Some Americans won’t put their newfound love of cooking on the back burner post coronavirus pandemic.
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People confined to their homes have had to cook their food because of shelter in place mandates and delayed grocery deliveries. So home cooking could stick, even when restaurants reopen dining rooms and everyday commerce resumes, a new study suggests.
More than half of Americans, 54 percent, are saying they’re cooking more, and 46 percent saying they’ve baked more now than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey from Hunter, a food and beverage communications firm.
Hunter surveyed 1,005 Americans who said they were cooking while sheltering in place, of those 54 percent said they'd continue to cook at home when the pandemic passes. Of those, 75 percent said they gained more confidence in their culinary skills, while 50 percent said they’re learning more. And 73 percent are enjoying it more than ever.
And it’s easy to find inspiration at a social distance. Chefs around the globe have started live streaming from the comfort of their kitchens, giving viewers a seat at their virtual chef’s table. Italian chef Massimo Bottura, owner of Michelin-starred restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, started a “Kitchen Quarantine” series, showing viewers how to make homemade pasta and tiramisu.
“Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio turned green veggies, carrots and stock into an easy egg drop soup. Martha Stewart has been live-streaming salad tutorials and baking extraordinaire Christina Tosi started a virtual “Baking Club” giving fans a dose of baking classes via Instagram mixing up easy recipes with pantry staples for oat cookie bars, cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip cookies and a savory citrus loaf cake.
Novice chefs are also relying on meal delivery kits now more than ever. Blue Apron, which weighed the sale of its company last month, has had a surge in demand in recent weeks, and the company is increasing production for future orders and hiring more employees. And meal-kit rival HelloFresh, based in Berlin, announced it would create 400 jobs in the United Kingdom to meet international demand last month, the BBC reported. And Gusto, a London-based meal kit service closed a $41 million round in funding for its AI technology to help give customers personalized recommendations for what to make to eat, TechCrunch reported.
However, America's newfound or rediscovered love of cooking could lead to leaner waistlines as more people try to avoid gaining the “Quarantine 15.” Pinterest told Fox Business the recipe search for “healthy things to cook,” has increased by four times as many searches compared to during average times.