YouTube cooking stars challenge traditional show

Between excellent programs like Netflix’s Chef’s Table; Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat; and Ugly Delicious – not to mention terrific shows on network and cable television – people who love food programs have never had it better. This plethora of good choices is continuing, but not via traditional media streams. As Stevie Chick of The Guardian explains, new YouTube channels feature content that rivals some television shows

Scott Wiener and Mark Iacono

Media upstarts such as Vice Media’s Munchies, First We Feast and Thrillist are among those in on the action.  One of the shows mentioned in the article is Really Dough, hosted by Scott Wiener and Mark Iacono. Wiener crisscrosses the five boroughs of New York City, scouting out the most outlandish pizzas and bringing them to traditional pizza shop owner Iacono, who proclaims whether or not the offerings are, in fact, actually pizza. 

Even traditional outlets are embracing the low budget opportunities provided by YouTube. Bon Appétit, for instance, recently introduced Gourmet Makes, which follows host Claire Saffitz in her efforts to replicate or even improve processed snacks and candies like Skittles and Oreos. Saffitz didn’t seek this job; she happened to be in the studio for the first taping and was thrown in front of the camera. She turned out to be a natural and has remained for the following episodes. 

Not all of the good programs have the backing of new or old media, however. A few DIY’ers are also in the mix, like Andrew Rea who hosts Binging With Babish. Rea writes, edits, and presents the show, which has a simple concept – recreating famous dishes from television shows and movies. 

What these programs have in common are that they are short (allowing people to easily binge an entire season or catch shows here and there), they are generally shot with only one camera, and they do not feature any special effects. What makes them worth watching, however, is the quality of the content and the charm of the hosts. What are your favorite YouTube food shows?

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