The Rise of the Home Chef and Social Media Cooking
Let’s face it – with pandemic measures in place to keep the population safe, a lot of our interests, hobbies and pastimes have been put on hold, waiting for safer times. Nevertheless, some hobbies have actually been on the rise, with none perhaps more elevated in quarantine than home cooking.
According to Hunter’s Food News’ study, 54% of polled Americans report they’re cooking more and 46% are baking more. This trend appears to hold firm around the world, with GlobalWebIndex reporting that 40-50% of respondents from Canada, China, France, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Philippines and Spain admit they spend more time cooking at home this year.
Pictures of beautifully presented (and assuredly mouthwatering) dishes have become mainstays on social media channels like Instagram, while new channels with how-to cooking and recipe videos are gaining thousands of views on YouTube.
Yes, 2020 is undoubtedly the year of the Home Chef.
Home Cooking Before Lockdown
Rest assured, home cooking was on the rise before the events of 2020.
Kevin Alexander’s book Burn the Ice explains how a new generation of chefs emerged in the mid 2000s with more ambitious, technical dishes that became beloved by consumers, who, in turn, went home and began experimenting more with their own dishes. And as social channels like YouTube and Facebook emerged and helped spread content easily, more and more home chefs were using the medium to share recipes, signature spices and techniques.
Home Cooking After Lockdown
With recent events forcing restaurants to shut down or rethink their setup, cooking at home has become a necessity when eating out is not an option. And if you weren’t used to cooking before, you’ve undoubtedly had enough time practicing in the kitchen now. A Hunter Food study in 2020 learned that 50% of Americans are becoming more confident in their culinary skills.
Through that same study, we learned that people who work from home or have more flexible schedules now have more time to partake in the hobby and 45% of them are looking to try their hand at creating new dishes. Cooking brings comfort and joy to the chef as seen when 35% of Americans say they enjoy cooking more than ever, and 51% will keep cooking long after a new normal is established.
Cooking Up an Impact (and a Profit)
Beyond cooking for themselves and their families, some home chefs are using their kitchens to support local communities or even creating dishes as part of their side hustle. In India, chefs like Mrinaly Haryal offer a small menu of dishes which are delivered on certain days of the week.
Their home-cooked meals are a healthy, easy option that has that extra, personal touch. Smaller, community kitchens are also perceived as safer and cleaner as the neighbors know and trust each other.
Social Media and the Home Chef
Virtual food, in the form of pictures, videos and written recipes can amplify your personal brand. Social Media provides an opportunity to share content globally with a single click and grow your audience in creative, incredible ways.
Dataessential finds that consumers are craving tastes they can’t replicate at home and are using the new fusebiquity trend to blend traditional dishes with unfamiliar, exciting ingredients and techniques. And by posting their recipes, home chefs can make these unique flavors more accessible to others. The Hunter Food Study of 2020 confirms that 44% of Americans have discovered new ingredients and are ravenous to experiment with different techniques and make new dishes they haven’t tried before.
Elevate Your Home Chef Resources
Nikken’s specialty, all-natural food extracts can add exciting, new flavors to classic favorites.
Spread smoky soy strawberry jam on your morning toast, or snap a picture of deliciously umami fish sauce caramel and send it our way. As the new normal introduces the world to a new batch of home chefs, social media will continue to provide opportunities to share their stories and successes (and most importantly, their creations) with a world that is just as eager to try them.