The BEST Cooking Videos on YouTube

If you ask me, the best cooking videos on
YouTube are, surprisingly, these infomercials for infamously high-sodium dehydrated broth
products featuring an over-the-hill British celebrity chef who can barely be bothered
to try anymore. Believe it or not, I think there’s some great
things you can learn about cooking and about life by watching Marco Pierre White half-heartedly
smear a steak with a smushed up bouillon cube while generally making an art of being “over
it.” Being “over it” is basically my favorite trait in other people, and it’s one of my
favorite feelings on the occasion that I’m able to experience it. Before I proceed, I want to acknowledge that
there’s a lot of reason to believe that Marco White is, or at least sometimes can be, a
terrible person. And we’ll get to that. If you’re in the United States, there’s a
good chance you don’t even know who Marco Pierre White is. This is basically the one
place in the English-speaking world where Marco Pierre White has not been a major pop-culture
figure for going on 30 years. He just never seemed to break through here the way his one-time
protege Gordon Ramsay did. “Where’s the lamb sauce?” “Come on, man.” But a lot of people trace the birth of today’s
global celebrity chef movement to Marco Pierre White. He is, arguably, patient zero for a
phenomenon that I do believe is a plague upon us, but that’s a topic for another day. Prior
to Marco, cooking was rarely viewed as a high-status profession. Working in the kitchen was basically
like working in the laundry. This is something Anthony Bourdain talked and wrote about a
lot in his too-short life. Bourdain is on record as saying that everything changed for
both him and for his trade when these iconic photos by Bob Carlos Clarke hit the world
in 1990, in particular this one. There he his. Jim Morrison in an apron. A
wire-thin jackrabbit of relentless, obstinate culinary perfectionism. The dyslexic child
of an alcoholic working-class widower, he was beaten down by the English schooling system
that most of us know only from Pink Floyd songs. You have to wonder if it was that chip
on White’s shoulder that drove him to demand respect as a young chef — to say to the
aristocratic twits in his dining room, “I am good enough to walk among you. You will
not treat me as an untouchable, to be neither seen nor heard whilst I service your gluttony.
I am an artist and you are merely passing through my gallery.” As he clawed his way
up the English social ladder that was infamously light on rungs, he seemed to drag his entire
lowly profession up with him — or at least so goes the legend. For what it’s worth, I think that interpretation
of history may be a bit overblown. Certainly there were high-status celebrity chefs before
Marco Pierre White, but none of them were as media-savvy as he was. The footage I’ve been showing you is from
two series about Marco that aired on Britain’s ITV circa 1989. To the British media, White
was basically their bad boyfriend — they loved him because he was mean to them. Check
this legendary clip. “Floyd’s coming in for lunch. Does he eat
at Harvey’s a lot?” “Yes.” “You’ve become quite friendly with him, haven’t
you?” “Yes.” “There’s nothing like monosyllabic answers,
is there?” “No.” “There’s no point in doing this, Marco.” “Well, fine, you can go then. The door’s over
there.” “IF you’re not going to cooperate with the
shows…” “You know, all I’ve got to do is make the
sauce. That is what I’m being paid for. Not being paid for anything else. To make the
@*#$ing sauce.” As long as I live, you’ll never convince me
that was a sincere outburst. I think Marco knew exactly what he was doing, cultivating
— or, to some extent, inventing — the volatile genius persona that Gordon Ramsay
would imitate into self-parody. “WHERE’S THE LAMB SAUCE?” “Right here, chef, I have it.” What you can also see in these videos is the
kind of cuisine that Marco was cooking — the plates that made him the then-youngest chef
ever to earn the maximum of three Michelin stars. The dishes look pretty dated, and some
of them are positively baroque, none more so than this dessert of caramelized pears
with honey ice cream. There’s the poached pears. He brûlées them
— nice. Then about 15,000 garnishes go on the plate. OK, that’s you did in those days.
A little edible dish goes down, ice cream goes in there and then done, right? Oh sure,
well you gotta have cherry on top and then we eat it right? Ok, and then WHAT THE ^$%& IS
THAT A SUGAR BIRD’S NEST? Has the phrase “gilding the lily” ever been more apt? OK, now fast forward a couple of decades,
and this is the Marco we see making cooking videos for Knorr, the stock cube manufacturer
now owned by multinational food and consumer products giant Unilever. This Marco has no
time for sugar bird’s nests. He has time for exactly two things: his sponsor — this video,
by the way, is brought to you by Skillshare, more about them later — and he has time
for the food he actually likes. Back in his salad days, Marco took more haute
cuisine to bed than most could ever dream of. Now he just wants to settle down with
a nice rib of beef and knock out a few Yorkshire puddings. I love this Marco. I love his physique — not
so much fat as swollen with pleasure. He looks like my feet feel when I’ve had too much wine. I even love how lazy and occasionally just
wrong he is. Like, he’s got this thing that he says every single time he sautés some
onion — does it every single time. “What I’m doing is is I’m cooking them without
color, just to soften them, to remove the water content within them, to remove the acidity,
to bring out their natural sweetness.” “As always, cook your onions to remove the
water content, to remove the acidity, to allow the natural sweetness.” He really can’t be bothered to come up with
a new thing to say about onions; he just busts out that old warhorse, every single time.
And onions, of course, are not particularly acidic — they have a pH between 5 and 6,
like basically most vegetables. What he’s talking about is the pungency of onions, which
comes from their sulfur compounds — compounds that you can, indeed, break down by cooking
them. This is a boarder phenomenon you see among
experienced practitioners who are suddenly called upon to be teachers. Practitioners
tend to know really well what works; they tend to have not such a good handle on why
it works. I mean, here’s Marco explaining why you whisk
liquid into a roux bit-by-bit when making a sauce. “You whisk it in to incorporate air into it.
By incorporating the air, you break down the starch. You work it.” Yeah, I’m pretty sure everything about that
explanation is wrong. But the technique works. I just kinda love that he doesn’t care whether
what he’s saying is right, or credible, or coherent, or consistent. “Most people make their shepherd’s pie too
dry. I like my shepherd’s pie quite wet.” “A lot of people tend to make their mince
too wet.” Now, I understand that you might find the
false confidence of a high-status man to be infuriating rather than charming. It’s especially
infuriating in light of Marco’s recent interview with the Irish Independent in which he said
that men are better than women in the professional kitchen, because “they are not as emotional
and they don’t take things personally.” Yes, that quote was given by this guy: “Clearly agitated Marco asks the cameras to
stop rolling.” “Don’t tape me on this one, please. It’s been
frozen. It’s ^@%#. I want to know why. It’s very simple, isn’t it? I don’t want to be
filmed, you understand? Do not film what I say, do not film me. Have some &@^$ing respect.
Do not push me. I don’t think you understand what I am. I control myself very well.” So look, I’m not here to tell you you’re wrong
if you think MPW is a POS. I am here to say there’s something we could all learn from
how few %@s he gives about what either of us thinks of him — and also how such a supremely
accomplished chef on this earth could be so unconcerned with impressing anybody with his
food anymore. I think the single biggest breakthrough in
my own cooking came somewheres around the age of 30, when I stopped trying to cook to
impress all the damn time, which if I’m honest had maybe been my primary motivation up to
that point. I kinda realized that was, indeed, the most selfish way to cook. “Here, I’m not
giving you this to give you pleasure, or to make you feel nourished or nurtured. I am
here to make you sit there and be awed by me.” Sounds great, doesn’t? These Marco Knorr videos helped me liberate
myself and my loved ones from that particularly oppressive prison. And once you’re out, you
can go on a much more gratifying and still challenging journey of discovering what you
and the people around you actually like to eat. And I love how Marco acknowledges that
is not neessarily an easy thing to do. “So it’s about finding that balance of what
you like. It’s all about eating.” “Why should there be a recipe? Why can’t it
just be feel? A philosophy. It’s what I like to eat — taste. If you don’t taste your
food, you don’t know what it’s gonna be like at the end.” It’s what you gotta do. Put in a little bit,
taste it, put in a little bit more, taste it until you like it. And even then, you might
sit down to dinner and be like, “This isn’t really doing it for me.” It takes practice
to learn yourself. Really, it’s rather like our intimate relationships,
right? When you’re a kid, you don’t really know who you need to be with or what you need
from them in order to be fulfilled. What you have is somebody else’s idea of what is or
is not desirable. It’s usually only through a lot of sloppy experimentation that we figure
ourselves out enough to get who and what we want — and becoming a person who knows themselves
is usually the first step toward becoming the kind of person whom someone else will
want. Now, as valuable as these lessons may be,
let’s say that you want to learn something that’s a little more specific, and learn it
from someone who doesn’t have the false confidence of an impossibly high-status man. Might I
suggest the sponsor of this video? Skillshare. Skillshare is an online learning community
with thousands and thousands of classes covering all kinds of creative and entrepreneurial
skills. You know, I posted a video last week that
I was really happy with because I felt that it demonstrated some progress in my still
nascent skills as a cinematographer. I’d barely touched a real camera until a few years ago.
But the people who watched this video said they were kinda more impressed with the music,
which I had composed myself. This was funny to me, because basically all of my formal
schooling is in music composition. It’s not in journalism, or cooking, or filmmaking,
or teaching. But at the risk of exuding precisely the kind of false confidence that I was just
decrying a moment ago, I have a little bit of game in all of those areas now, and that’s
not because I’m just so damn awesome. It’s really just because I’m old. Life is long,
and if you just don’t stop learning, it’s amazing how many distinct skills you can amass
as the years march on and on, and Skillshare can help you do that. Since we’re talking about music, let me recommend
the excellent music mixing and mastering classes taught by Young Guru. “Recording use to be sort of a black art,
because it was passed down by word of mouth. Yes, there’s science in it, but the things
that make particular engineers special were things that were passed down to them. So that’s
the complete reason why we need to take this information and make it available to the public,
so the art form doesn’t die.” Sure, you could spend a couple hundred bucks
on some software and watch enough free YouTube tutorials to cobble together an understanding
of how to use it, but that’s not really how most people learn well. That is not a class.
Most people learn well in a structured environment, and that’s what you get from Skillshare. You
get a logical progression — building upon skill upon skill upon skill — what they
call scaffolding in education theory. Premium Skillshare membership gives you unlimited
access to these courses, so you can follow your passions and you curiosity wherever they
lead you. At an annual subscription of less than $10 a month, that is a steal, compared
to all the other ways that you could take a class. And hey, because you watch me, you
can follow my link in the description and two months of Skillshare Premium for free. And while I really do kinda love Marco Pierre
White, I doubt any of you would want an instructor who would say something as stupid as this: “What I always search for, when I’m looking
for meat, is a coating of fat around the eye of the meat, because that tells you what’s
in the meat. If there’s not fat coating, you might as well eat cardboard.” Yeah, you know what’s an even better indication
go home. Take a stock cube. Go to bed.

100 thoughts on “The BEST Cooking Videos on YouTube

  1. Legit, his roux recipe is easy as hell. No knorr stockpot, no lumps, no weird ass cream addition (since it's quite expensive here). The best part? I more of understand the recipes, rather memorize it.

  2. Here I was getting some cooking tips…. and end up with probably the greatest philosophical discussion on YouTube.

  3. Been watching Marco's old vids for some time now, and it's hilarious that even with 1% effort he just throws together food with perfect technique every single time. If you take the stockpot out, the recipes are great.

  4. Marco Pierre White reminds me of an old hippie weed grower, who might be doing the right thing but their reasoning for it is totally wrong. Been doing it for so long that their love has faded, but hey, It's what they know and have done their entire life so they continue to do it.

    Really when it comes to cooking, Anthony Bordain was my man. I was living with someone who thought they were a good cook but they were truly awful. I started asking my uncle (who was a high class chef and baker) for tips. First recipe he taught me was a Tomatillo green sauce. My love of doing things "right" and cooking for myself only grew. Years later here I am working as a chef… but I find cooking at home is where the love is, working in restaurants wears you down quick. The phrase doing what you love and you never work a day in your life is bullshit ! Work is work, sorry.

    Some of my favorite YouTube chefs haven't worked in a kitchen full time (you Adam, Banish, and I'm not too sure of some of those Bon Appetite people).. Working in a kitchen you learn the quick ways to do things but sometimes the quick way isn't the best way.

  5. I really like Adams cooking videos but this his condescension towards a culinary great in this bit was hard to watch. When a seasoned professional makes a remark about who he thinks is best suited to work in his kitchen thats not them being a bad person, its an opinion based on decades of experience. not everyone shares these leftish values Adam, so don’t act like they are universal and enforceable.

  6. hey Adam I think you re a very intresting person with amazing videos and I d love to see some videos where you maybe go more about your philosophy or your ideas ? it could be about cooking or just life in general idk man you seem so intresting ahaha… or maybe do none of it

  7. Michelin-starred restaurants have become multitudes more ridiculous with their platings than Marco's dessert shown in the video. Look up a video of people eating at Noma, a 3-michelin star restaurant and once the number 1 restaurant in the world. There they serve dishes like "cabbage and live ants", "reindeer moss", and "radish, soil, and grass".

  8. Those sulfer compounds become small amounts of sulfuric acid when they combine w/ water. Which is why onions burn your eyes, so he actually was sorta right about acidity!

  9. Great thoughts on cooking, thanks. The MPW Knorr Spanish Omelette recipe is great, I'd never nailed it before watching that.

  10. Got to love some teachers ie. Adam. They spent their life teaching so they think that they know everything and have difficulty accepting when they’re wrong or prance around believing they know everything when in reality their job involves regurgitating information. I swear some of think they’ve solved life like this guy and give a narrative to everything with a clear ignorance.

  11. marco piere wight one of the greats .got blanked for fame because he woodnt praise zzzamzzy .do research if youre going to call anybody out .

  12. 55.4 its wrong but it works .wit youtuber tellih mitchelin star chef how to cook fuk off,ps youtubers r coming back to real world no money in it now as ronald said im lovin it ps didnt watch full video awe less dollars haha

  13. Soooo… You made this video to flex your ego and shit on him? Legitimate criticisms but man do you ever come off as a narcissist and thats 80% of your videos.

  14. If order to get Adam to talk about Chef John I think he should do a video topic on the health benefits of cayenne and adding it to all of your food, including chocolate desserts.

  15. So lemme get this straight. Pretentious know it all journalist that knows very little about fine dining, gives recipe ruining "hacks" and regurgitates sensationalist info and passes it as science(in one video he talked to this scientists about this ONE PAPER where she used p-hacking to prove correlation between toxic masculinity and spicy food) criticizes three Michelin star chef desert from an old video??

    Get over yourself Adam!

  16. I worked in this "fine dining" restaurant for about a month before getting fired. The head chef lived to shit on everyone else bc "their food was simplistic" or unsophisticated… He'd insult and degrade everyone in the kitchen, especially me for being the fng. He hated the current menu that his friend and owner made… The manager asked him to make a plate to sway the menu in a direction for the next season…

    The man faffed over a piece of skate for 2 days, sous vide a chicken wing flat over night, floured and fried the skate, took the bones out of the flat, placed it on top of the skate and some sauted chicken of the woods on top of the flat. It looked just like one of Marcos shitty plates for 30 years ago… The ego on that fat asshole made me give up on working there and I eventually got fired after the guy had a meltdown during service a week later. I couldn't take the overlapping egotism with shitty creative view and a dab of Asperger's since he had no clue how to interact with others… I still work in the industry but, fuck every asshole that thinks he's hot shit bc he's having a midlife crisis and hasn't reached self fulfillment.

    Food is about creating a sense of longing and nourishment. You eat, you feel good, you reminisce and want more. Five guys could create that sense in others better than the douchebag frying a piece of skate can

  17. ❤️❤️❤️smart, funny, curious, honest…what’s not to like..JIM MORRISON IN AN APRON👍
    First time here👏👏👏

  18. Unrelated note but you look like markipliar to an extent.
    That aside, this dude sounds like a pleasure to be with in the kitchen as your self confidence deflates like a leaky balloon

  19. You act like you invented the wheel in every cooking video you make. You have the balls to call out MPW’s plating?!! Plating from a different era, plating that helped him earn 3 MS..

    Have you seen your plating in your videos? Sloppy as hell.

    Well actually guys onions aren’t acidic… Get over yourself, you sound like Sheldon Cooper, trying to burn someone on technicalities like an annoying, nerdy 14yo know it all.

    Fall back, know your role.

  20. Genius, The insurgent ever overstanding practitioner squized to his essentials and, for All: Marco Pierre White, pure Masterpiece. And I was wondering: "why in the end is Ragusea hammering, ironically but pungently, on The practitioner?" Demisal of the practitioner's assertion by science is like saying to an AI neural network that it cannot explain properly it's findings, that's a sin. MPW is obviously consciously genuinely and wisely grinded by greed, lethargy and absolutism, and this shall be taken in account as a probable bias in some of his saying. But never demise the almighty practitioner, explain untill the end. And Ragusea, man of science, is aware of it, so why such oppressive slash ending to the rightful ode to Marco? Left me perplex, then I got it. He is poking the beast. Beware, science explains, and as sure and proven as it could get, you'll have a hard time making Marco swallow a Knorr cube without making a paste out of it before; the coating of the steak surely means something. Further more if the butcher hid it.

  21. Oh my gosh anybody that watches Gordon Ramsay should know who the chef is. It always cracks me up when he talks about him. Or they flash a picture of him.

  22. I think when it comes to YouTube cooks, there's this very clear difference in how experienced they come across, and that's whether or not they "cook to live". People like Maangchi or Adam or Chef John or Cooking with Dog or a ton of other smaller channels make it really clear that the kind of cooking they do is the one that works for them. They're able to tell what is or isn't important, whether doing something is more work than it's worth, and the little shortcuts you can take in your busy life. They've developed the style of cooking that makes them happy.

    I enjoy shows like Babish, but I wish more people would see them for what they are: a more modern, reddit-friendly rendition of food Network personalities. A more masculine Sandra Lee or Rachel Ray. His videos are well-produced, but there's nothing in them you can't get from reading the Kenji Lopez-Alt recipe he probably used, or from someone who has made the dish more than once. I can't imagine these people cooking on a daily basis. They probably eat out a lot, and cook mainly to impress people. There's nothing wrong with that, but they can't tell you where they're coming from, or what's important, because all they're doing is telling you what they read before. Is it worth your time to make fresh pasta, or buy San marzano tomatoes, or deglaze the pan? You have no idea because every step is presented with equal importance by someone who has never had to try it any other way.

  23. I see what you mean by saying Gordon Ramsey copied Marco White's style. Even down to the speech style. I find that fascinating…

  24. I honestly dont know where your point is going, one moment you rant about marco and another you love him for being mean to media.
    Your video is falling apart

  25. Good for him, he's been there & done that with the best of them, and now he's the anti snob guy in an industry full of food snobs. Kids are starving all over the world and people wanna bitch about the use stock cubes and packets v's whats considered authentic.

  26. man, if this isn't a textbook example of a straw man fallacy, i don't know what is. get off of your ivory tower, adam. you're an amateur home cook, at best. don't let the fact that the biased youtube algorithm made your briefly suggested seasoned buttered video a banal meme for normies make you think even for a second that you're anyone to say anything about cooking. knowing the ph balance of a fucking onion doesn't make you a better cook than marco, you filthy casual.

  27. +Adam Ragusea – while undeniably of humble origins – as I think Marco puts it – from a number of interviews and talks I have seen Marco give I don't think Marco was beaten down by the English schooling system or has a chip on his shoulder. Your characterisation of Marco's familyh life and origin and British society sems so typical of US commentators who seem to have some Dickensian view of Britain.
    (I'm an Aussie).

  28. Well thee is a diffference between crying in kitchen and being pissed off bcs someone fucked up fish that was needed and hence costing him lots of money not only in buying the fish but also seeling the finished meal to the customer so there you are the one that fucked up big time by trying to whiteknight.Bdw there were alredy dozens and dozens examples of women juts emotionaly breaking and start juts crying when hit with obsticle from survivor to many many other shows and in every show there is a common thing among women they fist all cheery women we rock and all tha tshenanigans then after 2-3 episodes they alredy start breaking and crying and then start being weasels and foxes and start use/manipulate others to get their win.

  29. it's funny you think marco wrote the script. I dunno if you can really trust that pierre doesn't know that it's not acid you break down to mellow an onion, he just doesn't care to correct

  30. Marco transitioned from fine dining three star chef to a guy that owns steak houses and pubs…he talks about how liberating it has been and about giving back his stars. The guy is remarkable. My favorite.

  31. "Because I'm old!" I laughed out loud. I am also old and know a fair amount about a lot of things. This is indeed the secret to a fulfilled and interesting life: Keep learning!

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