8 YouTube channels that will help you keep meals exciting during lockdown

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South Africa will enter a nationwide lockdown on Friday 27th March and with that, restaurants and takeaway services will be unavailable.

That means that for three weeks, South Africans will have to become more closely acquainted with their ovens and stove tops.

Now we’re not saying that South Africans don’t know how to cook but from what we’ve seen on social media, folks aren’t too pleased about having to give up the convenience of Uber Eats, Mr D and their takeaways.

So we’re going to use this opportunity to talk about one of our favourite things – food channels on YouTube.

When some of us were younger, celebrity chefs were all the rage but now it’s the age of the YouTube chef and there are a few stars who have emerged over the years.

The channels below will give you some great ideas for meals whether you’re a beginner or an aspiring Michelin star chef during lockdown.

Binging with and Basics with Babish

This channel hosted by Andrew Rea has become something of a sensation both on YouTube and beyond the website’s URL.

While Rea recreates food seen in movies and TV series, the chef also hosts a series called Basics with Babish on his channel which guides you through the basics of cooking.

Want to make sourdough starter? Babish can teach you that. How about homemade hummus? Yup.

If you’re looking to learn to cook or simply want to expand your repertoire, binge a bit of Babish.

The full Basics with Babish playlist is included below.

Matty Matheson

Let’s be clear, Matty Matheson is not for everybody but damn, the man can cook.

The fully tattooed chef is loud and brash but incredibly passionate about food and guides you through every step of his recipes.

Formerly involved with the Munchies and Viceland channesl, Matheson has since broken away from the channel to start his own series Just a Dash.

We highly recommend checking out Matheson’s channel if you’re looking for comfort food that’s simple to make.

Bon Appétit

We’re incredibly biased toward this channel so we’ll try not to let that show but if you aren’t watching Bon Appétit on YouTube, make lockdown the time to binge the channel.

The channel consists of Bon Appétit Test Kitchen staff recreating gourmet snacks and even challenging chefs to create a meal with as few ingredients as possible in a time limit.

The two big names you may recognise from this channel are Claire Saffitz who presents Gourmet Makes and meme machine Brad “Wourder” Leone. All the chefs featured on this channel are incredible and we highly recommend the Making Perfect series.

Foodies of SA

Okay enough of the international stars for a moment and let’s bring it a bit closer to home.

Foodies of SA presents recipes in what we like to call the Facebook format. That is an overhead shot of the food being prepared, music, text on screen and no voice-over.

We really enjoy this channel because the recipes are super simple and contain stuff you can get at the store when you venture out to resupply during lockdown.


So you want to learn to make food like a Michelin star chef? You’re not afraid to learn classic French techniques and get your hands caked in flour? Then Alex is the channel for you.

The Parisian presents his videos in the form of series where he tries to perfect one recipe through trial and error.

We recommend starting off with his sourdough series and then moving on to his ramen obsession.

While Alex does make use of several classic French techniques, don’t let that discourage you from following along.

You Suck At Cooking

At first glance, this channel looks like a meme but in reality, it’s rather good.

You Suck At Cooking (YSAC) presents what we feel are the simplest recipes with easy to get ingredients. For lockdown we suspect this channel will prove to be invaluable.

Hell, we use his Modified Ramen episode every now and then to spice up our lunch.

The videos are also rather fun to watch and the little side-stories that present themselves will definitely put a smile on your face.

Laura in the Kitchen

As far as cooking shows on YouTube go, Laura in the Kitchen is as close to a cooking show you might find on television.

Presenter Laura Vitalie guides you through basic and advanced recipes while also providing a number of really valuable cooking tips.

The recipes are fantastic and there are even tips for those who have food allergies.

The content is great and if you’re looking for some good, home cooked meals, then Laura is the channel for you.

Joshua Weissman

We’ll be honest, we feel as if Weissman has been creating content in preparation for the current pandemic for a while now.

Simple recipes anybody can make and more advanced recipes for the brave can be found here and it helps that Weissman is funny.

If all you have are basics and little patience, then his video about cheap and healthy meals is a good place to start.

There are of course many more chefs/cooks on YouTube teaching you how to cook or creating crazy dishes.

This list serves as a small snapshot bit we’d love to hear who your favourite ‘Tubers are over on Facebook and Twitter.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some sourdough starter to tend to.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.