Can People Learn to Cook by Watching Culinary Videos?

SK Chef, the boss, came across an interesting Daily Mail Article debating the very question Smart Kitchen puts to rest. Can people learn to cook by watching culinary programming? A few think “No” but the actual chefs seem to side with Smart Kitchen and say “YES YOU CAN!”

Chef Spike

Chef Spike (courtesy of the Daily Mail)

Spike Mendelsohn, child cook, acclaimed Top Chef contestant, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and the kitchens of Chef Gerard Boyer at the famous Restaurant Les Crayeres in Reims, France,  Chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon Restaurant in Napa Valley and the Maccioni Family at Le Cirque in New York believes “absolutely.” Spike thinks that “cooking is about having the confidence to get in the kitchen and not being intimidated.” If people are into it they can watch and “then they have an understanding of the science and the reactions” when they cook. He is currently cooking and running Good Stuff Eatery with his Mom and family in Washington D.C. Good Stuff Eatery is a finalist for this year’s Summer Food Drive. 

Carol Blymire , with Alinea at Home the blog for the interesting and award winning Chicago restaurant Alinea says her mother learns how to make dishes from TV. Carol warns though that “people may fall into a trap if they think they can pull off the same thing in 22 minutes as Ina (Garten) or Giada (De Laurentiis).”  

Smart Kitchen™ agrees with the chefs. You can learn to cook by watching TV, but you don’t have to. In addition to TV, aspiring home chefs can learn from Online Cooking Schools, like Smart Kitchen™. The key to rapid progress is standing on the Toques (the big chefs’ hats) of the masters and learning to avoid their mistakes, discovered the hard way.

For $9.99 a month, Smart Kitchen™ teaches student about the Four Levers of Cooking™, essentially how to organize themselves so they can focus on one step at a time and perform crucial techniques at exactly the right moment, exactly the right way. Video, text, images, charts, and audio are employed  in a directed curriculum (or self-study) to bring 360° of clarity to each ingredient, technique, process and plan. Knowledge instills the confidence to practice. As Carol Blymire puts it “just like no one is going to get physically fit just by watching ‘Tae Bo (videos),’ you have to get off your a– (she means your burro) and actually cook.”

So our admittedly biased opinion is, that you can learn to cook by watching TV, but you’d learn quicker augmenting the celebrity recipes, with the requisite culinary education and background that Online Culinary Schools like Smart Kitchen offer. You can check out a free exercise on Smart Kitchen @ It’s the “Smartest Way to Learn to Cook.™”

 P Chef

Smart Kitchen

“The Smartest Way to Learn to Cook™”


  1. […] Can People Learn to Cook by Watching Culinary Videos? […]

  2. […] Good Stuff Eatery is a restaurant by Spike Mendelsohn, (and his mother Cathy) who became a chef at age 13, eventually attended the Culinary Institute of America, where he won the Francis Roth award. He has worked in the kitchens of Chef Gerard Boyer at the famous Restaurant Les Crayeres in Reims, France, Thomas Keller at Bouchon in Napa Valley, the Maccioni Family at Le Cirque, and Chef Michael Huynh at Mai House in Tribeca, which won two stars from the New York Times only a few months after it opened and was named one of the 10 best restaurants of 2008 by the New York Times. Spike was also a Top Chef Contestant and part of the subject matter of one of our blog post about Learning to Cook Remotely. […]

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