While some Londoners are relishing the newfound hours that can be spent gently tending to a 24-hour daal, others are tearing their hair out at the prospect of yet another serving of beans on toast. 

Not all of us are great cooks, but we’re all currently faced with the prospect of cooking for ourselves  a lot. 

Cookbooks are one go-to (and buying one by a London restaurant can help support the industry at this tricky time), but some of us need to be shown rather than told. 

Enter the YouTube chef: the UK is home to plenty of top notch cooks (professtionally trained or home-taught) who have garnered legions of subscribers with their recipes, demonstrations and adventures. 

From globetrotting chefs to mindbogglingly popular bakers, these are the YouTube chefs looking to make your lockdown a little tastier. 


Are you missing your Crumbs & Doilies fix? As well as heading up the popular Soho bakery, Jemma Wilson has 1.73 million subscribers watching her bake sweet treats, ranging from salted caramel macarons and gluten-free red velvet cupcakes. CupcakeJemma really has it all covered – her page is home to entire playlists dedicated to chocolate cupcakes and rainbow baking.

John Quilter

Travelling is a bit of a no-no at the moment, so use the lockdown to see the world through John Quilter’s hungry eyes. Also known as Food Busker, the former pro chef travels the world in search of the most exciting recipes he can get his hands on, from cooking Korean short ribs in Los Angeles to making fried chicken with London cook James Cochran.


From katsu curry to carbonara, Miguel Barclay’s cheap and cheerful recipes have proved pretty popular. He now boasts five bestselling cookbooks, more than 300k Instagram followers, and he’s now opening his own eponymous pizzeria in Camden’s new Buck Street Market.

Food With Chetna

Ex-Bake Off contestant Chetna Makan gets the whole family involved on her channel. Makan’s mother and children help her bake the cakes that sent her to the semi-finals of GBBO, and share family-inspired Indian recipes for samosas, paneer masala, butter chicken, homemade naan and more. As ever, mother knows best.

Rachel Ama

A plant-based diet doesn’t have to be placid. London-based Ama serves up vegan comfort food with plenty of spice. Her recipe videos cover everything from the likes of sweet potato stew and Caribbean jerk-seasoned jackfruit, to make-ahead healthy meal prep and and vegan alternative to a “cheeky” Nando’s

Five YouTube chefs to help inspire your lockdown home cooking

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