Cooking inspiration: The best Instagram live cook-alongs, from Nando's to Wagamama

Louise Whitbread
·7-min read
Get the kids involved with family-friendly recipes, or try your hand at an Italian favourite you've never mastered at home: iStock
Get the kids involved with family-friendly recipes, or try your hand at an Italian favourite you've never mastered at home: iStock

Let’s face it, as another week (we've lost count of how many) in lockdown comes to a close, we find the majority of the day is spent talking about what to eat, thinking about what we need, cooking it and the finally, clearing up.

As the monotony of it drags on, meal inspiration can be lacking and you may find yourself eating that easy go-to dish – pesto pasta – more than you usually would, simply because you're feeling too lazy to commit to anything more experimental.

Which is where Instagram fits in. Instead of just scrolling through videos of tasty dishes that other people are cooking (and taking pictures of before eating) try cooking along to a live tutorial hosted by an expert chefs or your favourite restaurant, where you can even learn some of the secrets to the dishes (hello, Wagamama's katsu chicken curry).

It will make dinner much more exciting and is a chance to improve your culinary skills, seeing as we’re going nowhere fast.

These are seven of our favourites to get stuck into.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Wagamama

Every Wednesday the chain's executive chef, Steve Mangleshot, teaches viewers how to make some of its most-loved dishes from scratch, like the katsu curry and yaki soba, on its Instagram, Facebook and Youtube channels in its new “Wok from home” series.

The first episode featured the katsu curry, where Mangleshot shared all the ingredients you’ll need and how to cook it, so you can whip up arguably the best dish on its menu at home.

Visit Wagamama on Instagram now

Bread Ahead

Every day on its Instagram page at 2pm, Bread Ahead, a bakery and baking school in London's Borough Market, will be sharing live baking lessons with followers, so you can extend your lockdown baking skills beyond banana bread, and also learn how to whip up carrot cake, brioche, ham and cheese croissants, sourdough pizza and more.

Details of which dishes the team will be baking and when, can be found on its website, so you can get ingredients prepared and schedule in what you want to join in individually, with friends or even for a lunch date with a partner you’re not self-isolating with.

Visit Bread Ahead on Instagram now

Padella Pasta

One of the best pasta restaurants in London has joined in on the Instagram live cook-along trend, delivering tutorials on how to recreate some of its best dishes such as Pici cacio e pepe and linguine.

It’s not as regular as others but keep checking its feed for information on when the next live will be. It also helpfully posts what ingredients you’ll need for upcoming recipes so you can be organised ahead of time.

Visit Padella Pasta on Instagram now

Christina Tosi Baking Club

If you’re craving something sweet, join American pastry chef Christina Tosi, who you might recognise from the first episode of Chef's Table: Pastry, the TV show's first baking series in 2018.

She's created a series called Baking Club, where every day at 7pm (UK time), she concocts delicious treats using ingredients that you’ll probably already have on hand.

Get your sweet tooth fix from oat cookie bars, cereal meringues, brown butter Nilla wafers, hot fudge and soft pretzels.

If you’re lucky you may even get a glimpse of her appropriately named dog, Butter, in the background.

Visit Christina Tosi on Instagram now

Massimo Bottura

Michelin starred chef, Massimo Bottura, is live-streaming his family dinner preparation every day between 7pm-7:30pm to his one million followers.

So far in his live videos, he has made dishes such as ragu, parmigiano reggiano, tiramisu and gelato, which you can catch up on if you missed them on his Instagram page, with details of what he’s cooking each day announced on his stories.

You’ll emerge from lockdown with a whole host of culinary skills to impress dinner party guests with.

Visit Massimo Bottura’s Instagram now

Nando’s

Yes, you read that right, Nando’s is hosting an Instagram live cook-along every Thursday at 7pm with Tim, the head chef behind its much-loved menu.

He’ll also be joined by special guests each week, including rapper Aitch and footballer Jesse Lingard.

It’s a chance to cook your favourite peri-peri chicken dishes, and the restaurant is also posting recipes on its main feed to follow too.

Visit Nando’s on Instagram now

Honey & Co.

Middle Eastern restaurants owners Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich are encouraging their followers to join its live cook-alongs that have already seen them teach how to make homemade hummus, pistachio and blood orange cakes and tahini fruit and nut fudge.

Join in as they reveal how to master comfort foods, healthy dinners and sweet treats on a weekly basis, just make sure to check their posts regularly so you know what ingredients you'll need ahead of time.

Visit Honey & Co. Instagram now

Jason Atherton

Chef Jason Atherton has created an aptly named family-friendly cook-along series, Social Kitchen Isolation, serving up daily tutorials on dishes such as post work out power protein bowls, Korean noodles, chicken leek mushroom pie and red Thai curry.

It's great if you're looking for ample helpings of flavour in 10 minute videos, with meals that will impress your kids and fellow self-isolating partners.

Visit Jason Atherton on Instagram now

Leon

Alongside its Feed The NHS campaign, which has seen the restaurant chain deliver free meals to NHS workers on the frontline of the coronavirus outbreak, it is also doing live cook-alongs with celebrity guests like Matt Lucas on its Instagram page.

All the recipes come from its bestselling cookbooks, so once you've mastered a few dishes, there's a long list of dishes to try to make lunchtimes much more interesting.

Visit Leon on Instagram now

Theo Cooks

For family-friendly cooking, tune into 2014 Masterchef semi-finalist and presenter Theo Michaels, who is hosting a live cook-along every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 4pm.

From kids curry to vegan burgers, there are dishes to suit even the fussiest of eaters and you can get the kids involved.

On his feed, he posts the ingredients you’ll need for upcoming meals and leaves regular reminders on his stories, so you’ll never miss one.

His previous cook-alongs are also all saved on his website, too so there's plenty of inspiration.

Visit Theo Cooks on Instagram now

For more recipe ideas, go to our recipe section

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