If you haven’t heard, everything is solved: the pandemic, presidential corruption, climate armageddon, systemic injustice, the cratering economy, raging wildfires, and assaults on human rights everywhere. All set. Pack it up. We did it! Well, no. But when you follow a wide range of chefs it can remind you that creativity and generosity are still abundant. Take chef Latif of Latif’s Inspired. His unscripted videos lead us into the kitchens of family-run restaurants (including his own); he shares recipes alongside his mother and sister; and he welcomes friends and family from the UK, Bangladesh, and worldwide.
Huddle around the campfire with Anita Lo, whose Cooking Without Borders is creative beyond category; it’s no less extraordinary than her recent Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One. But no one is solo today. We’re all dining and learning from Lo’s versatility.
And get down with Jack Chaplin of the popular, peerless Daddy Jack’s Cooking With the Blues, running for 12 years. He shares blues history, restaurant secrets, and home cooking tips, with phenomenal camerawork by Lakisha and relentless circling by their dog Axel. “It’s a wonderful thing to see people assist each other” through the pain of the pandemic, he told me when cities locked down as he continued to cook safely at a distance for those in need. He launched a Patreon page to support the effort, and he’s about to release an album of live blues from his years organizing shows—including with the legend Lucky Peterson, his old friend, who’d played with Etta James and Otis Rush.