When I first heard about the video-sharing website YouTube, I thought people were saying, "You too!" I was thinking it meant "You too can be on the screen."
Naturally, I couldn't find it on the web!
Today, I visit YouTube - www.youtube.com - regularly to check out the most popular video of 100 Chinese beauties dancing perfectly across the screen or see my nephew's newest video of his family's adventures.
But, I mostly visit YouTube for the cooking videos.
Oh busboy. After a slight five years, this mega media site has created an abundance, or overabundance of cooks and chefs. Chefs, they are all over this video place. Forget the "Top Chef" TV show. Forget the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Forget all your relative's recipe cards. Today you have YouTube.
YouTube can bring your personal teacher into your kitchen. It will keep you company and give you food prep tips 24/7. YouTube will, literally, show you the way.
YouTube chef sightings sites are vast and varied. Some are excellent and some are stupid, but you can always find what you are looking for. For example, I just made oatmeal for breakfast and was wondering if I could find an easier way on YouTube.
Oatmeal? Sure, I know how to make oatmeal, but I wanted to see what I could find. On YouTube, I typed "How to make oatmeal' in the search slot. I received 2,671 results. Whoa - that's 2,671 videos on how to make oatmeal.
The most popular sites usually are popular for a reason. When looking for good food information, the most viewed is usually the best choice. The most popular oatmeal video, by a landslide was Mr. Chow's video with 49,546 views. He was cute, articulate and the video was full of information (although I wish he had trimmed his hair). The next popular was "How to make oatmeal my way" by Fitmarriage. With only 11,588, it was mediocre at best. I lost interest after that.
Anyone can be on YouTube. Anyone who has a camera and a liking for the limelight. Anyone with a minimum amount of knowledge as to how to make a video can be a star with possibly thousands of viewers. Like my cookbooks, I have my favorites. Some I visit to learn, some I visit just to be entertained. Here are a few that I enjoy:
The first is Ciaran's Kitchen. This little 5-year-old does not have a lot of viewers, but he has stolen my heart and he's not a bad cook either. From Donegal, Ireland, Ciaran has recently been given his own show on the English channel TV3. There are a lot of Little Chefs on YouTube, but Ciaran is the most genuine. This is not a 'how to" site, but I just love it. I have yet to try anything, but think the Irish stew will be my first.
One of my true cooking favorites is Start Cooking. I pick my favorites based on how fast the video is - I don't want to waste my time with unnecessary banter. I want the video to be fun to watch (I bore easily) and easy to follow. The people at Start Cooking prepare basic dishes, but they work hard to make them hip, exciting and entertaining. At the end of each video, they run through all the ingredients you will need to get started. The Start Cooking videos can help you tweak your favorite recipes.
Chef Tips is another favorite. Chef Tips specializes in making short videos that are rich with facts. It is a great resource for recipe ideas. Even better, Chef Tips is organized by food categories making it easy for you to find a recipe you want.
Chef Keith Snow has hundreds of videos and each one is helpful. Chef Snow is all about the facts and has a cool, easy-going presentation style. After a few of his videos you'll learn a ton.
Barbeque Web is pure fun and one I discovered this summer. These guys are dedicated to authentic southern barbecue and they have truck loads of amazing recipes and barbecuing ideas.
My next favorite is Vah Reh Vah I found him when I needed some help preparing Indian foods. Indian food is delicious, but if you didn't grow up cooking curries it can be a challenge to prepare. Having millions of video hits, I knew he was the one to watch. Besides, he makes me laugh out loud.
YouTube has a lot to offer. There are a many ways the customer, cook and the hospitality industry can use it to their advantage.
However, just sit back today and enjoy the few I recommended. I know a ton of videos and will serve more to you later.