Co Antrim chef's cookery tutorials on online hit

A Larne chef is sharing a series of cookery tutorials online in an effort to keep busy during the coronavirus outbreak.

A cookery demo for Guinness wheaten by Pol Shields.

Pol Shields had been working as Head Chef at The Grouse in Ballymena for the past eight months.

But like many in the catering and hospitality industry, the popular pub and restaurant was forced to close its doors in light of the ongoing health crisis.

“Like other people having a lot of time on their hands, I was getting bored and the only thing I can do is cook,” Pol said. “I started cooking and putting up pictures of a few dishes [on Facebook] and I started getting loads of messages asking me to do videos.

“I’m used to doing cookery demos for the Tourist Board and Causeway Coast and Glens Council, so I thought why not?”

Pol’s first Facebook tutorial on Sunday was a recipe for a basic jam and coconut sponge, followed by sticky toffee pudding on Monday.

A tutorial for chicken jalfrezi on Tuesday, meanwhile, proved an instant hit. “Loads of people must have had it for their dinner and I got loads of pics of curry people had made, especially husbands which is brilliant,” he added.

Other recipes demonstrated by the local chef include soda bread, Guinness wheaten and apple crumble, with requests coming in for his award-winning chowder.

“The response has been brilliant; it’s giving a lot of people something to look forward to, and keeps them busy organising the ingredients and making the dishes,” Pol said.

“It’s great craic and keeps me from going mad. I hope this is all over soon and that people stay safe and we can get back to some kind of normality."