Projects in Quarantine: Fordham Food Network

People who cook together, thrive together



As amateur chefs themselves, Leeza Richter and Avery Primis, both FCLC ’22, host a Zoom cooking show with an inviting atmosphere to learn some new recipes and engage with the Ramily remotely.


Is Zoom exhausted? Not in this socially isolated period, and not if we can cook together virtually. The latest addition to the Zoom portfolio of Fordham meetups is the brainchild of Leeza Richter and Avery Primis, both Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’22. “The Zoom Show: Bringing People Together Since 2020” is a virtual cooking meetup. It’s not like the cooking tutorials of most Instagrammers, who broadcast their picturesque kitchens and glamorous finished products, but a genuinely enjoyable platform helmed by two amateur cooks, where all the participants actually cook together.

The slogan “Bringing people together since 2020” evokes familiar taglines pervading pre-coronavirus life. That is the point of The Zoom Show: Food is an enabler of connection. Primis and Richter developed a solid friendship over their love for food. “Leeza and I aren’t chefs,” Primis said. “When it comes to cooking, we just happen to enjoy it.” They understand the social connotations of food — how food is not just something to be consumed, but something that people can bond over. 

While The Zoom Show is mainly about connection, it also brings in an element of productivity and a sense of accomplishment to its participants. As Primis said, “If you are making cookies from scratch and you get to share them with people you are living with and they love it, then that’s something you did. We did it with you, but you accomplished that. We’re all in this together.”

People are also not confined to the same physical space while cooking together. “We can really branch this out to people all over the world. It shows us a glimpse into each other’s lives,” Richter said. And the fear of not “performing” correctly is absent here. The hosts themselves try out the recipes with the participants for the first time. Participants not only share tips; they also correct the hosts while cooking together.

As long-time foodies, Primis and Richter usually select recipes from The New York Times Cooking and Bon Appétit on Instagram, among other sources. The ingredients for the recipe of the week are shared among the participants every Tuesday, giving them enough time to procure the essentials. People also share their ideas regarding recipes for the next week’s meetup, adding a collaborative aspect to The Zoom Show. 

Cooking together every Friday at 1 p.m. is the sense of normalcy that The Zoom Show touts in these turbulent times. “The external circles connecting back to us and us coming together to make something is really cool,” Richter said. The subsequent meetups will involve making quiches, dumplings, Italian pancakes, perogies and other dishes. “If we can make a new dish every week, then that’s the newness we need,” Primis said.

If you would like to be a part of this meetup, email [email protected] to be added to their mailing list.