Writer, producer and food52 user Rebecca Lando dreamed up the cooking web series Working Class Foodies when she was studying film at NYU and had just $30 a week to spend on food. Her inspiration: the Union Square Greenmarket. “I quickly discovered that locally-grown produce was a better value than anything at the grocery store,” she says. “This was a total shock at first, but I quickly fell in love.” It took awhile for Rebecca and her brother, Max, to get WCF off the ground last September. Now, six months in, Rebecca, whose French Onion Soup took gold in our Best Onion or Garlic Soup contest and Max (and Humphrey, Rebecca’s adorable dog) post new episodes on Hungry Nation TV every Monday. A PDF of recipes follow shortly thereafter on the WCF blog.
The show’s focus is simple, and the opener says it all: “Siblings with a passion for cooking and eating local, seasonal and affordable meals for under $8 per person.” In the recent "How to Roast a Chicken" video, Rebecca dishes culinary advice with humor when she suggests avoiding chickens that in any way resemble Mets infielder David Wright. She likes her men and her chickens growth hormone free. The food Rebecca and Max cook is based mostly on what they find at the market. Their Polenta with Mushroom Ragu, Poached Farm Egg and Garlic Breadcrumbs is a perfect example. They also recreate restaurant dishes they have eaten out (or hope to soon), such as the Bo Ssam from Momofuku Ssam Bar. Max does his best version of this now-staple NYC food.
Rebecca and Max are not cheffy, and they don't try to be. They are smart, hip and witty -- this is working class for the "New Yorker" set. Their videos are set to cool, mellow rock and the food makes you want to dig in. And to know that it's budget-friendly is perhaps the best part.