Thursday, 7 August 2014

Amateur chefs cook up a storm online

NEW DELHI: Homemaker Nisha Madhulika (54) from Noida got more than a lakh views on her online cooking videos in Hindi. In Mumbai, 40-year-old Gayathri Sharma has a successful online channel with videos of Andhra-style cooking (instructions in Telugu), while 16-year-old Yaman's online promotion of eggless and oven-less recipes has won him more than 25,000 followers. These amateur chefs have whipped up food frenzy with their simple demos on popular websites.

Rather than lug around their resumes for a break on television channels, these next-door neighbours uploaded cooking videos shot with smartphones. For most, it was a random experiment that turned out to a winning formula.

Nisha was browsing the internet for a recipe. When she stumbled upon one, she exclaimed, "I can do better". She started blogging recipes but was inundated with inquiries on how to actually prepare those dishes. Encouraged by the response she gave cooking videos a try. Two tables were joined in the living room, ingredients arranged and a simple video was uploaded in 2011. Since then she's had over 1.5 lakh online followers and has uploaded more than a hundred videos. Preparations of items as basic as rotis, poories and pohas are shared in Hindi, making them accessible to the masses.

Nisha proved that being a chef didn't simply mean dishing out fancy fusion fare like Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey. Gayatri, who became a celebrated chef, was another one to break the mould. Her recipes of Andhra dishes in Telugu are a rage online. Each video has English subtitles and focuses on the cooking process for a universal appeal. Her videos of pickles, tomato dal, mango rice or chutney for idlis get a a sizable viewership and plenty of comments the moment they are put up. Gayatri recalls how she cooked with the right hand and held the camera in the left giving an impromptu voiceover. "It was more about passing on the recipes to others. I can't even believe I'm one of the top chefs," she says.

Some of the celebrated chefs who regularly post professionally shot videos agree that the online craze for culinary methods and related content can be credited with the celebration of food in real life. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, a pioneer who explored visual and virtual formats for popularizing food concepts, says online platforms are liberating for many homemakers, allowing them to not just explore but express themselves. "It's empowering for many homemakers. Some of them have turned their daily ritual of cooking into a profession and are entrepreneurs in their own right." He isn't wide of the mark; video sites realize the growing food-related searches and now request these content providers for regular feeds.

Gautam Anand of YouTube observes that the people who were searching for what to cook now look for how to cook. He has noticed a substantial rise in Indian searches for online cooking videos, with food featuring among the top five topics. The 18-34 age-group is the most active in browsing for food. "People are taking to online food channels in a big way as they now want to see how it's done as opposed to reading it. We have seen a 280% growth for food-related content." Gautam adds that regional content also is gaining a lot of traction and also allowing for greater local content. "We hope that the success of these creators will inspire many more Indians to use YouTube as a stage for sharing Indian food globally," he says. cooking videos,Amateur chefs



Post a Comment