Where’s your food porn video?

In a recent BBC Radio 4 Food Programme edition, presenters compared the English obsession with cook books to porn. The fact is that the UK per capta consumption of cook books may be higher than in other countries, but researches show this bears no connection to the number of meals being prepared at home. So, just like in porn, many people may like to watch it but don’t often get a chance to practice what they saw at home.Following the analogy above, I confess I prefer to watch the whole process than just the end result. To me, a beautiful picture of a well styled plate of food is just the ‘money shot’ – where’s the rest of the action?So when I started thinking of blogging about food I already knew I wanted to go straight to video. Encouraged by the first video food bloggers I could find – Alex Albrecht’s ‘Control-alt Chicken’ and Waz & Lenny’s ‘Crash Test Kitchen’ – I too wanted to focus on the journey and not worry too much about the destination. So I got together with some friends, filmed a few very badly shot clips and posted them to the recently inaugurated YouTube.

My belief is that what we eat is greatly affected by our emotional connection to food: our favourite school meal, granny’s famous desserts, the girlfriend who first introduced us to sushi, that nice waiter on the beach-front bar in Zakynthos – dishes need an ambassador; a champion to promote them.

So, is a picture and some well written words not enough? Not for me. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with great pictures and well written copy but my heroes are the ones who are brave enough to get themselves out there and use their own personalities to sell a dish.

And when it comes to video blogging I have a very eclectic taste. Here’s a small list of my favourites:

Maria – I Love To Cook A Lot

Maria is talking to a camcorder on a tripod. The most basic form of video blogging ever. Sometimes dogs invade the kitchen and sometimes you can catch her switching the camera off. But Maria talks so well, the recipes always look amazing and above all… she practically posts one per week.

Crash Test Kitchen

Another ‘from my kitchen’ blog. Waz and Lenny are not glamorous and don’t seem to employ any styling tricks to make their food look better. Their aim is just to try the recipes out as they stand – from the back of an envelope to finished product. And if it goes wrong, it goes wrong. And believe me, sometimes things go wrong.

Bitchin Kitchen

Nandia G and her cast of misfits inject a huge amount of originality into their shows. Are the recipes great? Not always. But it’s good filming, good editing and loads of fun.

Robin Food

With his larger-than-life personality and girth, David de Jorge reigns supreme in Spain as food writer and video blogger for the Diario Vasco in the Basque Country. His videos take a little getting used to as he talks non-stop in machine-gun-like Spanish and the never-changing music track and NYPD Blues swaying camera work is enough to make you sick. But the food is great and you have to admire his happy persona.

Control-Alt Chicken

Alex Albright has become better known as the co-presenter of several online video programmes about gaming and technology. But these poor attempts at a video cooking show hit the iTunes Podcast Directory at a time when YouTube was still trying to gain its space in the sun and the only other food video podcast out there was the ‘Tiki Bar’.

Working Class Foodies

One of the many food programmes from the ‘Hungry Nation’ strand created by the Next New Networks. A brother-and-sister-and-sister’s-boyfriend team who puts together beautifully well shot videos of delicious and reasonably priced food. The show has a natural young feeling to it.

NYT The Minimalist

The deadpan tone in which Mark Bittman delivers his instructions is enough to make this a classic. Mark is a food writer for the New York Times whose voice drips with authority but does not take himself too seriously.

Food Wishes

If I had not seen his picture on his blog, I could have sworn that Chef John, from FoodWishes.com is Cliff, the postman from Cheers. We hardly ever see John in the shot but his originality and sense of humour come through loud and clear through his voice-overs. The recipes are not aways stuff I’d put in my mouth but his videos are very enjoyable.

Vendr TV and WTF

Dan Delaney has impossibly white ivory teeth and a stomach made of steel. In his Vendr.tv series, Dan visits food carts around America, gives elaborate descriptions of the food on offer and downs way more junk food (albeit nice junk food) than anyone should attempt to consume.

His new series What’s This Food? aims to introduce us to one new ingredient per day, including a simple demo on how to cook with it – thus pushing 365 video posts in one year – that is an amazing feat of blogging!

This is just a small sample of what I like about video food blogging. I’ll be talking at FBC 2011 about how to get started with video blogging, including some tips and techniques that will make you look like a Pro on camera.

We’ll also have an exclusive interview with Chef John from FoodWishes.com about the way he makes his incredibly popular video clips.

Do you have a favourite video food blog or online show you’d like to share? If so please post a comment bellow or join our discussion on the FBC 2011 page on Facebook.

If you’d like to see me ‘putting my money where my mouth is’ check outmy videos on YouTube.

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One Response to Where’s your food porn video?

  1. Larry Cauldwell April 26, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Hey there,

    I stumbled upon your site and I’d like to thank you for introducing me to some new video bloggers…i couldn’t help but notice that you haven’t mentioned my site http://www.scrumptiousdelicacies.com as someone who has eclectic taste its my hope that you’ll enjoy it…Why aren’t there more video food blogs? Because they’re a lot more difficult to produce.

    Larry

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