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Reddit makes the most of what’s in your cupboard

How a live interview session turned into Reddit culinary movement.


Kevin Morris


Posted on Feb 29, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 8:42 pm CDT

For many cooking wannabes, the kitchen cupboard is a cabinet of shame—a dumping ground for all their hopeless culinary ambitions (parsnipsthose are fancy, right?) and lazy daily fall backs (hello, cold SpaghettiO’s).

There’s cooking gold in all that cabinet refuse, however. And now there’s a new section on social news site Reddit that will teach you how to find it.

It’s called r/whatsinmycupboard. All you need to do is tell the community’s 1,300 subscribers, well, what’s in your cupboard. They’ll handle the rest.

The creators got their inspiration from one of yesterday’s most popular live interviews.

“I am a chef by trade,” Redditor ghostbackwards, whose first name is Keith, wrote. “Tell me what is in your cupboard and I will tell you what the fuck to do with it to make dinner/lunch/breakfast.”

Keith, a 33-year-old caterer who’s been cooking in form or another since he was 14, quickly proved that there are a lot of fucking things you can do with your residual food.

What would you do with this list of ingredients?

“eggs, a red onion, a green pepper, a block of sharp cheddar cheese, kosher salt, a pepper grinder, hot paprika, fresh thyme, jalapeno salsa, long grain white rice, oyster sauce, chili oil, sesame oil and a small amount of fresh green beans. ”

Keith would fry up a fritatta:

“Saute your veggies. Oil bottom of pan and get really hot. drop your scrambled up eggs with a bit of cream hopefully. turn off heat. add your veggies, cheese, and salsa.”

Keith, who now lives in Connecticut, told the Daily Dot he previously worked under some top chefs in Seattle, including “a James Beard Award winner” and “a contestant on Top Chef.”

As Keith’s head was buried deep in creative recipe writing, Ali, a 19-year-old hotel management and catering student at the University of Houston, had a simple suggestion: “This needs to be a subreddit.”

Redditor scd250, a 20-year old computer science major whose first name is Sarah, obliged. She made r/whatsinmycupboard, posted the link to the interview thread, and watched it quickly develop. Keith’s great idea was now a full fledged Reddit culinary movement.

“I wasn’t expecting the subreddit to explode, the way it did,” Ali told the Daily Dot. “And I’m really glad that we have such a huge community to draw upon inspiration from.”

Ali and Sarah invited two other redditors two join as moderators and, of course, Keith himself.

“I was shocked to see how popular this became,” Keith wrote. ”All without a picture of a cat.”

The subreddit’s already being flooded with ingredient lists, and the community’s culinary connoisseurs are replying out their best recipe attempts.

The whole thing sounds like a perfect idea for a new cooking show: What’s in My Cupboard Starring That Chef From Reddit.

What’s Keith think of that idea?

“I would love to find someone to do webisodes with me in that fashion,” Keith wrote. “Beer and whiskey involved.”

Image by crayolarabbit

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*First Published: Feb 29, 2012, 6:34 pm CST