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How an NYU chef is using Instagram TV to educate and engage students

Executive Chef Tatiana Ortiz’s “Tuesdays with Tati” series teaches students how to prepare easy dishes in their dorm rooms.
chef Tati stands in the kitchen
Photograph: Chartwells

Earlier this year, the Chartwells dining team at New York University was looking for a way to feature Executive Chef Tatiana “Tati” Ortiz as part of Women’s History Month in March. 

“We decided to make something different that I can handle by myself, so we said, ‘Well, why don't we record some videos with a simple recipe?’” says Ortiz, who works in NYU Catering. 

The video series, named “Tuesdays with Tati,” has become a hit with students, who are able to cook alongside Ortiz and learn how to make simple recipes from the comfort of their own dorm rooms. 

Focusing on simple

When choosing which recipes to feature, Ortiz looks for those that are easy to make and include ingredients that students can find in the dining hall. In the past, Ortiz has taught students how to make tacos, burgers and more. 

“It has to be something simple that they can make inside the dorms using a microwave or simple stuff,” she says. 

The series is posted on Instagram TV so that users can rewatch the videos whenever they want.

Picking up in the fall 

Since the start of “Tuesdays with Tati,” NYU’s Instagram account has grown from around 2,500 followers to over 3,200. Ortiz is also now starting to be recognized on campus. 

“Every time I go to different locations, [students] recognize me. I have the opportunity to interact with them more, not just behind the counter,” she says. “I can go and talk to them.” 

Due to the series’ success, Ortiz and the team plan to start shooting episodes again during the upcoming fall semester. Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, they would like to include students in the videos as well. 

The episodes will continue to feature simple recipes, Ortiz says, and she’s excited to try and highlight some dishes from her own cultural background. 

“I’m from Colombia, and I would like to show [students] how to make empanadas or how to make arepa,” she says. “You know, something simple, like two, three ingredients and they can have a small dish.”

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