After more than a month of lockdown, the jury’s out: our favourite lockdown activity is cooking. If you do not entirely count yourself as a master of the hob, you can count on Monaco’s most celebrated chefs to guide you through your culinary adventures at home, with recipes popping up daily on their social media accounts.

According to a recent Odoxa-CGI survey, 29% of the French population counts cooking as one of their favourite hobbies during lockdown. It is not just the viewing figures on Cyril Lignac’s daily show nor the increased traffic through speciality recipe sites that suggest so.

Culinary therapy

There are many reasons why this activity has become one of our favourites. We now have more time to dedicate to preparing our meals, whether for ourselves or the people with which we have chosen to quarantine. Three times a day, a little bit of imagination is needed, inspiration coming from even the most tired-looking vegetable in our cupboard. It allows us an opportunity to relax, giving your mind over to the process and can also offer a shared moment during a time which can feel lonely.

Above all, it is the guarantee of real comfort. So, at a time where the doors of Rock’s restaurants are firmly closed, there is only one solution. Roll up the sleeves, put the apron on, and, of course, wash your hands.

Michelin-starred chefs from Monaco

We are lucky that, in these difficult times, the best chefs of the Principality have decided to take us under their virtual wing to make us real pros. The receiver of two-Michelin stars Christophe Cussac, who heads the kitchens of Restaurant Joël Robuchon in the Hôtel Métropole, revealed his signature dishes via his newsletter. These have included a stuffing recipe and the renowned Monte-Carlo main course of spring vegetables, king crab and mozzarella. For dessert, the patisserie chef Patrick Mesiano revealed his recipe for lemon cake and half-baked chocolate cake.

 

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Le cheesecake aux fruits rouges 😋🍓🍓 #patrickmesiano#pâtisseriemesiano #beaulieusurmer #monaco🇮🇩 #Patissier

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Other chefs and hotels have chosen to employ more open methods, using social media to post instructions. Several times a week, Philippe Joannes uploads to Facebook and Instagram a seasonal recipe, easy to execute, which does not require many ingredients. In a step-by-step guide, the chef shows us the process, including some handy presentation tips that would be at home in any fine-dining restaurant.

 

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Sabayon fraises pamplemousse rose #producteurslocaux #mof #montecarlosbm #cheflife

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Video guides for budding chefs

If you are looking for something more interactive, Michel Ravin is the chef to see. Each morning he reveals on Facebook and Instagram a list of ingredients for that evening’s meal, starting the cooking lesson at 6:30 pm for his followers. The recipe is accompanied by a detailed video, accessible for 24 hours after he goes live. Often creating dishes from the county where he grew up, Martinique, it is an even more immersive way of escaping the lockdown boredom.

One thing is for sure. After lockdown, few of us will see our kitchens in the same way.

Aurelia Ruiz