A Co Antrim restaurant is going online to teach customers locked in their homes how to make some of their favourite dishes.
The Millside Restaurant in Cloughmills has responded to the Covid-19 epidemic by setting up a dedicated 'Millside Kitchen' Facebook page and YouTube channel with the theme 'Can't cook but now I have to'.
Owner and chef Stephanie Gray said the videos will provide some light relief during a time when lives and daily routine have changed completely in what she described as "scary and worrying times".
The aim is to give customers and the wider community the opportunity to develop their own cooking skills by harnessing the expertise of the Millside's kitchen and staff. Since being forced to close their doors, the Millside continued with its popular takeaway service up until last night, but Stephanie said the focus will now be on their new online offering until they are able to re-open again.
Stephanie (41), who has run the restaurant since 2004 along with her fiance Darrel Stevenson (44), said: "Many people will now have to cater more at home for their families, but on occasions might need a helping hand and some useful suggestions.
"If people want to sample something new given the ingredients they already have in their stocked-up larder or have a favourite Millside dish they would like to try at home, then all they have to do is follow our Facebook page and YouTube channel the Millside Kitchen Cloughmills and we'll be more than happy to help.
"Then simply message or email us with the preferred option, whether it's your own ingredients or their meal of choice, and one of our chefs and frontline house staff will provide professional advice to help out with videos during this testing time.
"We haven't even done any videos yet but the response has already been immense with people asking for one of our most popular dishes, chilli chicken pasta, to be first on the list," she added. The innovation doesn't end there as the Millside will be offering recipes for various cocktail blends too and advice on what drinks are suitable for meals.
Stephanie has also extended an invitation to younger fans to tune in on YouTube where nine-year-old son RJ, with a little help from Darrel, will be making, among other things, pancakes.
"We want to make people happy during this present crisis and sincerely hope that it won't be too long before our doors are back open and we can extend the warmest of welcomes to our clients," Stephanie added.