Cooking with Gas - and TraceGains at NEXT

Cooking with Gas - and TraceGains at NEXT

Denis Storey
September 8, 2021

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They say that when a habit starts to cost money, it becomes a hobby. If that’s the case, then most of us have some accounting to do.

Nearly six out of 10 Americans picked up a new hobby as the pandemic dragged on, according to new research from LendingTree.

The most popular hobbies include:

  • Reading.
  • Baking or cooking.
  • Gardening.
  • Meditation.
  • Writing.

“It shouldn’t be surprising that so many Americans dove into new hobbies during the pandemic,” LendingTree’s Chief Credit Analyst Matt Schulz said. “Having our lives flipped upside down in so many ways not only amped up the stress in our daily lives, but it also often left us with much more spare time than before and nowhere to go. Our survey shows that millions of Americans used that extra time to try out something new — everything from reading and writing to baking and cooking.”

When the pandemic shut down our office, I found myself without a commute and a couple of extra hours every day. After the initial restlessness wore off, I “kneaded” something to do, so I started baking. I churned out dozens of varieties of traditional loaves, giant (mostly warped) pretzels, and croissants of varying degrees of flakiness. But I managed to perfect French baguettes and I still bake at least a couple of loaves each week.

It’s a hobby I find both taxing and therapeutic. It’s like high school chemistry without the awkwardness of adolescence and better-smelling ingredients.

So, imagine my glee when I found out that the first day of NEXT would include an appearance by celebrity chef Tiffani Faison, who lead our own Community Cooking Show. Faison, a Boston native who finished second on the inaugural season of Bravo’s Top Chef reality cooking show, will walk attendees through the preparation of a personally curated meal. Faison’s live presentation wrapped up with a lively Q&A session, where she fielded audience questions about cooking, life under the spotlight of reality TV, and what it’s done for her career.

What’s NEXT for you?

To hear all of Faison’s presentation, check out NEXT on-demand here.

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