Coronavirus: Isolation cooking tips from Toronto food pros

Miss your fave restaurant? Toronto chefs and restaurateurs are sharing their favourite quarantine recipes on Instagram


If the widespread flour shortages are any indication (side note: stop hoarding flour!), experimenting in the kitchen has become a major pastime for those stuck at home during these times of self-isolation and physical distancing.

Many of Toronto’s top chefs and culinary industry pros are doing the same — and, in some cases, are posting their processes and results to the ‘gram (fortunately for us).

Here are a few cooking videos and tutorials from Toronto chefs to check out if you’re looking for a little inspiration:

Farzam Fallah (@farzamfallah)

The onetime Richmond Station pastry whiz and now-bartender has been posting semi-regular Instagram stories of his nightly dinners, with step-by-step instructional clips in case you’d like to play along at home. 

Sneak peek: This week, Fallah prepared some spiced lamb chops, complete with mortar-and-pestle-crushed fennel, coriander, and cardamom.

Maddy Goldberg (@maddygoldberg)

Goldberg, who cooks at Aloette, has not let the pandemic slow her kitchen roll. Her meals — from a melty, cheesy Portugese panini to a decadent-looking banana bread smothered in peanut butter anglaise — will have your mouth watering and your oven preheating. She’s posting step-by-step instructions for the meals from her main feed in her stories, and you don’t have to worry about missing the 24-hour window: Goldberg is archiving recipes in a story highlight on her profile. 

Sneak peek: This week’s recipes included bouncy, eggy, za’atar-dusted burger buns — perfect for making hamburgers or, as Goldberg did, oozy breakfast sandwiches.

Massimo Capra (@chefcapra)

If your tastes skew more towards full-ish length instructional cooking videos, Massimo is your man. The iconic Toronto chef has been posting videos from his home kitchen, in which he prepares comfort classics including broccoli soup, lasagna, and minestrone. He’s got wine pairings, too!

Sneak peek: Capra’s making cocktails, too — scroll back to March 18 for an easy-peasy negroni recipe

Rossy Earle (@pancancooks)

The Insta feed of the Diablos Fuego hot sauce baroness is mouth-watering at the best of times, but during these times, it’s especially tantalizing. Like her contemporaries, Earle is posting instructions for many of her dishes in her stories, and archiving finished dishes on the main feed. The real highlight here: Earle is a whiz with leftovers, often whipping up dishes from offcuts and odds and ends from her fridge — perfect thinking the further along into isolation we get.

Sneak peek: Kitchen-sink pizza made with tortillas, topped with corn, jalapeno, chorizo, scallions, and coriander.

Sam Medeiros (@smedeiros_)

The La Palma sous chef hasn’t been holding back on the decadence, whipping up gnocchi, pineapple buns, and fried chicken, among other things, in her daily stories. In case you miss her daily vids, she’s been writing out recipes for her main feed — a true public service.

Sneak peek: A fully annotated challah recipe, with tweaks for a better loaf than Medeiros herself pulled off (though we happen to think it looked perfect).

Nick Liu (@ninjachef)

Liu’s bold Asian cuisine has become a Toronto staple, and those missing the DaiLo and Lo Pan chef’s innovative flavour combos can try their hands at replicating his home cooking in their own kitchens. Liu has been posting near-daily recipes — in his stories, so check back often! — for incredible-looking dishes including chicken chili tacos and homemade pho. 

Sneak peek: A Bar Raval-inspired dinner including pan con tomat and seared shishitos. 

Shawn Adler (@powwowcafeto)

The Pow Wow Cafe chef is new to the Insta-recipes game, but so far, his entries are real winners: mushroom, potato, and cauliflower soup, and duck egg pancakes with ricotta and drunken cherries. Sounds like a perfect Sunday brunch.

Sneak peek: You’ll have to check out the Pow Wow Cafe Instagram to find out which of the two above dishes Adler suggests garnishing with french fries.

Trevor Lui (@trevorlui)

Lui is explicitly providing isolation hacks in his Instagram posts, offering up easy, no-frills recipes that call for simple pantry staples and frozen foods — because, after all, we can’t just run out to the store if we’re missing an item or two. His “iso-recipe hacks” are easy, fast, and nutritious — and, for the most part, plant-based, so they’re vegan-friendly as well.

Sneak peek: A very Toronto-friendly recipe for Jamaican beef patty sandwiches that call for frozen patties and whatever bread you happen to have on hand.

@RebeccaTee

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