In between splurging your student loan on cheesy chips and living the life of an instant-noodle ascetic, you might actually want to do some cooking at uni. YouTube is a hotbed of culinary inspiration – we recommend four channels that come with ample LOLs
This eccentric French private chef sells himself as “THE REAL DEAL.” Part Van Damme, part Raymond Blanc, he’s buff, with a farcical accent that’s as distracting as his Colgate smile. Watch his croissant video and you’ll see what we mean. He also does weird cowboy impressions and things with pepper grinders. His cooking doesn't suffer, though – he trained under the legendary Alain Ducasse in Paris – and for cheap and easy-to-prepare recipes his ‘Rustic French Loaf’ is pretty much foolproof, as is the ratatouille; if you can handle something a bit more involved, his burger and macaroni cheese recipes are winners.
Cooking with Dog
If you like your cooking to have more of a, um, canine flavour, Cooking with Dog is the dog’s...yeah, you get the idea. This YouTube channel plays on the cute pet heartstrings with a miniature grey poodle called Francis hosting, and a mysterious unnamed chef knocking up (mainly) Japanese grub. It’s been going since 2007 and there are now 150 plus recipes, a lot of which may be unfamiliar – but you’ll want to check out the steamed pork buns, gyoza (fried dumplings) Katsu curry, and any of the rice bowl recipes. An abundance of good Asian supermarkets in the Northwest means any specialist ingredients shouldn’t be hard to come by.
On first viewing you expect Helen Rennie's recipes to be pure piss-takes (in fact her video 'YouTube Personalities' is a pop at the different types of foodie vloggers), but she is in fact a bona fide cooking teacher from Boston. She’s a self-deprecating YouTuber who acknowledges that her personality on camera is divisive; but though she gives occasionally strange advice (“monolithic hockey puck,” “if the worms a moving the fish are fresh”), we think she’s damn watchable. Her grilled chicken marinated in yoghurt and her no-knead pizza dough are both practical and great additions to your repertoire, and her videos on how to slice vegetables, season to taste and sharpen a knife will teach you much-needed skills with a good dose of humour.
This is one for disciples of Blumenthal, Adrià, Keller, and Achatz. If those surnames mean nothing to you, ChefSteps will seem a bit alien. It's predominantly modernist cooking from a Seattle-based company founded by Chris Young, former development chef at The Fat Duck. Think precision: thermal probes, unusual chemicals, and sous vide machines are rife. However, the recipes are step-by-step with great photography and detailed instructions – most recipes do require expensive kit but, whether you’re making pastrami or roasting a chicken, the tips are adaptable and invaluable.