Being in the business of covering food news, it’s easy to be all doom and gloom right now. While the COVID-19 outbreak is certainly causing huge disruptions in the foodservice industry, there are some silver linings.
The coronavirus — and subsequent social distancing measures — could have a real effect within our own kitchen. Reuters reported last week that quarantined folks in China have been spending time in their kitchens and learning to cook, leading to increased downloads in recipe apps and guided cooking services.
If you’re also cooped up at home and looking to flex your cooking skills, there are plenty of great services out there to help you learn to be a better chef. And good news — some are even offering deals!
We’ve listed some below, and will be updating the list as we learn of more. If you notice any are missing please leave us a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you stocked up on a bunch of vegetables but aren’t sure exactly how to turn them into meals, Plant Jammer could be a useful guide. The service, which is available via a website or an app, uses AI to generate vegetarian recipes based on what you have available at your house (which could be very helpful if you’re trying to make use of what you have without hitting up the grocery store).
As of today Plant Jammer’s paid features will be free to all users. According to an email from the company, they will assess how long to continue the offer based off of the progression of the coronavirus outbreak.
If you have a smart cooking system Hestan Cue at home and want to finally learn how to use it to make fancy restaurant meals at home, you’re in luck. The company, which makes a connected cooktop and pan set that connects with your phone to guide your cooking, is now offering a free Hestan Cue Cooking School. The first course is all about Mastering Eggs — other courses have not been announced yet. If you want to follow along, you can sign up here.
It’s never been a better time to invest in cookbooks: you get new recipes to try, great reading material, and are able to support local bookstores that have had to shutter to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Now Serving, L.A.’s only cookbook bookstore, is trying to beef up sales by offering free online shipping. If you’re in the area you can also get curbside pickup. The Book Larder, Seattle’s only cookbook bookstore, is also offering free shipping on orders over $50.
Looking for cooking inspiration and bored of your usual staples? Online subscription service ckbk lets you browse a bunch of cookbooks virtually — sort of like a Spotify for cookbooks. Interested folks can use the code WECANCOOKTHROUGHTHIS to get a 30 day free trial to ckbk, which allows them to browse 360 cookbooks and 85,000 recipes to find new recipe inspiration.
Some of us need a little more hand-holding during our cooking process. In that case, several meal kit services are offering discounts. Blue Apron is offering $60 off through March, and Hello Fresh has a variety of promotions going (including $80 off over four weeks).
Do you have a guided cooking service offering a deal to help folks cook during this trying time? Give us a shout in the comment section or drop us a line.