Stuck inside like the rest of us during the coronavirus pandemic, a Dallas woman is making the killer home cooking videos we need right now on TikTok.
The videos created by Gabrielle Bleggi, a cake decorator at Sugar Ray’s Bake Shop in Plano, offer instructions on how to make everything from crispy pan-fried tofu to fudgy chocolate cookies, and they’re racking up hundreds of thousands of likes on the video-sharing platform. “I was absolutely shocked that my videos took off,” Bleggi tells Eater. “I knew there were other people out there with better equipment, cameras, and knowledge, but I set my iPhone up against a stack of books and filmed my first cooking video.”
Bleggi’s culinary aspirations began in high school, when she was a member of a team that competed in the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart culinary competition. She also credits her family’s Italian and Polish heritage with inspiring her interest in cooking. “My culinary experience comes a lot from my family,” Bleggi says. “I started making food by hand and learning the ropes when I was very young.”
Of course, because the internet is full of wannabe food critics, Bleggi’s gotten some blowback from viewers on her rough-around-the-edges technique. “I have a handful of people telling me I don’t do something right or that I’m not a proper chef,” she says. “I know that I’m not, but if I make good food, then I make good food. It’s not all about technique for me, it’s about making something delicious.”
Fortunately, even though the pandemic has shuttered many of the city’s dining establishments, Bleggi’s still working at Sugar Ray’s staying busy filming new videos for her viewers. “The feedback from most of my viewers has been incredible, and people want a lot more videos,” Bleggi says. “I’m so appreciative for them, and I’m trying to keep up.”