Thursday, February 18, 2010

Meet 'Cooking for Bachelors'

By Michèle De Meglio

There’s a new cooking show in town.

DUMBO resident Jyl Ferris is taking the Internet by storm with her how-to show for singles, “Cooking for Bachelors,” which just began its second season at

A new episode is posted each week following Ferris as she sautés her way into your heart.

“I got the idea from dating guys and going to their apartments and asking, ‘What do you eat?’ You’re healthy and you go to the gym but you look in the refrigerator and there’s just a can of beer,” Ferris said.

Ferris created the show in hope of inspiring single ladies and men to pick up their frying pans instead of takeout menus.

“By the time you sit there and pick out your menu and wait for the food to come, you could be cooking a meal. It’s so easy to cook for one,” the food guru insisted.

The episodes are filmed in Ferris’ Brooklyn kitchen. Viewers can enjoy a peek into a gorgeous DUMBO home complete with shiny stainless steel appliances, beautiful bouquets of flowers and Japanese paintings.

For the second season of “Cooking for Bachelors,” Ferris wanted to give Brooklyn a prominent role. She spiced things up by sharing the spotlight with a Brooklyn-based musician during each episode. Local artists, including Hilary Hawke, Will Scott and Steve Himmelstein, tell stories about their favorite foods or childhood memories and also perform their latest hits.

“I stepped it up a notch,” Ferris said.

Since “Bachelors” viewers are likely cooking novices, Ferris keeps her recipes simple. The host is proof that anyone can cook — a fancy culinary school degree is unnecessary.

“I don’t have formal training,” the former graphic designer said. “My mother was a great cook and very creative. She would pull things out of a hat. What I learned from her was food on the fly.”

Inasmuch, “If I look in my fridge and I have three things, I can make a meal.”

She put that philosophy to good use while raising four children.

“I wanted food to get on the table without me having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen so I created a lot of one-pan, one-pot meals,” Ferris said.

In keeping with that easy-does-it vibe, a recent episode offers guidance on making dishes for an entire week. Enjoy meatloaf, grilled chicken breasts, chicken salad and paninis.

Ferris’ dishes often feature ingredients from Brooklyn vendors. In particular, she’s a big fan of the Brooklyn Flea, which boasts a plethora of borough-based food vendors such as Early Bird Foods & Co. and Crop to Cup Coffee.

Ferris’ show has also featured guests from the Brooklyn Brew Shop, which sells beer-making kits to home-brewers.

“I’m very inspired by the fact that there are so many food manufacturing businesses popping up in Brooklyn,” Ferris said. “It’s very ‘mom and pop.’ I’m really impressed by all the people who are interested in creating products.”

Thanks to Ferris’ charm and popular Brooklyn-centered episodes, “Cooking for Bachelors” has earned a dedicated and loyal following.

“My responses are you look adorable or you’re very sexy or the show works well and it’s easy to navigate or I learned something,” Ferris said. “That’s the biggest joy that I get.”

Watch episodes of “Cooking for Bachelors” and view recipes at New content is posted regularly.


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