A couple of weeks ago I headed to London and the very cool YouTube Creator Space, to meet up with the lovely lads from the world’s most engaged YouTube channel SORTEDfood.
I was there to find out all about their very exciting new collaboration with Co-Op – Now Cook It – in which they hope that together they can start to bridge the cooking skills gap that exists in young people today. They wanted to provide something that would get young people learning the vital techniques needed to get cooking, but really it’s for anyone who wants to improve on their cooking skills (me!) and eat better.
Up Your Food Game
‘Now Cook It‘ is a free online cooking course that gives you the basic techniques you need in order to cook most things. Through video, the course shows new and experienced cooks how to master the essential skills of cooking. The site includes a range of recipes that use various techniques, so you can try out skills and get cooking right away.
Inside the YouTube building I chatted to the very lovely and fun boys about their new project and why they wanted to do it and work with Co-Op on the project. For both of them it is all about community – one of the core principles of the Co-op is to encourage self-help and self-improvement. Back in 1844 this involved having classrooms above Food stores. Now Cook It brings this principle into the 21st century, by helping people with their core cooking skills, which in turn could help with food budgeting and healthy eating.
The SORTEDfood guys wanted to create cooking lessons online that are accessible to everyone, and provide people with core cooking skills and basic sets of ingredients, that can then be applied to any recipe.
One of my favourite things about the course, is that they explain how to do things, that at least for me (although I’m sure I’m not the only one) put me off cooking – so, for example, they show you the best and simplest way to cut and deseed a pepper. I hate chopping veg and I’m never quite sure the best way to do it – but I watched the video and practised on the day and now I know! We made the Shakshuka on the day and it was really good and I’m looking forward to making it again at home. Even if you just use the videos to dip into to learn bits like that, then they will still be really useful.
Within the site you can learn the basic skills to bake, braise, grill, boil, roast, fry, and poach like a pro. Then there are loads of ‘essentials’ to master, like how to peel and chop garlic, or how to whip cream. Then there are the basics as well as some showboating skillz like how to make jam!
It’s all intended to be very clear, and to not overwhelm people so they back off. There is no ‘Julienne-ing’ (?!) of veg, or other fancy words that are gobbledegook to a lot of us. I love how much fun the videos are, but also how straightforward they make the process of cooking – I really think they way they have created Now Cook It will appeal to a lot more people than just a standard recipe, especially younger people.
Underneath each recipe the instructions are listed – but what makes that better is that they have linked the methods for carrying out that part of the recipe with the instruction – for example – how to deseed a pepper and the correct knife technique. I love that and think it really helps with improving your cooking skills overall, rather than just learning how to make one particular recipe.
Once you’ve completed a recipe you can add it to your profile along with the skills you’ve just practised, so you can see your cooking level increase, and then show it off on social media! It’s really fun and interactive and I think it is a service that can really help people make better choices when it comes to food.
I’m looking forward to using the site more and impressing everyone with my new skillzzz and soon I’ll be a cooking machinnne! I’m very excited to make the Very Berry Brownie – it looks so good and flipping easy to make, which is what is so great about these recipes.
I was invited by Co-Op to find out more about their collaboration with SORTEDfood.