Putting together a dinner party for a handful of your closest friends is difficult enough.
Imagine doing this for millions of people almost every single day. That’s essentially the reality for TikTok-famous chef and culinary expert Morgan Hipworth.
At the astonishingly young age of 22, he’s already cultivated an online following of more than 1.1 million, guest-starred on MasterChef, runs his own bakery and is in the process of opening his own restaurant.
The internet community Hipworth has created, he tells 9Honey Kitchen, is one built on a shared love of all things food. It’s wholesome, easy and welcoming.
His modus operandi is to make home-cooking seem far less daunting and to empower everyone to unleash their inner chef.
“The recipes I make that tend to do really well are ones that are achievable for the everyday home cook, or someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience,” Hipworth explains.
“Most people want something that is easy and – most importantly – delicious.”
As a card-carrying Gen Z Australian who grew up with the internet, Hipworth is all for using social media to make cooking more palatable.
He has watched many recipe trends and food hacks come and go, but he says the ultimate way to cook is by going old-school.
“I think a lot of the trends can sometimes be quite gimmicky, and maybe too good to be true,” he says.
“My favourite trends are the ones that are the old classics, the tried and tested ones you can attempt in a new way. There are no shortcuts to really good food, though. Good things take time.”
One particular food trend Hipworth has witnessed in his time online was the viral baked pasta shell recipe. You can read about it here.
He describes this dish as looking “cool” but ultimately a “waste of time”.
“The taste is no different than just a basic sort of pasta bake,” he explains. “I think the trends that are really good are the classics reinvented and in a way audiences can think, ‘Wow, that looks achievable”.
With a combined social media following of nearly 1.5 million and appearances on national television, Hipworth is often at the mercy of his fans and their reactions to his recipes.
Thankfully, he says his community is 99 per cent warm and supportive. That’s because it revolves around the most wonderfully simple subject: food.
“I think everything on social media you need to take with a pinch of salt,” he reveals. “I have always grown up knowing not to take anything negative, which I hardly get, I don’t take it to heart.”
“At the end of the day, I am my own harshest critic!”
I think a lot of the trends can sometimes be quite gimmicky, and maybe too good to be true.
Hipworth has been experimenting with recipes since he was aged seven and has graduated from simple chicken and veggie dinners to his sumptuous, spectacular desserts.
As an ambassador for Mingle Seasoning, he says adding rich flavour to a meal doesn’t need to be super complicated.
“You can still have beautiful flavour and incredible tasting meals while still tracking your macros and having gym-friendly meals, he says.
“I found that there are ways to create meals packed full of flavour whilst still fuelling your body, without any unnecessary additives, salts or sugars which could undo all your hard work.”
As a trained chef, Hipworth has worked with some of the best in the business.
He also runs his own artisan bakehouse, Morgan’s Bistro, and knows precisely how stressful cooking and baking can be.
The ultimate piece of advice he has picked up along the way, he tells us, is to keep your station clean.
“Keep everything very clean,” he laughs. “To my own admission, I’m still working on it to this day, but stay clean and tidy.
“I was lucky enough to go over to Paris a few months ago and did some training with some Michelin star chefs and it really resonates throughout their entire life. You can’t be a neat and clean cook if you are a messy person!”
Hipworth recommends filling a large tub with soapy water – or the sink – before you embark on a big cooking mission. Then, you can throw in any used plates, cutlery or utensils as you go.
“You don’t want your bench filled with dirty dishes because it’s just going to make your life really, really hard,” he adds.
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He also has a tip for cooks who love to experiment but are afraid of pastries and desserts, which can be one of the hardest dishes to master.
Hipworth describes baking as a kind of “science” and advises people to look at it that way.
“I always liked math at school instead of English and it’s the exact same reason I love baking, because if you forget the baking powder, it’s just not going to rise,” he says.
“Understanding your French basics of pastries is the key thing. Dive in and the world’s your oyster.”
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