Credit: Instagram @antoni

The man who gained fame teaching old redneck men that avocados exist on Netflix’s Queer Eye has invited us into his small but chic kitchen to host ‘Quar Eye: Cooking Lessons in Quarantine’ – daily recipes and general pearls of wisdom, delivered via Instagram. One recent example of the latter: if you burn your fingers cooking, touch your earlobe and the pain goes away. ‘I don’t know if it’s true or not,’ he added. Thanks, Antoni, we’ve had enough of experts, anyway.