As many home cooks who haven't previously spent much time in the kitchen continue to struggle with what to make from their pantry staples, celebrity chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio is here to save dinnertime with some simple cooking tips that utilize items many people probably still have on hand.
When stay-at-home orders first went into effect in mid-March, the "Top Chef" head judge put out a call on Twitter, offering to give advice to anyone who wasn't accustomed to cooking for themselves.
"Ok, if you are not used to cooking for yourself and have questions ask away," the chef tweeted. "For instance. I would cook vegetables now and freeze them for future use," he offered, anticipating that it might become problematic to get fresh produce at some markets.
On Monday, Colicchio, 57, responded to a fan who asked for a simple pasta sauce recipe they could make with their 11-year-old daughter (who also happens to be a huge "Top Chef" fan).
The challenge? The family only had a can of tomatoes, onions and fresh basil.
Colicchio responded with a simple recipe that many home cooks will be able to use long after the world has reopened.
"Finely dice the onions, cook until soft in some oil, olive oil if it is available if not whatever you have on hand will work, add the tomatoes cook slowly for about 30 minutes cook more if you like a thicker sauce," he advised. "Season with salt pepper and basil."
The tweeter thanked Colicchio for his response, and added that his daughter was going to "flip out" when she saw tweet. "I had a sense that you would be into this," he replied to the chef.
Fans applauded Colicchio (who is currently supporting HUNGRY@Home, an initiative that helps feed health care workers during the pandemic) for his gracious responses to their everyday cooking questions.
One commenter even shared a pic of his own simple sauce using the ingredients Colicchio had suggested.
Another fan praised the down-to-earth chef for taking the time out of his day to provide cooking tips.
One woman said she would "happily pay" for some virtual cooking lessons from the Gramercy Tavern co-founder and cookbook author.
Colicchio has also been posting recipes on Instagram during the coronavirus outbreak, baking sourdough bread and even sharing a recipe for "Easy Egg Drop Soup" as part of his #cookingincrisis series.
"Make it with any green vegetables, or carrots, or any stock," he wrote, once again proving that even without specific ingredients, you can still improvise and make great food.