As parents, we bemoan the fact that our children never give us a helping hand around the kitchen. Then, as they pack their bags to go to university, we fear the worst and criticise ourselves for not endearing them with the culinary expertise that will see them through the next three years of their lives.
But it really is time to stop panicking – especially if the number of hits one budding young chef has had on his YouTube channel is anything to go by.
Ben Ebbrell is a 25 year old who has positioned himself online, along with three others who make up SortedFood.com, as the go-to chef for all of those students who need to know how to cook at university. To date, their video channel – an online cookery class for university students – has received a massive 13,000,000+ hits. Methinks there are more than just starving freshmen streaming the content, with figures like that.
The Telegraph’s Patrick Smith recently popped along in anticipation of SortedFood getting ready for the new term next month to run a few pointers past the chef to see if he could glean any knowledge to pass on to the students through their paper.
Based on the shooting-from-the-hip answers Ben gave, here are just a few cooking tips for university students to ensure that cooking is not only seen as less of a hassle, but also to demonstrate that confidence is the key to making a success of your fledgling hours in the kitchen.
Teamwork matters – although you may not want to be the first to admit it, many of your housemates are in the same boat. If you foul up with the flour or are pathetic with the pastry, make the mistake together to keep moral up and so that no one’s singled out to blame.
Follow the recipe – looking at a list of ingredients and a method in an ancient recipe book can often leave the student asking, “Say what???”. But some of these recipes are time-honoured; trust them, be confident and they’ll work out fine.
Looking for a cheap, easy meal? Stew or curry wins the vote for Ben. In such a dish, the meat is the meat, so it doesn’t have to be a choice cut. Stewing steak is perfect for both – just bung it in the pot with the rest of the ingredients, whack it in the oven nice and low and, hey presto! – one nutritious meal with all of the goodness kept in.
There is much more about there cookery classes on site, which has an online amazon shop for utensils and gadgets, a new recipe video every day and a huge, searchable archive for cheap and easy meals for a university student.
So, if you’re feeling bad about not having taught your offspring so much in the way of culinary expertise, simply send them on their way with a tablet device and a shortcut to SortedFood on their desktop. They’ll never be far away from someone from their own Generation Z, who is obviously far cooler than us parents in the kitchen and, more importantly, speaks their language, too…innit?