We’ve all been there before. One final calculus question remains, and yet, your eyes drift towards YouTube food channel Sorted Food’s latest creation: Brunch in a Mug. Several lazy clicks later, it’s 2 am and your hunger pangs are all too real. Yes, YouTube’s assortment of cooking channels can occasionally make you terribly unproductive, but it never fails to cheer you up when facing a mental roadblock and provide you with some useful tips. It’s like the Oprah Winfrey panacea for college-fueled insomnia: all good things wrapped in tiny, bite-sized packages.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most deliciously addictive foodie YouTube channels and split them into three groups, based on the type of people behind them: home cooks, trendy and underground, and celebrity chefs.
For the average home cook, it would be wise to follow your fellow home cooks who, well, do it slightly better than you. And you’d be hard pressed to find better learning lessons then those of Food Wishes’ chef John. Fun, informative and always engaging, both Food Wishes and Sorted Food bring simple clarity to the art of cooking. If you’re a smoke-and-outdoors kind of guy (or gal), the pit masters at BarbecueWeb will serve you kindly, as well. These channels – by the home cook for the home cook – aren’t rocket science by any means, but visual fireworks (that end in food porn) are always on display.
Munchies should be way more popular than it actually is. Vice’s answer to “sleepy TV food shows” features rising chefs, such as David Chang and Erik Anderson, and their go-to bites when they’re not donning chef whites. Sometimes, they get drunk on camera and it becomes a riot. But nothing quite compares to the bizarre oddity that is Cooking with Dog. The star is canine host Francis, who narrates recipes in English as an unnamed Japanese chef cooks by his side. The concept is downright crazy, but somehow it works – much like olive oil and chocolate ice cream.
The granddaddy of celebrity chefs, Jamie Oliver, still owns this genre. But his real-life mentor Gennaro Contaldo is an equally compelling figure. He’s rapturously passionate, speaks only in upper decibels, and has even developed his own catchphrase: “Why am I cooking so good??” Elsewhere, Laura Vitale’s bright-eyed vivacity and down-to-earth cooking style has charmed millions of souls – and with the goods to back up her smile, we can see why.