As people continue to socially-distance (and stay home) in the U.S. and across the globe, many have started spending more time in the kitchen. We know this because, according to Instagram, everyone and their mother seem to be making sourdough right now. But they've also been making colorful salads, crumb cakes, quiches and curries. "They" includes your favorite fashion folk, who have been documenting the results on social media.
Jason Wu has an Instagram account dedicated to his cooking. Phillip Lim, who published a cookbook last year and recently reissued it digitally for charity, frequently saves recipes on the Highlights of his personal account. Brother Vellies' Aurora James divulged her long-secret banana bread recipe. Meanwhile, Bon Appétit's on-camera talent have become fashion influencers in their own right. (Remember Claire Saffitz x Alex Mill?) So there's more crossover than ever.
We asked people in the fashion industry, from designers to editors to publicists, to share what they've been cooking and baking recently. Ahead, their go-to recipes.
Wes Gordon, creative director of Carolina Herrera
"My grandmother's oatmeal cookies. This is a family recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation, that my grandmother and mother have followed for years. I still have the original, handwritten copy of it. I have been making this recipe since childhood. It's incredibly easy to prepare and the cookies can taste different every time, depending on the chosen ingredients. It's 100% customizable — you can add some cinnamon, ginger powder or lemon zest, it really depends on what you're craving!"
Tyler McCall, editor-in-chief of Fashionista
"Cookie + Kate's Kale, Clementine and Feta Salad recipe is so good, especially the dressing. I don't do the avocado because I can't be bothered with cutting fresh one every day. I swap pepitas for sunflower seeds because I have a bag of sunflower seeds; and use goat cheese instead of feta because I prefer it. I also add farro. Fully endorse, very easy, very tasty. Sweetgreen whomst?"
Nicola Glass, creative director of Kate Spade New York
"The one thing I've been cooking regularly is asparagus risotto. My husband is typically the chef in our family, but I've found it very therapeutic lately — I enjoy the chopping, making vegetable stock from scratch and then the slow stirring of the risotto. I've been following a recipe from the Italian chef Ursula Ferrigno that my twin sister shared with me. For some reason, peas have been impossible to find at the grocery store near me, so I focus on asparagus, as it is currently in season. Tastes great with or without the basil as well! I've found that this recipe easily adapts to whatever vegetables you can find or have on hand."
Candice Huffine, IMG model and founder of Day Won
"Homemade bagels! I came across this recipe by Sally's Baking Addiction in January while doing an extensive search on the easiest way to make the yummiest bagels (I got it in my head one day on a cold weekend that I wanted to take my time and make a brunch we've never attempted before) and vibed the most with her process.
"[I love] the face people make when they have one. Sure, we've had a warm bagel before, but there's something different about one that comes hot and fresh out of the oven, crunchy and steaming. It's a disk of glory that changes everything!
"Don't dwell on perfection. The shape might be off for some of them, but who cares, it will be the best thing you've eaten. Also, don't be scared to get creative with the toppings! I started strictly with 'everything' and then started to mix it up with some plain sea salt ones, and even got fancy with cheddar and jalapeño. Also, I also recommend getting creative with the accompaniments in addition to a classic cream cheese — I like to add sliced roast chicken, tomato, cucumber, lox, sprouts and bacon to a serving board so you can mix and match. Have fun, this is your bakery now!
"[I recommend this to] Everyone, especially those who has been previously been intimidated by making their own breads. It's shockingly simple and exceedingly rewarding. I have a tutorial saved in my story highlights on my Instagram, @candicehuffine, that walks you through my first time. You can't miss it because it's the only highlight I have on my profile, which I feel solidifies just how passionate I am about my friends making these bagels."
Ryan Roche, designer
"My favorite special recipe is my mom's famous cheesecake — we call the 'Lola Cheesecake.' Truly, it's more of a cheesecake mousse, super light and wispy. It's a family favorite, a fluffy version of the classic, dense cheesecake.
"Let two large packages of cream cheese soften at room temperature. In a mixer, combine the cream cheese with 2/3 cup of white sugar and two eggs; mix until smooth. Add in one pint of sour cream and one teaspoon of vanilla and continue to mix until completely smooth and wispy. Next, crush one package of graham crackers until fine; combine with a half cup of sugar and one cup of melted butter and mix together. Spread the graham crust into a large pie dish, a half-inch layer on the bottom and up the sides; pour the cheesecake batter over it and spread evenly. Important: Start with a cold oven, then set it at 300º Fahrenheit. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and refrigerate overnight."
Travis Paul Martin, executive director of public relations at Skoog
"My go-to recipe has been Samin Nosrat's focaccia bread. Everyone started out real aggressive with these sourdough loaves and while I love to cook, I have never been much of a baker. Sourdough really freaked me out. A friend guided me to this recipe and it's honestly so easy and the result is just heaven. I usually socially-distance gift half of it, because I do not need a full focaccia loaf in my house."
Michelle Li, fashion and beauty editor at Teen Vogue
"Bon Appetit's Parker House Rolls — I just tried it for the first time during quarantine. They're like little pillows. I love how soft they are! And the fragrant, yeast-y taste and smell. I've always loved homemade rolls but never dared to try to make them myself. This recipe is pretty easy to follow and approachable. You just have to be patient and follow the instructions to a T. Read the recipe all the way through, but don't let yourself get overwhelmed. For vegetable shortening, I just used butter. I watched a few videos online to see how others shape Parker House Rolls and followed them. I'm a novice baker when it comes to letting things 'rise' and things like that, but I learned to not follow the time of the rise that they tell you as much as watching how much the dough rises. I like to eat it with some honey and butter!"
Gherardo Felloni, creative director of Roger Vivier
"Fior di late ice cream. Pour 1 cup of milk, 2 spoons of flour and 1 cup of sugar in a pot. Boil for three minutes, together with one stick of vanilla bean. Then, once cooled, add 0.8 cups of cream. Put mixture into an ice cream maker for 25 minutes."
Nicole Sozzi, director of digital marketing and social media at Lele Sadoughi
"One of the memories I have from when I was little was going to visit my dad's grandma who raised him in Brooklyn. She always had quiches in the oven. You can use any ingredients you have in your pantry, which makes it super convenient, especially during these times when you don't want to make any unnecessary trips to the grocery store.
"You need one pre-made pie crust; three to four large eggs; 1/2 cup of milk; 1/2 cup of red, orange and green peppers (chopped small); 1/2 cup of onion (chopped small); one zucchini (chopped small); salt and pepper to taste. Optional: One cup of turkey sausage (chopped small).
"Pre-heat your oven to 375º Fahrenheit. Unroll the pie crust and press into a 9” pie plate, crimping the edges. Put the pie crust in the oven for about five to ten minutes. (Don't fully cook, as it will finish when you add the mixture.) In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Sprinkle your vegetables and turkey sausage (or truly, anything you have in your pantry) on the pie crust, and pour the egg mixture over it. Bake for 20 minutes, until the center of your quiche is completely set. Let cool for five to ten minutes before slicing.
Sarah Abbasi, founder and creative director of Sahroo
"With all the heightened stress and tension during this time, my eczema has really been flaring up. Oatmeal has always been incredibly anti-inflammatory, but I'm very bored of overnight oats, cooked oats or any kind of oats by this point! I never, ever bake, but necessity is the mother of invention — ta-da, my carrot cake banana bread.
"I started making this version of banana bread a few weeks ago when the quarantine began here in New York. I love that it's chock-full of nutrients. It feels super nourishing every morning, and when I put a little (okay, a lot) of maple syrup and butter on it, it really satisfies my sweet tooth. This has been the perfect quarantine breakfast: It feels hearty, like a healthy french toast, and resilient, which is great during self-isolation since sometimes ingredients are harder to come by. (You can change it up and add or subtract things, and it will still taste yummy.)
"Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Mix wet ingredients first: two eggs, two bananas, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, three tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of shredded carrots, 3/4 cup of applesauce and 1/2 cup of almond milk. Then, fold into the dry ingredients — 1 cup of oat flour, 1/2 cup of steel-cut oats, 1/2 cup of oat bran, one teaspoon of baking soda, one teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 cup of walnuts — until combined. (I love to throw in raisins, nuts, and the other day added some shredded zucchini as well.) Bake for 55 minutes."
Aemilia Madden, senior editor at The Zoe Report
"My 30-minute cauliflower and lentil stew/curry. I'd describe this recipe as mostly throwing a lot of vegetables into a pot. But it's really delicious and can be eaten with bread, pasta or as a side with meat, if anyone so desires. I also want to note that this recipe is very forgiving and you can swap veggies in and out — try chickpeas instead of lentils, and even different spices if there's something in particular you like.
"You need two cloves of garlic, one yellow onion, one jalapeño, one cup of pre-cooked lentils, one medium head of cauliflower, one or two bell peppers, one large can of diced tomatoes, 1.5 cups of frozen veggie mix (I buy the one from Trader Joe's), Berbere Spice Mix to taste (you can also try curry powder), salt to taste and one fresh lemon.
"Chop your garlic and onions to your desired fineness. Oil the bottom of a large pot and toss them in on low heat. As your onions start to soften, chop the jalapeño, bell pepper and cauliflower into reasonable chunks; if you have fresh ginger at home, grate a bit of that to include, too. Add the spice mix and salt to your onions as they cook a bit, and mix to keep from burning. Once they're soft, toss your chopped fresh veggies into the pot and turn the heat up to medium. After five to ten minutes, they'll start to cook down — here, add your canned tomato. (If your pot looks especially dry, you can add a little extra water.) Add in your frozen veggies and lentils, squeeze in the lemon and add a bit more spice. Cover your mixture and let it bubble away. It will cook down and begin to look a bit more stew-like. Once it's to your desired thickness, serve up a bowl with your desired carb vehicle and enjoy!"
Lauren Bozicevich, public relations consultant
"My mom makes a New York-style crumb cake when I'm home, and I make it for a lot of friend-brunches and holidays. It's in the Cook's Illustrated cookbook, also shown here online. A few notes: You need cake flour — if you don't have cake flour, you can shift regular flour and add cornstarch, but cake flour may be easier. Also, [the crumble topping portion] makes a lot, so you can freeze the extra and use for topping for another bread (I used on a pumpkin loaf) or oatmeal (suggestion of my mother). If you want to slice the cake in half and freeze part, it will keep just fine."
Lucie Zhang, associate director of social media at 'Vogue'
"My mom's recipe for scallion pancakes — I demo'd it on IGTV."
Justin Reis, director of special projects at Away
"Every Sunday, my boyfriend and I would grab curries and naan from our favorite Indian spot in Brooklyn. While we've been on lockdown, we've tried to recreate it at home and have been riffing off of Mark Bittman's Easy Chicken Curry recipe, experimenting with different spice combinations in lieu of having curry paste on hand. (Current favorite is: 1 teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon; 2 teaspoons each of coriander, turmeric, cumin; 4 teaspoons of chili powder.) The recipe is incredibly adaptable for experimentation — we're trying it with lamb next — and we've been making our own naan, following this recipe from Once Upon a Chef, to go with it. It all sounds far more impressive and difficult than it actually is!"
Gina Marinelli, freelance writer, editor and Fashionista contributor
"Cooking and baking usually bring me satisfaction and comfort, but I've discovered a whole new appreciation over the last several weeks. Many things I'm recreating from memory of family meals and experimenting with whatever's on hand, but these kinda, sorta healthier (not like that really matters here) oatmeal peanut butter cookies from Fit Mitten Kitchen have been on repeat. While the colorful M&Ms are what caught my eye scrolling through Instagram, in my opinion, they're totally gratuitous in the actual recipe. I make mine with just some semi-sweet chocolate chips. Since there's no flour in the recipe, the cookies always seem to feel slightly underdone even when they're fully baked. I prefer to eat them immediately out of the oven (I enjoy a slightly underdone cookie!), or I'll store them in the refrigerator so they solidify a bit (and it's basically like you're eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in the form of an oatmeal cookie). It's amazing and also feels a little nostalgic. Most importantly, they take about 30 minutes — start to cookie-in-mouth — to make."