Joni’s CookNow Newsletter 03.23.20

Hello cooking friends, 

I’ve been feverishly (pun intended!) writing blog posts to help you have success in the kitchen. The links throughout are for silliness, education, and of course self promotion.

Read the blog posts here.

I hope this whimsical, self-prophetic newsletter brings smiles and inspiration to be a first responder.

Imagine that it’s 2025 and we look back at the impact of COVID-19. Let’s start in March 2020, a time when the world was put on a 3-week time out. People cleaned. Everyone was happier in their clean, decluttered homes. People switched their nonessential buying to just the necessities. Amazon doubled its employees as online sales skyrocketed.

Experts agreed, the “purchase now, receive later” approach was a huge success for the economy worldwide. And, many countries mandated a deferred payment system for most business sectors –and it worked. (Buy now, Gift Certificates, Online Classes)

Working from home became THE THING. YouTube channels quadrupled, and sales of ScreenFlow and other video-making apps tripled as people found ways to monetize their hobbies. Unexpected channels bloomed on YouTube. Sewing videos saw exponential growth, both in posts and viewers. 

The astronomical number of video LIKES on “How to wash your hands” switched quickly to “How to wash your dog” and “How to cut your hair.” 

Everyone had time for cooking. They needed cooking equipment: chef knives, cutting boards, skillets and mixing bowls were sold out at stores and online. While they waited for backorders to be filled –they took cooking classes.

During the pandemic, people (individuals click here) (couples click here) (families/groups, click here) wanted a reprieve from their “cabin fever” and everyone agreed that having fun while learning the most important life skill (cooking) was the ideal combination. At first, they did online events (join my cooking group) on Meetup. Then, Joni’s virtual Zoom classes caught on. At first, the private lessons were popular, but people soon realized that groups of 5, with each person cozy in their own homes, were fun and they learned worthy tidbits from each other. Friendships developed, including 4 marriages!

Many people immediately book(ed) Joni’s 30-minute phone calls. People across the country took chef Joni’s “COVID-19 cooking class series.” They said that her skill-building classes (book here) made the biggest change in their lives. Couples who like to cook together (book here) —and those who don’t— found her classes to not only enhance their cooking skills but also strengthen their relationship. 

Once it was safe again to have in-person classes, Joni was flooded with bookings. People wanted to continue their eating-for-health diets and were delighted with Joni’s immune-boosting elixir (pssst – recipe here). People found them to be so tasty, refreshing and healing that they bought several bottles to take home. 

By spring 2021, she had already completed five sold-out CookNow” 2-day workshops in Santa Cruz at a beach-side VRBO (this one, or this one?). Since 2022, her retreats have been in high demand in Santa Cruz as well as locations around the world highlighting local cuisines.

Dozens of home cooks, who now have their own cooking blogs, home delivery service and cottage food business, used this time to hone their skills with Joni. Experts say that she helped spawn hundreds of jobs and create over $10 million in the workforce and retail sales. 

By 2022, the no-end-in-sight cooking trend was strengthened by Joni’s best-selling book: “Cook Now, Using Your Own Home-Cooked Food for a Long-Lasting Healthy Quality Life for You and Your Family Including Your Pets and Parents and Setting an Example for Your Children so that Their Children will be Healthy so that Our Planet is Healthy too so Their Children’s Children Children will Thrive.” This book also received an award from the Guinness Book of Records for the longest book title. Her elixirs and books are available at “”

CookNow magazine continues to gain subscribers (subscribe to my newsletter), for print and the online version. A photo of Joni has been on every cover wielding a beloved kitchen gadget, about to get a task done. And, as many of you know, she has enough gadgets and small appliances to last several years of magazine covers. The first magazine cover debuted her DOOB figurines, which were then used in many of her viral cooking memes.  

A reader of this newsletter contacted Joni to do a trade: video help in exchange for cooking classes — specifically with the aforementioned ScreenFlow. Her YouTube channel (follow me on YouTube) had a slow start due to her learning curve, but with the help of that student her now award-winning cooking videos gained worldwide fans. And, her Instagram account (follow me on Instagram) was the fastest-growing since Jennifer Aniston broke it back in the fall of 2019.

Experts claim that the cooking class trend can be traced back to none-other-than Silicon Valley (SV), where one specific newsletter that chef Joni sent on 03.23.20 to her followers prophesied what you are reading now. 

The Gen Z’s have publicly thanked the SV early adopters who responded to chef Joni’s newsletter. These “first responders” also  purchased certificates (here) for future in-person classes. Many of her followers actually forward this newsletter to friends, and bosses, who then took classes or bought certificates for future classes and team events. All of this instigated the cooking class craze—- across the nation and throughout the world. Cooking classes became THE THING that everyone was doing.