Cooking online: 8 resources to inspire your inner chef

Some people can cook, some can’t. Online cooking sites, as the crow flies, are plentiful. Doing a search on Google will provide you with millions of links, all described as the “foremost cooking site in the world”. If that’s got you in a state of panic, relax, we’re here to help.

Creating your own site is easy and quick, and literally anybody can do it. As you’re probably aware, that means you should not trust just any cooking site. It’s not just limited to websites either. Apps for your smartphone are all over the place. The online cooking industry is quite literally immense.

When it comes to help-me-I’m-having-friends-for-dinner pains though, a few virtual kitchens stand out. Here are a list of what we feel are eight of the best resources:

1. Chef Hangout

Chef Hangout is a collective of chefs who give cooking classes through interactive video tutorials. Up to 10 people can learn to cook from their own kitchen, and learn the various chefs’ skills, recipes and techniques all without leaving home. Here you can find all the best chefs under one virtual roof ready to share their skills.

2. All Recipes

For the slightly more advanced kitchen ninja, there is All Recipes, a global social networking service considered the number one online community for food and entertaining enthusiasts.

Virtually any recipe can be found here, and if it does not have your grandma’s recipe for roasted chicken with almonds and honey, you can share that recipe.

Users can review and comment on other people’s food-related blogs, pictures and recipes. No jacket required… sorry I meant no membership required.

3. Chef2Chef

This portal can truly be described as global, containing recipes, columns, food-related forums and blogs, chef interviews, online cooking classes and an index and search tool that includes culinary schools around the globe.

A little similar to Chef Hangout, it adds various resources and information about industry scholarships and grants and food-related festivals and events.

4. Foodista

It has been said that Foodista is the Wikipedia of culinary information. Rather than use established and celebrity chefs to compile recipes, the site creates recipes by allowing anyone to write them.

It has become a social platform in itself, where various contributors can work together on one recipe. Sounds like a bit of a walk on the wild side of cooking? Don’t worry, as there are more than 100 000 recipes, and contributions come from the trailer park all the way up to culinary students and chefs.

5. Jamie Oliver’s apps

If you are like me and don’t have a big enough kitchen for a video cooking session, then Jamie Oliver’s cooking and recipe apps are the way to go. Designed for iPhone, the apps contain recipes and some video tutorials.

Jamie’s award-winning “20 Minute Meals” is available for Android. Both apps work like a virtual cooking book on your smartphone, with pictures and videos. Any further recipes need a purchase.

6. Food Network

Apart from the usual resources you would find on a culinary site, Food Network had archived all the recipes ever aired on Food Network programs such as “Extreme Cuisine” and “The Galloping Gourmet.”

It offers video clips, interviews, and live chats with hosts and a detailed programme schedule. Even though it doesn’t offer much more than most of the other food resource sites, it does give you the chance to finally get that recipe you missed before.

7. Epicurious

Epicurious is an all-you-can-eat buffet online resource… with doggie bags. It contains an endless array of culinary information, from the usual you expect to book reviews, culinary travel guides, coverage of beers and liquors, newsletters, glossaries, discussion forums, an enormous shopping area, TV and magazine tie-ins, and over 13,000 recipes.

8. Meals For You

More directed at the man in the street who wants to make an easy meal with a bit of a twist, Meals For You is easy to navigate and offers a very good search engine that will suggest a dish or dishes similar to what you were searching for.

Depending on your location, it will also compile a grocery shopping list for you of what you need for your meal! How nifty is that?



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