By: Lauren Vella

Foodies and aspiring chefs rejoice! Gone are the days of rummaging through bargain basement cook books and catching commercial-laden reruns of Rachel Ray’s 15 Minute Meals on the Food Network. Today, chefs and home cooks have made it incredibly easy to learn simple cooking methods and master flavorful recipes by sharing their expertise and knowledge on YouTube. YouTube is a versatile, and informative resource for those who are culinary novices, or seasoned foodies looking to try a different cuisine or learn a new “hack.” Below are five food-based YouTube channels that all food lovers NEED to check out.

1) Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube: When you land on FoodTube’s homepage you may find the variety and quantity of videos a bit overwhelming – do not be intimidated! As you scroll through his videos you will stumble upon a plethora of delicious recipes, collaborations with other talented chefs/celebrities and some extremely handy one minute cooking tips. Oliver’s style of cooking tends to be more rustic, comfort food. One can find anything from quick Middle Eastern snacks (hummus and flatbreads) to traditional English Sunday roasts. Everyone can benefit from watching these videos. However, this channel is particularly helpful for those who are looking to eat well on a budget. Jamie Oliver and his “food team” have developed several money saving recipes that are perfectly suitable for families, college students, etc. Additionally, Jamie has different segments on his channel devoted to what he calls “super food.” During these segments he breaks down his recipe ingredient by ingredient explaining its nutritional value, and the part that vegetables, whole grains and proteins play in our day to day bodily function.

2) Gennaro Contaldo: If you have a love for Italian food and more specifically pasta, then Gennaro Contaldo’s channel is right for you. Gennaro Contaldo is an old school Italian chef from the Amalfi Coast that just so happens to be Jamie Oliver’s mentor. On his channel you will find amazing pasta recipes that range from Italian restaurant favorites like spaghetti bolognese to authentic regional home recipes like potato gnocchi with pumpkin and rosemary. What is even better than Gennaro’s food is the way in which he conducts himself in front of the camera. Usually cooking in the backdrop of a busy London restaurant kitchen, or a beautiful Amalfi sunset, Gennaro is full of life, genuinely excited about the food he is cooking. You will occasionally see him invite the camera to “smell” an aroma or take a nose dive deep into the pan for a closer look at his sauces. This channel is also great for vegetarians and vegans because many of the pasta recipes featured are vegetarian options or can be made vegetarian.

3) ChefSteps: The Hack King!! One of the first things that attracts a viewer to ChefSteps is their impeccable attention to detail. Whether it is learning how to make the perfect cup of coffee, or turning an antique butter knife set into a gorgeous set of steak knives, ChefSteps never seems to disappoint. For those of you looking to control grill “flare ups” or make the best ratatouille THREE ways, this channel provides amazingly simple chef proven hacks to prepare the most flavorful food.  The creators featured here are highly skilled trained chefs that rely on precision and new-age gadgetry to create wonderfully delicious culinary concoctions. Thus, if you are new to cooking, or lack the necessary tools used in these videos,  this channel might be one to visit once you have gained some experience.

4) Food Busker: Anyone who loves food knows that some of the best dishes you will ever eat come from street vendors. Eating street food is the easy part, but cooking it can be a bit more challenging. John Quilter (aka “The Food Busker”) aims to provide people on the street with some amazing eclectic street food, while showing his online viewers how to make it. Quilter, a former British restaurateur opened a restaurant that went bust. After his business went under, he decided to cook food on the street and serve pedestrians, asking them what they think the food is worth. The Food Busker videos are perfect for those who want to prepare delicious, quick street food in their own kitchens. The channel is also fun to watch because the viewers can place their own bids on the food and guess what each pedestrian would pay for the dish.

5) SORTEDFood: Searching for a channel that has ultimate food challenges, weekly vlogs, and great family-style dinner recipes? SORTEDFood is the channel for you! Creators Ben, Jamie, Barry and Mike are four cooks who travel the globe and bring back regional recipes to cook for their viewers. Meals that we would normally go to a restaurant to eat like Japanese ramen, gourmet steak and cheese sandwiches, calzones, curries and more have all been made into simple home kitchen-friendly recipes on SORTEDFood. The channel also includes some great tips and recommendations on how and where to buy knives, the best and most effective ways to film and photograph your food and anecdotes about their experiences traveling and cooking. While watching this channel, the audience truly feels connected with the creators of SORTEDFood. The camaraderie between the creators makes each video easy to watch and keeps you interested and informed. SORTEDFood also has a great website where they share the recipes they cook on their channel, as well as different tips and tricks for preparing interesting ingredients like flowers and figs.

If you like any of these channels, or have some food channels on the YouTube space that are your personal favorites, let us know in the comments below!