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YouTube’s impact on my culinary life

How food channels inspired me to become a better cook

<p>The variety of food channels available on YouTube allows the viewer to shift foci as quickly as their cravings change.</p>

The variety of food channels available on YouTube allows the viewer to shift foci as quickly as their cravings change.

YouTube is undoubtedly an important part of today’s social media-dependent society, but fairly recently there has been a surge in an unexpected corner of the YouTube catalog — food channels. Such videos serve as a nice 30-minute intermission between the daily intake of TED talks and “The Bachelor” clips. More importantly, food channels also provide the viewer with an easily digestible education on what goes into making their favorite cuisine.

The variety of food channels available on YouTube allows the viewer to shift foci as quickly as their cravings change. One channel in particular, “Bon Appetit,” has secured a top spot within the ranks of culinary creators on account of their extremely varied backlog of videos. After class, scanning YouTube for recently released food videos — most likely from “Bon Appetit” — has become a borderline addiction of mine.

While of course the food is the main focus of these channels, the chefs play just as important of a role and exhibit many different personalities between their own little tips and tricks. Through the countless hours I have spent with them, I have learned that cooking does not have to be an activity synonymous with burned fumes and unhappy guests. On the contrary, it can be equally as therapeutic as a yoga session at the AFC. 

For example, one of my personal favorite food series is a playlist from “Bon Appetit” called ''Gourmet Makes.” It features a professional baker and chef named Claire Saffitz, whose challenge is to replicate popular snack foods, such as Skittles, Doritos and Mentos.  

“Gourmet Makes” has become so important to me because the videos are not edited in a way that erases the mistakes that can occur with cooking. Instead, after such mistakes, Saffitz guides the audience through what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future. It shows the viewer that even a professional chef can mess up despite cooking being their livelihood, and therefore it is OK for you too as well. 

Prior to stumbling into the world of YouTube culinary creations, I was not much of a cook myself. However, college — and the lack of an omnipresent doting mother — was the perfect catalyst for learning the ins and outs of the kitchen through video. My knife skills have been sharpened and the knowledge I had concerning the nuances of flavor has been strengthened. YouTube has become my culinary school, and without it, I’d probably still be eating Kraft every night.

Since I began my journey into the culinary arts, I have not only been able to provide myself with balanced meals, but I have also been able to reinforce my connections with friends and family. Nothing says, “You’re important to me,” more than sitting down and enjoying a handmade meal with the ones you love.

In a world of “how to” and “strangely satisfying” videos being all the craze, food channels allow viewers to scratch the “every step of the way” itch that some may get when trying something new. I am convinced that the rise of food-related content is not due to just a cathartic break within the infinite YouTube queue, but also the promise of something tangible — and quite possibly delicious — awaiting any who choose to partake for themselves. 

Food is an essential part of everyone’s day-to-day life, and YouTube has allowed the preparatory aspect of eating to be front and center for all those who wish to pursue the culinary arts. Those who choose to take a deeper dive will not be disappointed in the plethora of food-based sources at their disposal. Everything from raising and using a sourdough starter for bread to how to properly sharpen a knife is only a click away. Food channels have cracked the code to entertaining yet informative videos, and if you find yourself desiring something to laugh with, relate to or even just pick up a new skill, why not give them a shot?