Many bar and restaurant workers have joined the legions of Americans who are staying home right now to try to flatten the curve of the novel coronavirus. However, bartenders, chefs, and businesses are still putting their hospitality skills to good use by developing online tutorials and virtual classes to help keep people entertained and fundraise during Michigan’s stay-at-home order.
From wine tastings to baking shows, here are some ways to stay connected with the local food community during this health crisis. And don’t miss out on all the great talks and cooking classes begin hosted through Eater at Home.
Know of a regular virtual food or drink event on Instagram, Facebook, or Zoom hosted by an Detroit restaurant, chef, bartender, or other food producer? Send Eater the details on the tipline or at Detroit@eater.com. Check back for new weekly virtual classes and demos to watch.
Online Cooking Classes
Lena Sareini: James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef and Eater Young Gun Lena Sareini is teaching people how to bake and plate restaurant-quality dishes at home weekly on her Youtube channel. The series currently features tutorials on sourdough bread baking, butter churning, and making yogurt panna cotta with pomegranate granita. Check her Instagram for the latest updates.
Lisa Ludwinski: The baker behind Sister Pie is dipping her toe back into online tutorials featuring recipes from her cookbook. The first episode just aired on Instagram and features a recipe for making cream cheese, radish, and dill scones.
MyThy Huynh: This social media influencer turned pop-up chef is a nurse by day. Her videos feature lots of in-depth cooking and baking videos like how to make croissants or Sichuan boiling fish.
James Rigato: The chef behind Mabel Gray is hosting a live cooking class at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 and is offering ingredient kits for pickup between noon and 2 p.m. at the restaurant on Saturday, April 25. The recipes include oysters with nuoc cham sauce, a roasted rack of lamb, and buttermilk panna cotta. The kits serve two people and cost $200. A second kit may be purchased for $100. Call 248-398-4300 to sign up.
Virtual Cocktail Tutorials
Melanie Mack: A bartender from Mejo’s and Tangent Gallery, Mack is currently partnering with other service workers to help support people in the industry with supplies like diapers and food. She’s also hosting nightly cocktail tutorials set to mood music. It’s a free, relaxing way to wind down at the end of the night. New episodes usually air around 9 p.m. on weeknights and all donations to her Venmo account go towards her charitable projects.
Virtual Beer and Wine Tastings
The Royce Detroit: This downtown wine bar and bottle shop is currently only available for curbside service and delivery. However, customers can get a wine tasting experience via Zoom sessions hosted through the Royce’s At Home With Wine series. Participants purchase the featured wine for the event and automatically receive a code to access the tasting featuring winemakers. Keep track of upcoming events through the bar’s Facebook page.
Schramm’s Mead: This respected Ferndale meadery recently began hosting virtual tastings of its honey wines. The completed events are posted to the company’s Youtube page. Customers can purchase mead and other snacks through the meadery’s online store and follow along.
Mongers’ Provisions: This cheese and chocolate shop is open for curbside pickup and delivery and has also launched online versions of its regular tasting events. Customers can purchase club memberships online for entry to virtual cheese, wine, beer, and chocolate tasting events.
Castalia: This cocktail bar and fragrance brand is selling “cocktail cubes” for pickup, with everything necessary to make a drink (minus the booze). The purchase includes access to a Zoom event, where the bar will walk customers through using the cubes and provide a little bit of information about the science of mixology.
Cafe Muse: This Royal Oak restaurant is hosting a virtual wine dinner on Friday, May 1. Customers can pick up their meals and wine between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and then sit down for a meal and Zoom chat beginning at 7 p.m. The cost is $37 per person for dinner plus $35 for three bottles of wine. Call 248-544-4749 or email email@example.com.
Other Virtual Restaurant and Bar Events
Willis Show Bar: Tune in every Friday at 8 p.m. to the Willis Show Bar Facebook page and check out Willis at Home, a series of bar demos and music performances. That series is upload to the Detroit cabaret’s Youtube page. Watching is free but donations through the bar’s Venmo account, go directly to the performers and bar staff who are out of work.
Freep Film Festival: The Detroit Free Press’s annual film event has moved at least partially online. This year’s films include two short documentaries. Berzerkers center’s around chef James Rigato’s relationship with the band that inspired his restaurant Mabel Gray. The second one, Pie in the Puss, looks at the role of pies-in-the-face in film. The double feature will air online at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.
Eater is tracking the impact of the novel coronavirus on the local food industry. Have a story to share? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.