British chef Jago Randles had just moved to Canada to work for the busy ski season. There was just one problem though, as per government guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Jago was required to self-isolate in his hotel room for 14 days upon arrival.

He quickly missed cooking and decided to get creative with the tools at his disposal. The two weeks saw the chef grilling chicken on an iron, poaching eggs in a coffee maker and creating dishes that he then shared on social media. It proved compelling, if divisive, blowing up on tiktok and YouTube. Gordan Ramsay even sent a video complimenting Jago on his cooking.   

“I chose a hotel room with a microwave and a fridge, but after the first day I decided I didn’t want to eat ready meals and takeaway all the time. So I decided I would make a bacon sandwich on the iron, which went pretty well, and then it got me thinking about how else I could cook in the room,” Jago told Lonely Planet. As a working chef, Jago had a huge collection of knives and kitchen utensils with him that helped in the creation of a range of different dishes. After using the iron to cook up some simpler things, he moved on, using a coffee machine to cook eggs and steam vegetables.

Jago's cooking setup
Jago's cooking setup with an iron and an ironing board © Jago Randles

Dishes included bacon double cheese burgers, grilled salmon with pak choi, French toast with caramelized bananas, eggs benedict, tacos, grilled kebabs with hummus, Crème brûlée and blueberry pancakes. Jago started posting videos and photos on his Instagram story, with his friends suggesting that he share them on tiktok. Within 24 hours of uploading his first one he had 100,000 views, and from there it just snowballed. The response was hugely mixed, with some people being amazed by the delicious looking dishes that Jago was able to make with minimal tools, while many others commented on the sanitary conditions he was working in. 

“It’s a pretty controversial way of cooking. But I think at the end of the day there’s always people who will have negative things to say about you and what you do, and the positive feedback I’ve had has greatly outweighed the negative. A lot of people are complaining about the cleanliness of it but in all honesty I’m a chef and I wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t clean. I wrap the ironing board in cling film to keep it clean and any surfaces I use for preparation I clean with hot soapy water the same way I would in a kitchen. Also I use grease proof paper or foil so that the food doesn’t actually come into contact with the appliances.”


Hotel room cooking pt.1 ##food ##foryou ##fyp ##chef ##cooking

♬ original sound - Jago Randles

One person who was impressed with his skills was celebrity chef Gordan Ramsay, who shared a critique video on his own social media, saying “to be honest that looks like some decent food, certainly some of the best food I’ve seen in any hotel.”


Hotel cooking Pt.3 ##food ##foryou ##fyp ##cooking

♬ Rain - Aitch & AJ Tracey

“I would say it was a huge success and I actually cooked some pretty tasty meals. To anybody else thinking about following suit I would say yeah, give it a try, but just try not to mess up any hotel rooms or start any fires! At the end of the day my hotel room cooking kept me entertained through quarantine and it seems to have brought a lot of entertainment to others which makes me really happy so I’m gonna carry on making videos in Whistler and I’ll see how creative I can get. Might even have to do some cooking on the slopes!”


Hotel room cooking Pt. 8 ##food ##foryou ##fyp ##chef

♬ original sound - Jago Randles

The videos are available on Jago’s tiktok.

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