There’s something about food that makes us happy. We just love it. We love eating it, we love smelling it, and if YouTube views are to be believed, we love looking at it. Whether it’s food being made, or food being eaten, that stretchy cheese or oozy chocolate has got us hooked. Everyone has seen those two minute Tasty videos that we just have to stop at during our mindless timeline scrolling. However, some channels take the concept of showcasing food to a whole different level. Aside from the usual quick recipe videos that we’re used to, the following channels all add unique twists that make their content stand out from the rest.
Jun’s Kitchen makes some of the most aesthetic videos of Japanese recipes, with amazing drone shots of Jun cycling through the breathtaking Japanese landscape to handpick his ingredients. That’s not the reason it’s been added to this list though. The actual attractions of Jun’s videos, aside from his calming presence, are his gorgeous CATS.
Nagi, Poki, and Haku make the most adorable audience and can be seen casually lounging around Jun’s kitchen as he cooks up a storm. He involves them in the cooking process by making them sniff each ingredient he picks up, because of course the cats must approve. Sometimes when the cats are more energetic, they’ll jump around his kitchen from one cabinet to the other. Jun’s videos have really high production value, and he complements them with awesome music and mood lighting as well. In short, you come for the cats, but you stay for the therapeutic feel.
Sorted is a channel run by five friends, two chefs and three “normals”, who are “exploring the world of food”. This channel has been the one I’m most proud of discovering myself, because it just keeps on giving. These guys combine all the best bits about watching a group of friends — constant ribbing and inside jokes — with creating some delicious food. They tour different parts of the world doing food marathons such as their 36 dishes in 36 hours challenge in Dubai. They do MasterChef-style “Ultimate Chef vs Chef” and “Normal vs Normal” challenges, giving each other brownie points, which they tally up every week. Furthermore, they review kitchen gadgets and pretentious ingredients, and also compare recipes.
However, my favourite format of their content has to be their “Pass It On” challenges where the five of them get together to create a dish in relay style with each of them getting 10 minutes. At the end they judge whether the final dish is a pass or a fail. There is no limit to the hilarity and absolute insanity that commences during these videos, and I would definitely recommend starting with these videos as your first dip into this channel.
Cooking Tree is the perfect channel for you if you’re looking to de-stress. This Korean channel exclusively exhibits beautiful dessert recipes. The food itself looks immaculate, and the processes are each performed with incredible precision. The visuals aren’t all though. The audio of the content on this channel is just as compelling as the visual appeal, if not more, because the videos contain ASMR.
Trust me, you can never get tired of hearing cream cheese and sugar being mixed together in ASMR. The squelching sounds of butter being incorporated into dough, or the crunch of biscuits being crushed to form a cheesecake base make shivers run down your spine in all the right ways. Be prepared for some serious time loss though, because every time I go onto this channel I just can’t seem to log out.
[TWO HOURS OF CAKES LATER]
It would be an understatement to say that one of the world’s top professional eaters, Matt Stonie, does not look the part. This skinny Asian-American man seems to be able to fit more food in his belly than his own bodyweight. With 8.2 million subscribers, a lot of eyes are watching Stonie devour incredible amounts of food under seemingly impossible time constraints. One day he’s eating over a thousand French fries in twenty minutes or 10 whole whoppers in under eight minutes, and the next day he’s taking on a 20,000 calorie challenge. There are also tonnes of videos of him winning contests and breaking actual world records.
If Cooking Tree left you feeling blissfully relaxed, Matt Stonie will take that mood and turn it upside down. This channel will make you feel so uncomfortable you’ll probably not be hungry for two days straight after your first foray into its depths. There’s one word that comes to my mind when I think of this channel and that is: insanity. And yet, despite all the second-hand discomfort, you keep clicking solely to see what crazy thing will vanish into the seemingly never-ending depths of his stomach next.
Worth It, on BuzzFeedVideo
If there’s one field where BuzzFeed makes actually good content, it would have to be their food department. Of course everybody knows about Tasty, but for me the real stand out design that they employ to showcase food is Worth It. I’m pretty sure most people are familiar with the format of the show, where they compare three versions of a dish at three “drastically” different price points, and finally decide which was the most “worth it” at its price.
The show is enjoyable for several reasons. Of course they have really good shots of food, especially the ones at the highest price points. More important though, is the chemistry between the featured pair and their entertaining reactions to the food.
Steven and Andrew make one of the best YouTube pairs, while Adam, their camera guy, makes a quiet lovable third wheel. Adam rarely talks but is invited to sample all of the food the other two eat, and displays his approval through hums and nods. The show is on its seventh season now, and has added a few other people into the cast. Despite it already being a popular show, it just felt criminal not to include it in this list because of the sheer entertainment it has provided me over the years.
So those are my recommendations for YouTube channels that showcase food in a unique way. Make sure you have some food ready when you’re about to try any of them, because they are bound to get you ravenous.
Rabita Saleh is a perfectionist/workaholic. Email feedback to this generally boring person at firstname.lastname@example.org