Learn to Cook Online with the 60 Second Chef Patrick Drake

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Unless you’re awash with cash and able to hire a chef, eating healthily requires a little bit of nutritional nous and some basic cooking skills. Unfortunately, unless you’re employed in the catering industry, it’s both time-consuming and expensive trying to acquire those skills outside your working day. Patrick Drake’s 60 Second Chef course aims to help people solve their culinary conundrums in double-quick time without resorting to pricy cooking schools, po-faced online courses or the unpredictable gauntlet of YouTube tutorials. The course covers all the bases so anyone, no matter how little knowledge they have going in, can be a competent cook by the end.

Why did you start the 60 Second Chef?

I hate elitism, and this idea that food should be the preserve of a privileged few who have the time to indulge in reading and cooking from complicated cookbooks. When you get to a certain age, basically above 20, when you don’t know how to cook, it doesn’t become a matter of joking any more. It becomes something you’re a bit ashamed of.

I created the 60 Second Chef as one destination where you can find every single skill you need to know, taught in sequential order, in 60 seconds each. It breaks it down into bite-size, manageable chunks.

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What approach do you take in the videos?

I can’t be with you personally, but I want the videos to feel as if I’m there, and I’m not teaching you as much as hanging out, trying a few different techniques and recipes.

The YouTube videos out there were quite loud, or very serious: “This is how you brunoise a carrot. Or julienne.” Let’s chill out here, it’s a carrot cube and a carrot stick. Why do we feel this need to use complicated culinary terminology to create a veil of mystery? It’s something everyone has a right to. It’s simple knowledge.

How important are learning the skills?

If you teach people how to do a paella recipe, great. They will learn a couple of skills in that. But give them all the basics and they can start making stuff up themselves. I also think it’s important to teach not by gram measurements, but by volume. I’d rather say use a tablespoon of this, use half a cup of this. Then in future, you’ll know that a cup full of onion goes with half a teaspoon of garlic. It’s about creating an instinct for cooking.

So you can teach the cooking instinct?

Yeah. You might feel a bit embarrassed if you don’t know how to make a fried egg, but you’re not born with that knowledge. Someone has to show you at some point.

£39 for the full 79-lesson course. the60secondchef.com

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.