Food-related videos, recipes and ideas continue to proliferate on social media
As I wrote in a previous column, one of my great passions is grilling and smoking. I do the former four or five days a week in every season, including winter. The latter is done as often as possible, including pork butt or shoulder, brisket and sausages.
Alas, my Weber Genesis finally bit the dust after 13 years of valiant service. I’ve always used Weber products, from natural gas grills to charcoal grills to my Smokey Mountain Cooker for smoking meat. Most of my barbecue tools have been made by them, too.
The U.S.-based company now manufactures too many lines of grills in Communist China for my liking. So, I decided to try something new. The Napoleon Rogue XT 425 SIB recently arrived at my home, and I look forward to trying it out.
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Will I like the Napoleon as much as the Weber? While I can’t answer with any certainty, it will be interesting to compare the two models. As the 19th-century French author/critic Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr famously wrote, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”).
What changed was society’s heightened interest in cooking and barbecuing.
Both culinary arts were always popular, but they exploded during COVID-19 when most people were working from home. Some of that enthusiasm has dissipated with the introduction of vaccines and the massive push to get things back to normal (or the “new normal”). People aren’t baking as much bread anymore, and multi-course meals and lavish desserts aren’t appearing on the dinner table quite as often, either.
Nevertheless, many people are still posting their cooking, baking, smoking and BBQ masterpieces on social media. Let’s go through a few of them.
Many of the individuals and groups I mentioned a couple of years ago are still hard at work. This includes the BBQ Pit Boys, Cyndi Allison’s Barbecue Master and Grill Girl, Derrick Riches’s Barbecue and Grilling, Susie Bulloch’s Hey Grill, Hey!, Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat’s Bite Me More and Kevin Lynch’s Closet Cooking.
The brilliant Jacques Pépin posts videos and recipes to more than 1.6 million followers on his Facebook account. Smokin’ and Grillin’ with AB has become a popular destination for people who enjoy grilling and Southern-style dishes. Ming Tsai posts his culinary creations and restaurant items on social media. Chinese-born American YouTuber David Chen has turned Strictly Dumpling into a must-watch program for every type of cuisine (and buffet!) under the sun. Mark Wiens’ Migrationology takes his 5.3 million followers to exotic lands and eats incredible food that’s prepared right down to the finest details.
Well-known celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Ina Garten and Gordon Ramsay continue to have strong online presences. Pasta Grannies has become one of the biggest sensations in the past couple of years and produced a cookbook with various recipes. Vincenzo Prosperi, an Italian-born chef living in Australia, has watched his YouTube show, Vincenzo’s Plate, grow in popularity. Comedian Nigel Ng’s online persona of Uncle Roger has turned into a huge food-related phenomenon, from his quest for the perfect egg fried rice to his frustrations with interpretations of traditional Asian dishes. Even the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman has grilled meat, made pizzas and put together a pesto sauce on his official YouTube channel!
The talented Sak (@sak_shoes) is still cooking up a storm of American and international dishes and betting on the horses on Twitter. Ex-New York Times columnist and cookbook editor Francis Lam (@Francis_Lam) and The Splendid Table (@SplendidTable) add greatly to the discussion. French chef Ludo Lefebvre (@chefludo) has made some masterful items and tweets out good cooking tips. British chef, restauranter and food columnist Yotam Ottolenghi (@ottolenghi) posts recipes and dishes from various social media accounts and elsewhere. Even Chef Jay (@Chefjaylyon) has found a way to combine fine dining and, well, sexuality.
Instagram has also transformed into an astonishing amount of food-related pages, sites and culinary personalities.
One of the best food-related Instagram handles I’ve found is run by video creator Nathan Cintron (@official_nathan_cintron). He combines food reviews, music and humour all wrapped into one. Few are as entertaining and on-point when it comes to isolating good and bad food videos! There’s also Patrick McMenemy’s Southern Vibin (@southernvibin), where he cooks up classic Southern dishes to perfection. Similar to Cintron, the digital creator has a gregarious personality and uses Instagram (and TikTok) to his advantage.
Other intriguing food locations on Instagram and elsewhere include Black Foodie Finder (@blackfoodiefinder), Melissa Anne Sanchez (@cookingwithascorpio), While Bulls BBQ (@whitebullsbbq), Daven Gates (@onestopchop_), Misty Banchero (@seattlebutcherswife), Aunties Cookin (@auntiescookin), Kayla H.’s That Girl Can Cook! (@thatgirlcancook_), Danny Kim (@dannygrubs) and Kolby Chandler (@chefkolbykash).
This is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many other masterful chefs, grilling specialists and culinary personalities on social media. You’ll find mass quantities of interesting food-related videos, recipes and ideas in every corner of the Internet.
As for me and my new Napoleon BBQ, we’re going to be very busy this winter, it seems!
Michael Taube, a Troy Media syndicated columnist and Washington Times contributor, was a speechwriter for former prime minister Stephen Harper. He holds a master’s degree in comparative politics from the London School of Economics.
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