NYC Sanitation Department Debuts Coronavirus Cooking Show

NEW YORK CITY — If you needed more proof that the world is forever changed (did you, though?), Patch invites you to cook with the Department of Sanitation.

New York City’s garbage pickup agency launched its own cooking show on YouTube this week to address culinary challenges during the new coronavirus pandemic.

Viewers will learn how to cook with old kale and to make a broccoli cheese toast a 4-year-old may or may not eat.

“You wanna try it?” Smitten Kitchen founder Deb Perelman asks of her young daughter, proffering the toast she has just taught us to make. “No? You’re just going to lick it? OK.”

The cooking show is supposed to help with a food insecurity crisis Mayor Bill de Blasio predicts could see more than 2 million New Yorkers go hungry this year.

While the city insists there is no food shortage, New Yorkers are losing jobs at record rates and can face hourslong lines to get inside grocery stores tasked with social distancing.

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So as the city rushes to amp up its free food delivery service — with help from newly appointed “Food Czar” and Sanitation head Kathryn Garcia — the department is stepping up to do its part.

“There are a few things we can do and probably should do to make our food last as long as possible,” says Instagram chef Sophia Roe in her video on saving old kale. “I’m going to show you a few of those things today.”

Videos also feature Gramercy Tavern head chef Michael Anthony leaning into a new trend of DIY home cooking with a recipe for homemade mayonnaise, and Jake Cohen, editorial director of FeedFeed, making pantry brownies with olive oil.

Cohen shows off a neat trick for making perfectly rounded brownies that involves swirling the freshly baked treats with a cookie cutter.

“They’re a little misshapen,” says Cohen. “But, I mean, so I am I.”

Try it, and the next time someone asks you where you picked up your culinary skills, you’ll be able to reply, “from the Department of Sanitation.”

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