The Baking/Cooking panel took place on Sunday at Summer in the City 2015. It featured creators including Ben from SORTEDfood, Barry Lewis, and Raphael Gomes. It was chaired by Tom Burns.
The panel was well-attended, with the audience occupying nearly half of Panel Room B. The panellists were Barry Lewis, Raphael Gomes, Ben Ebbrell, and Jamie Jo.
Tom’s first question was what inspired the panellists to start their channels. Raphael said that the idea for his first cooking video began with his mother telling him about a two-minute chocolate cake recipe. He thought it would be disgusting, but tried it and the video went viral.
The panel covered some of the more practical elements of cooking channel, including how they film their videos and how they decide on their thumbnails (SORTEDfood have internal bets about which videos will be more successful based on the thumbnail). Ben said that as SORTEDfood want to make their recipes seem accessible for everyone, they re-shoot the video if the end result isn’t what they wanted.
Barry said, “Everything I cook is me cooking it for the first time. What I really like about it is the community get involved and tell me what I did wrong.”
Jamie added that it is relatable for the audience if you get it wrong sometimes. She talked about a Japanese cheesecake that she’d attempted. It didn’t go exactly to plan but still tasted great.
The panel moved on to discuss how they all tried to have a mix of different foods on their channels including different international cuisine. Barry talked about how Mexican hot chocolate was “the most amazing thing he’d ever done”. They all agreed that using suggestions from their audiences was also a great way to vary their recipes.
There was full agreement on the panel that cooking videos which featured brands such as Oreo and Nutella, or trends such as salted caramel, always get more views. Ben said that he sometimes had to work to get the production team to agree to a recipe that they hadn’t heard of. He said “if I get a wow then it’s good enough for a video”.
The panel talked about how production can be really important for cooking videos, including using techniques such as voiceovers and multiple cameras and making sure the lighting was good. Barry said, “A couple of years ago I took a bit of a gamble, and took a career break from my job and I wasn’t earning enough to cover my ingredients but it just meant that I could put more into the production quality… as a result more effort means better views”.
Finally, Ben advice to people with cooking channels was: “Cooking’s just about about creativity and confidence… just freestyle it and enjoy it”.
So what are the panellists’ favourite recipes?
Jamie: anything healthy
Barry: homemade pasta
Photos: Michael Dean.
Want more from Summer in the City 2015?
Check out our Summer in the City tag, where you’ll find all of our coverage. Also, why not take a look back at our Photo Recaps from Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
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