Food is universal — but not everyone knows how to make it. Here are a couple of reasons you should learn: sure, becoming a better cook will help make you a hit at your next dinner party. But studying the process of how food is made will also teach you important facts about chemistry, biology, and culture — and even allow you to enjoy your food more.
Whether you’re an expert chef who can whip up crowd-pleasing meals in a pinch, or whether you’re just learning your way around the spoon drawer, here are 35 great courses, articles, blogs and videos, that will inspire even the laziest chefs among you to whip out the stove. And in the unlikely event that it doesn’t, there are still some awesome dishes to feast your eyes on. Now that’s a win-win!
1. What You Should Always Keep In Your Pantry (And Fridge, and Freezer): A handy guide from the folks at Bon Appetit.
2. Stock This List of Pantry Essentials: An infographic from CookSmarts.
3. The Kitchn’s Guide to Essential Cookware: The Kitchn’s simplified guide to all those pots and pans you’ll need to get to work in the kitchen.
4. Anthony Bourdain’s 5 Kitchen Essentials: The cavalier chef reveals the tools he can’t live without in this interview with Martha Stewart on Sirius XM.
5. 7 Tools For Preparing Meat: Food52, a website for anyone learning to cook, breaks down what you need to work with meat.
6. 9 Essential Tools for Cooking Vegetables: A straight-forward guide to learning your way around veggies in the kitchen.
7. A Guide To Identifying Grains: Learn your millet from your wheat berries.
8. Cooking Conversions: Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen lays out temperature, volume and ingredient equivalents in this necessary guide.
9. How to Cook Rice: Real Simple’s guide to perfectly cooking rice.
10. Roasted Broccoli: Crispy veggie goodness in three steps.
11. Grilled Marinated Flank Steak: From Mark Bittman’s favorite recipes.
12. Pasta Cooking Basics: AllRecipes has your guide to cooking pasta.
13. Grown Up Birthday Cake: Leave out-of-the-box cakes in the past.
14. Grilled Salmon: Whip up grilled salmon whenever with this simple marinade.
15. How to Make The Best Granola Ever: An extensive guide to DIY granola.
16. How to Make Hummus from Scratch: Store-bought no more.
Cooking By Cuisine
17. The New Nordic Diet: In this online course, the University of Copenhagen shines a light on “The New Nordic Diet,” a new cuisine developed in recent years that prioritizes proper nutrition and environmental sustainability.
Level: Intermediate | Duration: N/A | Start date: TBA
18. How To Cook The Japanese Way: If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make sushi, this course is for you. The Udemy course introduces students to Japanese cuisine, and includes video lectures on how to make different kinds of sushi.
Level: Beginner | Duration: 1.5 hours | Start date: Always one
19. Italian Cooking for Beginners: A brief introduction to classic Italian dishes and cooking techniques. This Udemy course teaches students the ins and outs of cooking pasta and making your own pasta sauce.
Level: Beginner | Duration: 45 min | Start date: Always on
20. Hot Thai Kitchen: Want a course that does more than teach you recipes? This course on Thai cuisine explains the scientific reasons behind certain Thai dishes, why they call for specific ingredients, and which ingredients you can substitute in a pinch. Closed close, so you must request an invitation.
Level: Beginner | Duration: Self-paced | Start date: Always on
21. Acadanian Table: Louisiana native George Graham writes a love letter to southern creole cuisine in this blog, which was named a 2014 finalist for Saveur’s best food blogs contest. In addition to recipes, you can find photos, a farmers market directory, and a creole cooking dictionary.
22. Indian Simmer: Named this year’s winner of Saveur’s best regional cooking blog, Indian Simmer is written by Prerna Singh, where she shares easy to follow recipes and stories behind her favorite Indian dishes. A self-made cook, wife, and mother of one, Prerna says in her bio that cooking is the only stress buster she knows and her skills have come from three things: circumstances, no help, and hunger.
23. Dominican Cooking: Aunt Clara’s Kitchen is written by two Dominican women and friends: Clara Gonzalez and Ilana Benady. Together, they share traditional dominican recipes and highlight the healthy and varied cuisine of their home. Named finalist for Saveur’s contest.
24. Jun-Blog: Named after his father, Jun (short for Junior) Belen shares recipes and personal stories about his relationship with Filipino food in his widely acclaimed food blog. Jun has won numerous awards for his work, which has also been featured in the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Filipino Daily Inquirer and other publications.
Online Cooking Communities
25. Chefsteps: designed by the guys who brought you Modernist Cuisine (that six-volume series of ginormous coffee table books with impossible photos of ordinary food), Chefsteps is an online cooking community dedicated to learning and experimentation. Here, you’ll find guides on how to grow your own microgreens, pull off a clam bake, measure ingredients by weight, and make the perfect espresso.
26. Jamie Oliver: Jamie Oliver, TV chef extraordinaire, has created a sizeable YouTube empire. With over a million subscribers, his branded channel Food Tube offers a mix of original content, repurposed material from his show, and a segment called “Jamie Presents,” in which he shows off the best new cooks on the Internet.
27. America’s Test Kitchen: America’s Test Kitchen which shows you fool-proof, yet awesome recipes (I’m serious, they are tested upto 40 times with cheap cookware, mediocre stovetops, and even some wrong ingredients) which are guaranteed to impress, every single time.
28. Nicko’s Kitchen: For those with a serious sweet tooth. Rob “Nicko” Nixon has a delightful YouTube channel that shows viewers how to recreate fast food favorites — like In-n-Out burgers, ramen burgers, and KFC fried chicken — at home. There, you can also find recipes for sweet treats like Cinnamon Toast Crunch pancakes, peanut butter fudge, and rainbow cupcakes.
29. Sorted Food: Sorted Food is an online cooking show hosted by four dashing young men from London. What started as a project between the four friends has become an online community of new cooks and food lovers who post pictures online of the fruits of their labor with the hashtag #eyeCandySorted. And on their YouTube channel, the guys share recipes and tricks with clever segments like “3 Things To Do With: POTATOES” and “Chocolate Brownie In A Mug… LIVE!”
The Science of Cooking:
30. The Science of Gastronomy: A scientific exploration of the how and why we prepare, consume and enjoy food. This course from the Hong Kong Institute of Science and Technology requires students to cook and try out different recipes (mmm!) while explaining the biological and cultural reasons behind our senses and preferences.
Level: Beginner | Duration: N/A | Start date: TBA
31. Kitchen Chemistry: This course from MIT OpenCourseWare uses hands-on cooking assignments to explore chemistry in action. Students will learn about chemical processes like denaturation, extraction, and phase changes.
Level: Beginner | Duration: Self-paced | Start date: Always on
32. Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science: This archived course from HarvardX mixes science and culinary arts with lectures from top chefs (who show off the recipes behind their best dishes) and researchers (who explain what it might teach us about physics and engineering).
Level: Beginner | Duration: Self-paced | Start date: Always on | Read reviews
33. The Meat We Eat: A close look at the state of commercial food production. “The Meat We Eat” examines where our meat comes from, and what it means when we eat it. The course description says the class is meant to “create a more informed consumer.”
Level: Beginner | Duration: 7 weeks | Start date: TBA
34. Childhood Nutrition and Cooking: This course from Stanford aims to demystify nutrition. By examining “contemporary childhood nutrition,” students will learn what healthy eating looks like today, as well as how to prepare nutritious meals for adults and children.
Level: Beginner | Duration: 5 weeks | Start date: TBA | Read reviews
P.S. – If you’re not on your way to your stove already, hit play on this awesome TED talk.