TV Chef Clodagh McKenna on the rise of home cooking during the pandemic


The pandemic has changed our relationship with food with more than a third of Brits (38 per cent) cooking more from scratch and preparing landmark meals to replicate eating out (31 per cent).

The findings, revealed by Homes & Gardens’ new report ‘Our Homes & Gardens; Understanding Our Changing Housing Culture’, also highlight that more than half of respondents (51 per cent) are now testing out new recipes in their kitchens.

As people spend more time in this space, their requirements have changed as well. The pandemic has resulted in more people seeing the value in their gardens doubling up as outdoor kitchens. The Homes & Gardens report found that one in five Brits want to create an outdoor eating space, while a third (34 per cent) desire a better patio or seating area to act as an outside extension of the kitchen. This increase in outdoor living has meant that 12 per cent of people would like to buy a barbecue in 2021 to fulfill these needs.

In addition, almost 15 per cent of Brits have installed a new kitchen in the past 12 months. The closure of restaurants has seen people spend more on their food shopping bills – partly funded by their savings on restaurants – and they’re also willing to splash extra on cooking utensils and tableware to recreate a special dining atmosphere.

Clodagh McKenna, chef, author, TV presenter, says, “When lockdown first happened over a year ago, I started making daily IGTV cooking videos, mainly to keep myself sane! 100 episodes later and 100K more followers, I know from first-hand experience how people have turned to cooking and baking to get them through all the experiences of the past year.

People who have never cooked from scratch before are contacting me every day saying how it has changed their home life, and people who have always cooked are now cooking more than ever and are looking for quick fixes on how to keep their families and loved ones healthy and happy every day. It has been an extraordinary time for the home cook and I’m sure that some habits will stay – I hope so.”

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