Cooking in the time of coronavirus

Source: Risoni with pippies (Cook like an Italian)

Smashed Avo is off for a while. The nationwide shutdown is forcing people back into their kitchens with people around the world sharing corona cooking tips online.

The message from the government, health practitioners and experts alike is clear: stay at home. With restaurants and cafes closed for dining-in, smashed avo is making way for at-home meals.

For some, it's a shock to the system.

But for the beginners in the house, the interweb has stepped in to provide some phenomenal assistance.

84-year-old Nonna Nerina normally runs a pasta cooking class in Rome as an AirBnB experience. But as the country remains in lockdown, she’s gone digital.

Under the banner of ‘Nonna Live’, she offers live-streamed online classes. For those who book, they’ll receive a grocery list the week prior, translated notes, and wine pairings for the dish. The two-hour online classes are sold out until the end of May. 

If the wait for ‘Nonna Live’ is too long, don’t despair. It’s not often a Michelin-star chef offers free cooking lessons. Italian superstar chef Massimo Bottura decided to do just that while he’s in lockdown in his home in northern Italy. On ‘#KitchenQuarantine’ he provides daily recipes, shot on a phone from his kitchen, with steps on how people can recreate the dish inside their own locked down kitchen.

‘Domestic Goddess’ Nigella Lawson is in on the game, posting daily recipes as a third of the world quarantines in their homes. Typically Nigella, she’s boosting spirits with extreme-looking cakes as well as healthy suggestions. 

While the ATP Tennis tour is on hiatus, world number two Rafa Nadal has swapped rackets for the frypan.

The caption reads, "Today it is also time to cook for me and my wife. I hope you are all well and at home taking care of yourself.”

Grant McDougall lives in Maitland NSW, and three years ago started the Facebook group ‘Australian Home Cooking’. It has around three thousand members, but he told The Feed in recent weeks he’s noticed an uptick in traffic.

“I've noticed the activities definitely picked up a lot with I'm guessing it's because people aren't really working at the moment,” he told The Feed.  

McDougall’s had to be more experimental with his own dishes. He would normally make a steak, a salad and a potato bake but this time he’s needed to think outside of the box.

“But now it's sort of like we have to use what we have,” he said.

 “So we might have two minute noodles in the cupboard and mince in the freezer. So we'll make a little vegetable sort of savoury mince dish with noodles.”

The group began to give cooking aficionados and newbies a space to share, and inspire each other. McDougall says the last few weeks the sharing of support reminded him about the “purpose of the group.”

So now people have spent so much time buying up staples like flour and eggs, looking for their cooking inspo in group chats or influencers feeds -- they’ve got no excuse not to use them! 

Australians must stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people. Indoors, there must be a density of no more than one person per four square metres of floor space.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.