Yanno’s just sent me a beautifully lit, honey toned video he’s made of various fruit and vegetables in a nice wooden bowl revolving on his record player. Will post soon by the way, it looks great.
He says, “I’m going to start the next YouTube cult, after loud chewing. The spinning vegetables.” It makes sense if you imagine it in the hybrid French/Cockney/Dublin accent he’s synthesised after 7 years in this competitive gastro capital (in Europe only second to Paris in terms of Michelin Starred restaurants). The oddest thing, is that I’ve spent this evening and most of the last night attempting to break down what makes a great hyper successful YouTube food video. How does a relatively unknown chef, with decent recipes, decent delivery, decent knife skills and a selfie stick get 3 million views?
One of the big things is that they eat and enjoy their own food, sometimes a lot, sometimes all of it. If I try to compare to the old guard, I can’t remember Delia Godess of the Hearth eating much, but Keith did (along with, well, you know…), Marco didn’t, and knorr does Gordon.* Raymond eats, Michel doesn’t. Heston, and I love so much about Heston, can't seem to not get it all down his top, but he’s game. Jamie and Nigella definitely do, one wholesomely uncomplicated the other wholesomely fertile, both fundamentally comforting. Clarissa and Jennifer ate heartily but it was mostly posh things from tins and hampers, saucisson, caviar, truffles and the like.
Nowadays of course its ASMR Korean schoolgirls panting between gulps of Dynamite Ramen. Jamie’s Carbonara got 7 million views but mostly he’s in the high hundred thousands, and he’s the JK Rowling of food. HyuneeEats has 39million views and regularily gets over 10 million. I read recently that its easy to watch the TV show Friends because everybody acts like what they are… see Ross without the laugh track. You can watch an episode of Friends without the sound and never be unsure of what is going on. And Ill be breaking down the narrative of food videos in the next instalment.
*(Hornet like, orangey, predatory, while he takes a few appalled bites from a massive sodden something or other for the camera, his real game is to coax out and paralyse some slob lurking, blustering, in the kitchen like a fangless funnel web Guido).