Things to Do at Home: Learn Something New While You Self-Quarantine

Cook with chefs, become a coffee expert, volunteer at the Library of Congress, draw your favorite marine mammal and hang with Hawai‘i’s top mixologists.


Cook Something New

Turns out chefs you’ve always admired are stuck at home, too. So, now we can learn from them, virtually, for free. The live classes offer a sense of immediacy, a behind-the-scenes feel and rare direct access.



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Join the Baking Club led by chef Christina Tosi (@christinatosi) on Instagram and the world just seems better. The six-hour time difference to New York City means you can hang with her at 8 a.m. daily and cook before work for the win. For a popover class, the Milk Bar chef/owner’s playlist included Beyoncé and Shakira and encouragement to get poppin’ while suggesting substitutions and responding to requests and questions in the comments. “I’ll crack along with you,” she says, nodding and smiling at the camera. Tosi posts a photo of ingredients the day before they’re needed; mostly stuff you’ve got around the house or could buy on a weekly store run. You learn step by step with the perky perfectionist to make tortillas, miso butterscotch, truffles and more. And she’s posting all the recipes on her website. 


Momofuku’s blunt and brilliant David Chang (@davidchang) is also cooking daily on Instagram, with food that ranges from twists on rule-breaking dishes he makes in the restaurant all the way to whatever’s in the pantry, including canned tuna he’d never normally serve. Think of it as Ugly Delicious unplugged.



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And Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura is offering free daily classes he’s calling Kitchen Quarantine on his personal Instagram account (@massimobottura). He’s broadcasting in English to reach more people and meals so far have included tortellini, a Thai curry and his son’s favorite chocolate sauce. He’s doing the show live at 9 a.m. Hawai‘i time with a Q&A after. Mangiamo!


Books about food can be the best reads when we’re spending way too much time indoors. Give me Ruth Reichl, stat. But lately I’ve been looking for more than a memoir. Happily, my youngest daughter gave me Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat just before all this. So we’re delving into the principles behind why cooking works while trying new recipes. Go to Nosrat’s website for info about the related Netflix series, to buy the book or try recipes built with things you’ve got at home that include miso-cured eggs and pasta all’uovo (fresh egg noodles).


SEE ALSO: We Tried It: A Step-By-Step Attempt at Making Chef Morimoto’s Udon Noodles


Think you know beans? Turn to the new-and-improved edition of The Hawai‘i Coffee Book: A Gourmet’s Guide from Kona to Kaua‘iBean-to-brew expert Shawn Steiman brings to life the history of Island coffee island by island and explores the challenges and controversies of the industry today. He’s also gathered tips on brewing, drinking and storing coffee. (That last one? Basically, don’t.) Steiman’s trove of recipes ranges from a mocha-chile sauce and espresso martini to coffee jerk chicken. And it’s OK if you lose your train of thought while reading this, just pour a fresh cup and get back in. 


All this cooking has inspired us try our own version of The Great British Bake Off with my daughters and friends across the country. We just knead to decide if the first challenge will be bread, buns or biscuits. We will pick a theme and a time limit—maybe two hours?—and a time that works best across our different time zones. For inspiration, we’re checking the show’s website.



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Discover Bartender Secrets

One of Honolulu’s most influential cocktail masters, Kyle Reutner from Kō Hana Rum, goes live at 4:30 p.m. daily on Instagram (@paradiseontherocks). Before the lockdown, Reutner offered a weekly Thursday show but now he’s on daily, talking with local bartenders/owners from across the state as well as national personalities. You get frank insights into the industry, not just from the interviews and Reutner but also from the comments that roll in. One recent episode took us on a trip through his fridge and pantry with some tips on building drinks with what you’ve got at home, even if you don’t have the cool tools he has lying around the house. 



Decipher Documents

Read all about it. Missing your chance to volunteer? You can help read historical documents and books from the Library of Congress, then transcribe, review and tag them as a virtual volunteer in the By The People program. That makes the information easier to find for everyone. It’s a way to geek out on history, make your favorite history teacher proud and revel in words like marginalia.



Become an Artist

Artist Patrick Ching teamed up with the Waikīkī Aquarium to offer 15-minute sessions on drawing dolphins, sharks, turtles and other marine animals on Facebook Live at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays beginning this week. Or catch up with the video after and perfect your monk seal portraiture. For further inspiration, pay a virtual visit to the aquarium via webcam to see what Hawaiian monk seal  Hōʻailona is up to.


SEE ALSO: I’m Finally Stocking Up Because of COVID-19. Here’s What’s In My Pantry


Great Long Reads From Our Files


The Best Wine for Any Restaurant: A Complete Guide to BYOB Wine Pairing in Hawai‘i

Master sommeliers share the best wines for every cuisine. Plus, our favorite BYOB restaurants in Hawai‘i and the unwritten rules of BYOB dining.

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Your Guide to Mochi in Hawai‘i: How to Eat it, Where to Buy it and More

Honolulu’s mochi makers combine Japanese tradition with unique, only-in-Hawai‘i touches.

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What It’s Really Like to Open Your Own Restaurant, Then Close it for Good

An owner gives us the personal view from the other side of the bar.

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9/11, 15 Years Later: The Untold Story of How Sept. 11 Changed These 5 Lives Forever

How we’ve changed.

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