May 20, 2024

Cooking with Pat Lee: A Food Content Creator's Journey

Cooking with Pat Lee: A Food Content Creator's Journey

In this episode, Chris Spear chats with Pat Lee, a food content creator and private chef from Delaware. Pat shares his journey from working in the financial industry to becoming a renowned food content creator during the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss the business of food content creation, community building, and the creative process behind Pat's engaging cooking videos.

🎙️ This week on Chefs Without Restaurant I speak with Pat Lee, a food content creator and private chef who resides in Delaware.

💰 Pat started his career working in the financial industry. But in the early days of the Covid pandemic, he lost his job. Like many of us, he was spending a lot of time at home. Being unemployed, he was looking for ways to tighten his budget. One of the things he did was focus on cooking food at home.

🔪 This eventually led to him creating cooking videos, teaching people how to be better cooks at home. You can find Pat on most social media platforms as Cooking with Pat Lee.

🎙️ On the show, we talk about the business of food content creation, community, and building and interacting with your followers. Pat discusses his creative process, and what inspires him. He also talks about his new podcast Cast Iron Conversations with Pat Lee.

Pat's website
Pat's Instagram, TikTok and YouTube
Pat's podcast: Cast Iron Conversations with Chef Pat Lee

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Heaven Hill reminds you to Think Wisely. Drink Wisely.

Support the Show.



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Welcome to Chefs Without Restaurants. I'm your host Chris spear. On the show. I speak with culinary entrepreneurs and people working in the food and beverage industry outside of a traditional restaurant setting.

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I have 31 years of working in kitchens, but not restaurants unless you count Boston Market.

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Wait, should I Is that a restaurant and I currently operate a personal chef service during dinner parties in the Washington DC area. Today, my guest is Pat Lee, Pat's a food content creator and private chef residing in Delaware. You might have seen his videos online where he goes by cooking with Pat Lee. In his previous life, Pat worked in the financial industry. But in the early days of the COVID pandemic, he lost his job. Like many of us, he was spending a lot of time at home.

00:00:49.799 --> 00:01:06.000
And being unemployed, he was looking for ways to tighten his budget. One of the things he did was focused on cooking more meals at home. This eventually led to him creating cooking videos where he teaches people how to be better cooks at home.

00:01:02.490 --> 00:01:11.819
On this episode, we talked about the business of food content creation. We talked about community building and interacting with your followers.

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We discuss his creative process and what inspires him. Whether you're someone who's already creating content online, or maybe you started the journey and want to grow, or maybe you just enjoy consuming it. I think you're really going to enjoy this episode. I don't think all food content creators are created equally. And personally, I was especially drawn to pat and his style. I love the way he both educates his audience and interacts with his community. So stick around because this episode will be coming right up after a word from our sponsor.

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available nationally at your local retailer. Embrace the premium quality that heaven Hill bottled and bond brings to every sip. Heaven Hill reminds you to think wisely, drink wisely.

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Hey, Pat, welcome to the show.

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Thanks so much for coming on.

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Thank you for having me. How are you doing today?

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I'm doing great. I Spring is here. I was saying before we started Spring is in the air. Got a little sinus II thing. But otherwise, it's good to get out and see some sunshine.

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No sunshine here.

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Unfortunately, it looks like it's actually about to rain, which is kind of sad, because it's made already and I wish it was kind of sunny.

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Yeah. So I'm in Maryland, so not too far from you, Europe and Delaware. So just a handful out a couple hours, I could be up there in about two hours. So I want to start by saying you know, these days, so many of us are multi hyphenated, so you've got a lot of pots on the stove, if you will, how do you identify these days, you know, you're out and someone says like, hey, you know, what do you do? I don't really love that. It's kind of like an icebreaker. But I think when you're in a group of people, especially strangers, and people say what do you do?

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How do you answer that question?

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Usually, when I speak with people, and I meet them in person, I just tell them that I'm a food content creator and a private chef specializing in a variety of different recipes.

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And then from there, I like to talk about the different recipes that I like to make the different things I like to cook.

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And then to kind of engage in the conversation with that person on you know, what do you like to cook? Or what do you like to make or what interests you about cooking? And then we just kind of go on from there and build that relationship all around foods.

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Ask them what they like before they ask you what your signature dishes Right?

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Exactly. The question we always get. Yeah, but you didn't come up through food and cooking.

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You're not someone who has been, you know, working the line since you were 17 didn't go to culinary school. In fact, you had a career outside the culinary industry. So I think that'd be a great place to kind of kick this off is talking about, you know, let's kind of start around the time of the beginning of the COVID pandemic because I think for you professionally, that's when a lot of that change. So can you share that story? little bit about how you kind of made the move from corporate America into food and food content.

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Yeah, absolutely. So, as you said, I actually got my start working as a chef around the pandemic about four years ago. Um, just to give a little bit of backstory, before I became a chef, I worked in the financial industry as a manager, and then a product owner for about 15 years. During the pandemic, like many folks across the world, I lost my job. And I had to pivot my direction on what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become. Growing up, it wasn't always engraved in my brain that, you know, you could do something that you're passionate about, from a very young age, I was always told to go into linear direction, you know, go to college, get a great paying job, and I should be fine. No one really expressed to me that you can do things that involve happiness, creativity, and passions. So because that wasn't really something that I was exposed to as a child, you know, I went to school, I got my bachelor's and master's degrees, I had a really good job. But I wasn't happy. You know, I did perform well at the jobs that I had, because I don't like to embark on tasks, you know, for the benefit of failing. But none of these jobs at my core made me happy. So when I initially lost my job, I thought to myself, what can I do that would make me happy? What can I do that if I were to do it all day, every day on my feet, hours on end, I can, you know, at the end of the day, say, This is what makes me smile. This is what I'm proud about. And it took me a while to figure that out. Because I was still deep into my home, you know, wow, I don't have a job anymore phase, like, what am I going to do? So my, around this time, my wife and I were kind of, you know, doing some brainstorming. Because, you know, we're gonna be down on one source of income. So one of the things we had to do, aside from you know, managing our expenses and luxuries was tight in our budget, and a lot of that involve food. So instead of ordering, you know, out every other day, which we did, because we're busy at work, we decided that we were going to cook more.

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And it went from, you know, cooking every other day or twice a week to me cooking every single day. I have been cooking since I was seven years old, cooking for my mom and cooking for my family. But it wasn't anything like I'm doing now. It was you know, simple comfort meals that you know, you've learned to cook, you know, make a chicken make some vegetables, potatoes. But going back into fast forward into 2020 I started cooking daily. I started watching YouTube, I started getting into social media, you know, just to kill time while I'm cooking. And one of my favorite food influencers I happen to notice, but I'm pretty sure you're familiar with him.

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Joshua Wiseman. Yeah, absolutely. He's a great chef.

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And I saw him on YouTube and I saw his videos. And what instantly gravitated me towards him was just the fact that not only was he a fellow cooking influencer, but he was somebody that actually seemed like he was passionate about teaching people how to cook. You know, I grew up watching Emeril live, I grew up watching Barefoot Contessa America's Test Kitchen. And aside from test kitchen, I didn't know of any other shows that would teach you, you know, the why behind cooking, you know, you will see recipes being made on television, and it would be, you know, take these ingredients and make them but they will never tell you why you want to cut your carrots a certain way or why you want to cook things at a certain temperature. You know, these were things that I was starting to learn on social media. And I said to myself, this was something that I actually want to do myself, because I love teaching people things. I love cooking. And I just love the whole idea of getting people together and just having these conversations. So I started recording myself, you know what my humble phone camera and the light that I had around the house? You know, nothing like I have right now. But I wanted to get a start into you know, just diving into the whole atmosphere of cooking online.

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What was that first recipe that you did online? Do you remember the first video that you posted?

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Um, it was actually a pork chop video. I do remember my grandmother who is actually one of my biggest influences in cooking. She made pork chops for us every Thursday night, but she would fry pork chops. And although I do like fried food, you know, you do some fried food recipes on my page. I don't like eating fried food constantly. I try to be you know what I show on social media maybe you know, just for the show, but I actually try to be a little bit more health conscious at home.

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So I may pork chops. And I just took you know, a stick of butter, took some herbs, you know, kind of put it and wrapped it together and I made a little compound butter. And it didn't really get much viewership on social media. But I was actually proud of the fact that I tried something new. And it kind of gave me the confidence that I needed to not only you know post videos on social media, but also know that hey, you know you're learning something new and you're doing something that you've never done before. Where else can you go with this? Where

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did you put that video was a tick tock YouTube Instagram did you blast it out to everywhere?

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I posted it on Tik Tok.

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Um, it didn't get any viewership, unfortunately. And oddly enough, Tik Tok flagged it for some reason and removed the video. I'm not 100% sure why, but nevertheless, you know, it's still saved on my phone. I looked at it from time to time, just to remind myself, you know, this is what you were at one point, this is how far you've come? It just keep pushing forward.

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So at that point, was it just like a personal account? Had you like thought about a name for like, was it so much thought into they like, I'm going to name this page? And it's going to be about about cooking? Or was it just like, put it out on my personal page?

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Like, what was that like?

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it was just me putting it on my personal page, because at the time, I wasn't really, I guess you could say brand conscious, like it was more so for me just to have personal photos and videos on my page.

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And then over time, as I started to network more with people, and I started to, you know, see what other chefs and creators were doing. I kind of gave myself, you know, the label of cooking with Pat Lee, because I wanted to show just like the name itself, that food should be something that should be simple and accessible to just about anybody.

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Yeah, I think we're in an interesting space right now with social media, and especially cooking videos, because it seems like there's two there's very dramatic over the top, not even realistic cooking, right? There's a lot of stuff out there, that looks amazing. But nobody is cooking that like one, you could do one dish of it, but you couldn't like feed a family of four or let alone making a restaurant, like we're doing it just for the views and the likes and the artistry, which is fine. It's its own thing, but it's not a realistic cooking. You know, that's, that's my opinion, you see these dishes, where it's like, wow, they put like 20 hours of work into this one plate. Like how realistic is that, but your food seems to really be focused on recipes that people would make at home for consumption.

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I definitely do agree with that. And admittedly, at one point, I did make recipes to be flashy, it wasn't like an everyday occurrence, but it was just more so just to kind of challenge my own creativity. But I definitely do agree with you, especially when it comes to food on social media, there's a lot of recipes out there that are just way over the top, you know what's nice to look at. And I treat it like a movie, like it's good on the eyes, it's great in the eyes, it's entertaining. But the average consumer isn't going to go and make this recipe, you know, what's good for just what it is content, and why that's great. And everything, I want to make recipes that, you know, the average parent or the average, you know, food novice can go and say, hey, you know, I can try to make this. Now I do admit the awesome recipes that I like to make from scratch. And you know, that's just for me to learn how to make the from scratch. But I always advise my audience, you know, you don't have to make this recipe from scratch. Like, for example, I had a recipe where I made brioche french toast and just for learning experience, I made brioche bread on my own. And I you know getting the recipe to my audience, but I did tell them, hey, you can just go simply buy a brioche loaf of bread from the grocery store. And just use that I want to give you the option of saying, hey, I can either make this myself, or I can just buy the ingredients at the store and make it but I want to give that I want to give people that chance to say if I have a recipe and I can make this at home, I feel a little bit more confident in the kitchen and not give them any reason to be scared of cooking. Absolutely,

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like right now I'm big into making pizza at home.

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And I say like, if you're not ready to do the dough at home, just make pizza sauce, you know, instead of buying like this overly processed like jarred sauce, learn how to make, you know, a good tomato sauce for pizza at home. It's like three ingredients, you know, you don't have to start with the dough. I make my own tortillas. Like, I tried to get people to do that and say like, it's really not as hard as you think. But I understand if you're not going to so like here's a you know, a salsa recipe or, you know, here's how you did the braised pork to go in there. I think you know, some people need baby steps. And some people are more advanced. There's home cooks out there who blow my mind with the stuff they're doing, like people who have full time jobs doing you know, there are accountants and they're making better pasta than you could get in any restaurant out there. I'm just floored by the the the caliber of people who are just, you know, they love it, and they're doing it at home.

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That's actually where I'm at right now, I still do have a full time job and I do manage content creation. I'm actually coming in the last month of my job because I'm actually going to start doing this on a more full time basis.

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You know, just to see how far I can go. But it is challenging. I do admit that you know, there are some moments where I do kind of wish I had more time to you know, rest and just unwind. But as I've you know, told my family and I have spoken you know before to people, this is something that I'm passionate about this is something that I feel like not only can give me a sense of fulfillment, but give my family an opportunity to live comfortably. And if it means you know having to be exhausted for you know a few months or Few years, you know, so be it. Like I said earlier, this is something that I could do for hours on end, you know, whether social media was involved or not, and actually love to do because I love cooking for people. I love the idea of just seeing people smile when they taste my recipes. Even with this podcast, I love having conversations with, you know, people like you, and we can just kind of engage on, you know, our histories with food and our experiences and kind of, you know, sharing that interest amongst one another.

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So when you do the content creation cooking videos, are you trying to time it around meal time at your house? So then you know, we're done. And then it's dinner on the table for the family?

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That's a great question. So whenever I'm cooking, usually, whenever I cook my videos, or make my videos, rather, I tend to do them in batches, because it can be time consuming to you know, record every single day. So I'll make, you know, maybe like three or four recipes a day. And I'll have my family you know, just kind of pick up everything throughout the day. And whatever's left, you know, I'll give it to you know, friends or family because I don't want food to go to waste. But after the you know, the content creation is done, and we're finished recording, I'll just, you know, whip up something simple and easy for us to eat in like 30 minutes or so, one thing that I actually have started doing is I want to give my supporters a sense of accuracy when it comes to cooking. So if I say, Hey, you can make this meal under 45 minutes, I have my cameras recording. But I'm actually like putting the timer on my other phone and setting myself to that exact time. So I can know where I can make adjustments that to make this as simple and easy as possible.

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I think that's great, because I you know, cookbooks these days, or recipes online will give you a timeframe. And I find they don't always line up. Of course, there's a huge curve based on skill, right? Like, I can cut onions and celery and marijuana and stuff probably faster than like a person who has no culinary experience. So there's some flexibility. But to give a real accurate timeframe, I think is important because people really need to know I mean, it's hard. Yeah,

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and I also think people don't realize that when a lot of these recipes are made while you know the prep time is the time that set and you know, the cook time is what it is, there's a lot of things that go on before that, such as the meeting plus just making sure that you have all your ingredients lined up, you want to make sure that you have your onions chopped properly, you want to make sure all of your ingredients are kind of in place. And I do tell my audience that as well. Because I feel like a lot of times when we make recipes, because this is something that I kind of went through myself when I first started, you're often let's say for example, you're making a pork shoulder, and you need to get your seasonings and you need to get your anything you want to braise it, you know, get your knives and everything out. You could have everything ready to cook. But then you look to your left and your right and you go oh no, I forgot my salt. So now, instead of you know, having that already prepared, you got to rush to get your seasoning while the stove is on and you risk the chance of burning oil. So when I make my recipes, I like to let people know, you know, you want to make sure that this is done before you cut your oil on because you want to make sure that once the oil is nice and hot, your your meat can go on the pan, and then you have your season is right next to you and you can put your seasonings on.

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And you know just different things like that to kind of, I guess, for lack of a better term, opening Pandora's box when it comes to cooking, you know, just not telling the people that you know, you can make this in 30 minutes, but letting them know realistically why you can't make this in 30 minutes, there's other has to be involved to a lot for that time. I've

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had two guests on the show who do live cooking classes like live streamed in their in their house, and they talk about that, like once you get going, you can't stop. So they get really good about PrEP.

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And you know, one of the things they tell their attendees prior is like this is how you get the prep set up because they're only going to be on this call for you know, an hour, hour and a half or whatever. And having that mes in place ready to go again, you know, they talk about it's something that not everyone's used to and they really have to give everyone a primer on that before they get going so that they can just kind of bang through these recipes. Yeah, I definitely agree. So you're not an overnight success. But why?

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Why you like there's 1000s of content creators, people doing food out there you have over 130,000 followers on Instagram alone, which seems crazy. I mean, there's like really amazing chefs out there who've been doing this for a long time who have you know, like brand recognition and are household names but you've really popped off do you have any insight as to like why you know what brought people to you specifically any idea?

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So I often ask myself this question every single day why me and it's not you know, to discredit myself, but it's more so coming from you know, humble beginnings and just being grateful for the opportunities I've been given. But I do feel like people gravitate towards me because I like to keep things honest when it comes to not just what I'm cooking but my actual content. I'm not somebody who I feel like needs to do over the top cooking or needs to do anything flashy. You know, I'm just a regular guy from Delaware just looking to cook for my family and give people a chance to feel empowered by cooking. I think people kind of gravitate towards that they see me as someone who's actually looking to teach them to cook, you know.

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So I don't like to make recipes that I feel are potential. So I like to cook things that I feel like, I would like to try. I like to cook things that I feel like, you know, someone who's never made a recipe before or can learn how to make, and also feel like I like to interact with people. That's one of the things that I speak on heavily when it comes to social media content is I feel like a lot of food creators, the more the more they grow, the less they interact with their audiences.

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Whereas I've said from day one, from the moment I first started making food content, and I had maybe five or 10 followers, if you comment on any of my posts, if you send me a message, if you want to chat, I'll find the time to chat with you. Because I feel like these are the people who built me up to this level. And it would be completely pretentious of me to just ignore them when they're the ones who, you know, purchase. My eBooks are the ones who share my recipes are the ones who you know, post in their Instagram stories and say, Hey, Chef, Pat, I made this inspired by you.

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Like, what kind of person would I be, they just ignore you.

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Like, I appreciate that. It makes me feel like I'm making a difference in these people's lives.

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Something I think that's interesting, because I, you know, follow a lot of people and lurk in the comments, as I see a lot of these content creators, and they interact a lot with other content creators, but not the everyday person. So you know, a well known influencer chef will post something. And all these people comment and they're not commenting at all on it. But then like a Josh Wiseman leaves a comment and they reply to that. And to me, it just looks so like, lopsided, like, they're only interested in having conversation with the big names in their space. But like, Joe Smith down the street isn't good enough. And I know if you've got like 3000 comments on a post, you can't go in, under every one of them. But it just seems like it's just these like, people pumping each other up. In some regards. I really like you know, what you're saying, For me communities, everything Chefs Without Restaurants was a is a community. It was a community before a podcast built on the premise of like, let's help other people build and grow their own food businesses and help each other along the way.

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So anyone who's about the community, I'm big fan of that.

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I wholeheartedly agree.

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And it is something that not only have I've noticed, but a lot of my supporters have actually brought to my attention. I have seen it before. And it's actually something that it's actually one of the reasons why I am the way who I am today. Because even when I first started, you know, doing content creation, and even learning about the food industry, I would reach out to some of these big names, and you know, not even to, you know, be a fan, but just to just get some information on, you know, cooking techniques. So just to learn. And a lot of times my comments were left on read or my DMs were like left seen but not responded to. But you know, you would see that a celebrity or someone famous would reach out to them and they would have all the time in the world. And I always took that to myself as one, I wouldn't want to make people feel how I felt. So I do make sure, you know, like you said, there are times where it's kind of hard to have like 3000 comments and respond to everybody. But I at least tried my best to, you know, put some time aside to acknowledge those people. And I tell people this all the time, you know, you shouldn't discredit anybody, just because of their status, you never know who you're going to interact with, you never know who you're going to get the chance to meet. You know, I've actually met people who have actually helped me become better chefs, and they come to me for social media advice. And I have more followers, but they have more experience in cooking a more, you know, networking capabilities within the industry. So we kind of help each other out. And that's really what it's all about. Have

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you done any collaborations with anyone in the food content creation space?

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And, you know, what does that look like in the future any plans to do so?

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I do have a few collaborations in the works. My most recent one was with one of my good friends, chili pepper cooks. He's another influencer and Chef based out of Maryland, who actually just opened up his flavor high food truck and is doing very well. But you know, those are the type of people I like to collaborate with. Like, I don't see myself collaborating with a lot of chefs who are more about the pizzazz and the flair, I you know, work with people who I feel like genuinely love what they're doing. So I do have a lot of those in the works, you know, pretty soon, you know, just working some details out.

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But yeah, you know, if anybody out there is listening, you know, I don't discriminate when it comes to collaborations. I don't discriminate when it comes to networking and working with people. So if you want to collaborate, whether it's you know, having a conversation if you want to, you know, meet up and just cook by all means, you know, let me know,

00:24:47.609 --> 00:25:06.119
meet up and just cook is like something I'm really interested in. That's something I've done around here like not for the not for the gram, right. I think there's a danger of like putting everything out publicly and I I think sometimes it's good to just network and hang out with people, right and not make it a big media circus kind of thing.

00:25:06.119 --> 00:25:24.390
You know, I'm in a couple of masterminds with some food content creators where, you know, we talked about not recording it, we do a meeting like this, but there's eight of us on and we just get together and share, you could probably record it and put it out there to bring value to people. But it's nice to just like, be in a space with people and exist and do things and not have it always be public facing.

00:25:25.500 --> 00:25:37.980
I definitely do agree with that, you know, not everything needs to be for the camera, and it kind of shows and builds that level of trust with the person because they know you're not doing this just to get some exposure. But you're doing this just, you know, build a connection.

00:25:38.640 --> 00:25:46.799
So where do you find your creative influences from a culinary standpoint, like what is what is getting you going these days,

00:25:48.779 --> 00:26:44.579
there's just there's so many influences out there that I feel like if you're a chef, and you say you lack motivation, I often challenged that there's Pinterest, there's YouTube, there's other forms of social media, there's a library of cookbooks, which I have almost like three bookshelves, where for cookbooks, you know, sometimes even as a chef, even if you can't get influences from the outside, kind of think from within, I always tell people, and this is actually you know, something that I hold true. Look in your cabinet, you don't necessarily have to make a recipe in the traditional sense, you know, try to put things together, you know, go through trial and error, and you get inspiration that way, some of my best recipes have come from, you know, missing a couple of key ingredients. And instead of going to the grocery store, I think, what can I substitute to make this ingredient, this recipe come to life. And you know, it's just that critical thinking process that kind of, I feel makes me a great chef.

00:26:44.579 --> 00:27:16.859
Because if I were to work in an actual restaurant, and let's say for example, I'm making a steak and potato dish, and I happen to run out of, you know, milk, is there anything I can do to substitute to make those mashed potatoes? Pretty sure there is there's plenty of things I can do to substitute, I can probably use chicken broth, I can probably use some other type of liquid ingredient. But you know, just kind of having that mindset helps that creative process because it makes it so this way, you're not stuck, or you kind of rely on what's traditional the norm. Do

00:27:16.859 --> 00:27:34.079
you find inspiration from things outside of the cooking world? You know, I talked to a lot of people about music or taking a day to walk around a museum or just getting out in nature, like I find that that gets me going is there anything like that, that you find especially helpful to you just to kind of like, open your mind.

00:27:36.390 --> 00:27:57.869
I'm not sure how this is gonna come across. But I often listen to the news when it comes to get inspiration. And the reason why I do that is because I feel like when I listen to the news, there's just so much depressing things that go on in this world. And I think to myself, what can make people happy, and what could kind of, you know, bring people together.

00:27:58.140 --> 00:28:06.329
And that inspires me to cook great dishes. Because you know, like I've said before, I feel like food is one of the things that brings us all together, we all have different experiences.

00:28:06.329 --> 00:29:02.130
When it comes to food, we all have memories from you know, when our grandparents cooked for us to the very first time we made a meal, and just kind of hearing you know, the things that go on in the world and just hearing all the sad news about wars in, you know, crime. And I think to myself, there's so much of that going on in the world, let's put something positive out there, let's put something out there that people could actually look to, and just kind of take their minds off of the negativity. And I use a lot of that inspiration when it comes to my cooking to, you know, showcase them or audiences, I like to make things that I feel like would bring people together. And you know, even if it's just for a brief moment, you know, you may know that there's something going on in the world that may be devastating. But just for a few minutes, you can just take the time and look at a recipe and go okay, well, we can all come together, we share our experiences about the first time our grandmother made a meal or the very first time you cook something and it didn't work out too well. That's

00:29:02.130 --> 00:29:33.750
interesting. I had no idea where you're going, you know, are you going to make dishes based on the political candidates as like, the news is inspiring. I'm like, What are you talking about? So from the like, content side, how much learning did you have to go through with cameras, lights, angles, editing, was that, to me that's even like a bigger learning curve. Like even if you don't have culinary experience, like I do if I was starting and had no experience cooking and no experience with that. I find that to be more daunting. What was your experience with that?

00:29:33.990 --> 00:31:00.480
Whew, this kind of goes back to what I was saying before about reaching out to people and being left on read and not getting any responses. A lot of what I had to do with you know, recording and lighting and editing has been self taught. I know that it's not something that's easy to do or easy to teach people you know, through messaging. It was a lot of times looking at YouTube videos and kind of getting a grasp of the basics or a lot of times Elon error, I'm still learning to this day editing and you know, proper angles and just different things that I could do to make my content unique. And it's definitely not easy. It's something that I feel like does take a steep learning curve to kind of get a grasp around. But it's something that I feel like, is another reason why I feel like my audience does kind of gravitate towards me, because I'm literally a one man team, like I do have help from my family from time to time. But when it comes to filming my content, when it comes to editing, when it comes to the angles, taking pictures, this is all me doing it by myself. And it's not necessarily because you know, I don't want to or can't afford to get somebody to film my videos, or to film my content or edit, it's more so because at the heart of it all, I want to be able to, I want to be able to kind of be one of those people that kind of has his hands on everything, because I like to learn, I like to learn things like to have an understanding of why things are the way they are.

00:30:56.069 --> 00:31:21.839
So if there comes a time where I can, you know, pass that off to somebody to record my videos or to edit at the ground of it, I can, you know, have my input on it. And I can kind of have a knowledge or a basis behind it, as opposed to just, you know, being completely naive on what the process is, or how to navigate with the different tools that you know, are required to kind of make all this come together.

00:31:22.349 --> 00:31:42.210
Well, even if you do get to a point where you hire people, I think it's always good to have the base knowledge, like once you've gotten through it, and you know what goes into it, you know, what to look for in someone who's going to be your videographer editor or whatever, they can't pull the wool over your eyes and, you know, tell you what's possible and what's not because you've done it, and you've been in that spot before.

00:31:42.210 --> 00:32:19.619
So I think it's always good, especially when you're starting out to just kind of figure out as much as you can, especially if you like learning how much do you feel that you are following the the news of like the algorithms and that, you know, like, and there's a couple things like right now I'm seeing people talking about going from short form to long form, there's been discussions about like, Hey, I'm kind of, I've seen a lot of food content creators specifically saying, like, I think I'm kinda like over the 62nd recipes. And I'm gonna go back to more long form content on YouTube. Where are you standing between Long Form short form right now,

00:32:20.429 --> 00:33:15.388
I'm actually trying to transition more into long form content. It's not necessarily because of the algorithm or trends, it's more so because, you know, like we've discussed, I like to teach people I like to educate people on the why behind cooking and give people you know, the empowerment to make recipes. But I also feel like those dirtiest 62nd videos, there's not enough time to kind of show the steps. I mean, I'm pretty sure you're familiar with some of the videos you see on social media, where it's like, the creator will say, Here's my recipe for baked salmon. And it's literally 10 seconds, where every single ingredient, it just zooms on by from the chopping to the put in the oven, the saute, and then the final product, and then this like, Well, how do I do this? How do I do that, whereas long form content, you get to see everything, and that's what I want to do with my videos, I want to show people, Hey, I'm gonna make this recipe.

00:33:10.858 --> 00:34:23.759
Here's how I made it, we go from this point to that point. And we'll go from the next point until we finished the actual recipe. And I think a lot of people while you know, the 62nd videos were good for the time, at a time when the pandemic was, you know, a thing, more and more people want to actually cook, but they also want to know how to cook and they need to know, you know, step by step. I'm somebody who I feel like I can do things visually, you know, just by looking at a video, but I can also read, you know, recipe instructions and kind of, you know, get an idea on how to make things because, you know, that's what I've practiced and, you know, trained to do for the past four years. But there are people who kind of need that visual aid to say, Okay, I don't know, necessarily how to hold a knife properly, or how to grip a noggin and do the proper cutting technique, like you can tell them to do that. But it's easier to show people the claw technique and how to properly grab the knife in a long form video. Whereas in a short form video, you have to kind of think of the key points to get their attention. And again, we're in a industry where we're trying to teach people how to cook long term. So long form does make the best sense for me, or

00:34:23.760 --> 00:34:42.929
they get depends on where do you want to be on the access of education, entertainment, there's full entertainment, there's full education, there's what they call edutainment, right. And I think a lot of this is just you know, it's for the the likes, the views, the notoriety, but it's entertainment, it's not really teaching anyone anything.

00:34:42.929 --> 00:35:14.550
Now, you might need to use some of those funny edutainment type videos to then convert people over and say like, Hey, if you like my food, like my style, hop on over YouTube, I'm going to teach you how to make the full dish. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. But there's clearly people who are just out there, you know, it's entertainment. And I'd much rather people watch food at, you know, entertainment than some of the reality show nonsense out there. So at least they're interested in food. But it's good to see people kind of moving into the long form culinary education, I really think that's exciting.

00:35:15.000 --> 00:35:50.820
I agree I'm kind of treat it as natural selection when it comes to creating content. I've seen a lot of creators, even when I started to now who they see people cook food on social media, and they go, Oh, well, I can do that. And you know, they do the videos, where it's like, you get the 60 seconds of the wham, bam, Thank you, ma'am, the, you know, the quick shots and everything. But then they realize over time, there's going to be more and more people who do videos like that. And so they're just looking for the next person to entertain them into WoW, them.

00:35:48.599 --> 00:36:25.440
And that's when you get those videos where you kind of have to go over the top. And you know, just keep one upping everybody else. And then you get to a point where it's like, well, I don't have the expensive camera to do this, I don't have the expensive editing software to make these videos fancy. So then people give up. Whereas the long form content that takes dedication, it takes time, there's more editing to do, there's a lot more filming, there's a lot more steps. And so in addition to you know, naturally trying to get the audience's attention, you're also showing that you're putting a lot more effort into making these videos because you want people to see the entire cooking process.

00:36:26.400 --> 00:36:36.539
And I think there's also the thing of trends versus authenticity. You know, it kind of bothers me and I talk a lot about this actually talked to my last podcast guests about this.

00:36:36.539 --> 00:36:50.070
Because, you know, if you go online, and you follow these people in the media space, they say like, you know, use trending, you want to get your real seen use trending audio, you know, follow us these creators, templates, whatever.

00:36:50.070 --> 00:36:53.070
But aren't we just teaching people to be like everyone else?

00:36:53.070 --> 00:37:05.250
Like, when did we stop encouraging originality. I don't know, just to me that the whole thing is like, use these trends and follow these trends instead of like being authentically yourself.

00:37:06.030 --> 00:37:56.699
One of the things that I definitely do agree with you on and it's something that I feel like people like about my page is that I'm very anti trend. I don't like cooking, a lot of the recipes that go viral, I don't like to use a lot of the songs that go viral. I don't like to use a lot of the videos that go viral, because I feel like let's say for example, you have a I'm trying to think of a recipe that went viral. The Big Mac, it was a Big Mac Smashburger taco, you know, the woman you put like the patty on top of the tortilla, and you kind of smash it? Absolutely. I thought it was ridiculous. I could see no way how that could possibly be fully cooked. I thought it was just done just to get attention. And I tell people all the time, like you can do a trend and get viral videos. But the more you do trends, you're just becoming everybody else, there's going to be millions of videos where somebody sees it.

00:37:56.760 --> 00:38:02.550
If you don't hop on that train when it first happens. Somebody is going to see your video and go Well, I seen that already skipped.

00:38:02.699 --> 00:38:06.239
Do we need another butter board? Right? You know, don't get me started

00:38:06.239 --> 00:38:10.110
on that butter board.

00:38:06.239 --> 00:38:24.269
unsanitary. There's so many reasons why I hated that butter board. But even using the butter board as an example, if you have a million people doing the butter board, and you're not one of the first, let's say 100 people to do the motherboard by the time somebody gets to your video, and you say let me show you my way of the butter board.

00:38:24.360 --> 00:38:32.789
I seen it before scroll. Whereas if you do something that's like unique to you where it's original, not necessarily original, because I don't think there's any original recipes.

00:38:33.150 --> 00:38:40.889
But if it's something that actually genuinely captures the interests of somebody, that's going to get precedence over a viral video.

00:38:41.639 --> 00:39:06.719
Now, you just said you don't think there's any original recipes. I agree somewhat. I do think there are some really original recipes out there. So kind of continuing with that. Do you feel like you have any like what's something you've made that you think was that pretty original? Like you put a lot of work in Do you have any dishes were you kind of I don't know, wowed yourself but like created something that wasn't just like recreating, you know, pesto pasta or something.

00:39:07.739 --> 00:39:30.599
So one of the recipes that I would say that I made that I can guess a slightly original actually made deconstructed beef patty, but I made it in natural form. So instead of making the empanada dough and making it into the beef patty, I took the empanada dough and rolled it out and cut it up into little Nacho pieces.

00:39:27.329 --> 00:39:59.880
And I took the ingredients that usually will be inside of the beef patty and kind of put it on the outside and made it that way. And I wouldn't necessarily say it's original in a sense because it's still at the core of nachos and still deconstructed beef patty. But when I mentioned not all recipes being original, I say that in a sense of this comes from just my experience as a creator. There are a lot of creators out there who are very, for lack of a better term the very hard headed when it comes to their recipes.

00:39:59.880 --> 00:40:12.420
They think that whatever content they create the very first person to make this. And if somebody else comes in make something similar to that, they think that oh, my page is the first place you saw it first.

00:40:09.210 --> 00:40:33.389
And I'm like, I seen this on Pinterest. 10 years ago, I read this in a cookbook, when I was a child, like, nothing is 100% completely original. And that's where I come from when I mentioned originality, is that at some point, every chef or every creator gets influenced from somewhere. So to create something that's completely original, I would have to think that it's never been seen anywhere before. And that's kind of hard to disprove.

00:40:34.050 --> 00:40:37.530
Yeah, I think remixes are still original.

00:40:37.530 --> 00:41:04.289
Like, if I went online today and saw a beef patty nachos. I'd be like, That's Pat's recipe. I think it's original, you're you're kind of re mixing things, you're taking traditional flavors and, and styles and techniques and putting them into a new thing. But ya know, it's not original in the sense of like, combining that type of dough and the, the flavoring of that meat. Yes, we are all probably familiar with a beef patty. But that sounds pretty original to me.

00:41:05.130 --> 00:41:08.820
I haven't actually seen anybody create anything similar.

00:41:09.989 --> 00:41:44.130
And probably after the podcast, I'll Google it and just type in beef patty nachos and see what comes up. But I like to think that, like, you know, like I said, while recipes do have our own flair and spin on it, I would like to at least they that, you know, we get our inspirations at least from somebody. And we, you know, we can create, we can claim that, you know, there are recipes out there that are have our signature touching it, but to say they're 100% original, without any inspiration. I just felt like that's just kind of doing a disservice to people who, you know, may recipes for years before social media was a thing. I

00:41:44.130 --> 00:42:06.690
think every recipe comes from inspiration, you know, I pull inspiration from everywhere, I'm always looking for that thing, going through a cookbook. And from a consumer standpoint, I mean, I'm a personal chef, I cook for people, my customer base doesn't like a lot of these crazy modern dishes, what I find they like is like elevated comfort foods, something that there's a baseline that you can relate to.

00:42:06.690 --> 00:42:31.260
So I could say, well, it's like this, but this is what I've done to it. Like, they have to have a reference point, because, you know, I'm pitching them a menu via email, and they look at this thing. And if, if they're like, I have no idea what any of these ingredients techniques or dishes are, they're just not going to pick them. So I have to give them some reference points. So me personally, that's where I've been most successful is finding these things that people are familiar with, but then just kind of putting an interesting spin on it.

00:42:31.889 --> 00:43:53.309
That's actually something I do with a lot of my customers as well. And I often find that while we see a lot of people on social media that like gravitate towards these extraordinary recipes, you know, people at home are either comfortable what they used to been eaten, or they see these things, and they go well, I'm not going to eat all that even try to make all that. So one of the things that I've tried to do for a lot of my private chef clients is they'll ask for, you know, something simple, like, Hey, can I get a salmon dish, or you know, whatever the case is, and I'll make their meal upon that request. But I'll also do something like when their dinner is ready, I'll go, hey, you know, I'm happy to make this, as you know, something that I'm going to introduce to my audience on social media, would you like to try it out just to see how it is, you know, I don't charge them for it, I don't, you know, ask for anything other than just to give their honest opinion on it. And, you know, sometimes they'll say, hey, this tastes good, or it may be a little bit too complex for their liking, or it may not, you know, tastes good at all. But I appreciate that feedback, because it kind of gives me an idea on what I can go forward with and what I can make when it comes to my recipes on social media. And it also gives me an idea on if my client doesn't like it, how would the entire world perceive it, like I wouldn't put something out there that I feel like, would jeopardize my reputation as a chef, you know, I do want to be as creative as I possibly can.

00:43:53.610 --> 00:44:01.110
But also want to, you know, respect the fact that you know, not everything that I'm going to make is going to be accepted within the eyes of the public.

00:43:59.309 --> 00:44:01.110
That's a

00:44:01.110 --> 00:44:35.610
really great way to test out your recipes before they go live to everyone is to kind of just offer up a comp course for people to try. I hadn't thought about doing anything like that. I mean, similarly, I my most requested and loves loved dishes I'm often creating, but I'm not like, I'm not really scaling up my content where I feel like I need to have that many things. So for me, it's just like, when I think about like, oh, people really love this dessert, let me I should probably like make it and put the recipe up to share. So like kind of transitioning there. You work as a private chef, how's that work been going for you? It's actually

00:44:35.610 --> 00:46:21.179
been pretty good. Um, businesses kind of slowed down for the past few months or so because I've had other projects that I've been doing. And I kind of put a lot of focus on the job that I had my nine to five, but I have actually started to get a little bit more people to reach out to me and say, Hey, are you still catering? Are you still doing private chef work? And it actually honestly came at a time where I'm not sure if you're familiar, but a lot of my audience is, um, I have been working for a company since the pandemic, you know, after I decided I want to do to shut venture because while it is nice to, you know, be a private chef and a content creator, I'm not at that position to where I can do it fully and say, This is my career. And, you know, just like, a lot of people who are working jobs now, you know, companies, unfortunately, do layoffs, and companies, you know, have to do what they do for the business. And, you know, my company that I work for now is actually doing that in my department. And you know, I don't take any ill will towards it, you know, businesses business. But when I had my clients reach out to me and say, hey, you know, we miss your cooking, you know, are you still available to do private dining, or do catering? It had me thinking to myself, you know, maybe this is the call for me to just get back into it, and embrace it fully. And I actually have a lot more people reaching out to me than I did when I first started it to do private dining, and do catering. And I've been a little bit more busy right now doing that on top of the content creation. And I feel like, and I asked you this question as well, because I do feel this myself, I feel like I get a lot more sense of fulfillment when I actually cook for people, then I do content online, because, well, I can do content online. And you know, people get to see my food. The real reaction for me is when they actually get to taste it.

00:46:21.599 --> 00:47:00.989
And this is somebody, I'm somebody who I feel like I appreciate that more. Because if I'm cooking for somebody for the very first time, it can be very nerve racking, you know, you've never had this person charted food before. They're basing their trust on you off of a recommendation or just seeing you on social media. And so that's a big expectation to live up to. So when they take that first bite, I'm like, literally sweating on top of when I'm sweating from cooking, and I'm waiting for that first initial reaction. And when I see that their eyes closed, and I hear that first, huh, that brings a smile on my face, because it makes me know I did a really good job. And it just makes me proud to just do what I do.

00:47:01.860 --> 00:47:02.070

00:47:02.070 --> 00:47:36.809
I mean, that's why I do it. I mean, I'm kind of the flip. I've been cooking since I was 16. And I'm 47. It's all I've done, you know. So before I put any content online, I was cooking. Now my personal chef business, I started in 2010 as a side job, and I tell so many people, if they're interested in this, like you, it's a great side job, you know, once you know what you're doing, and have done it a little bit, you know, your month without doing it. But then you have a weekend off and someone reaches out. If you've got the skill set, you can go do it. It's like great side work.

00:47:32.940 --> 00:47:51.929
So for me, you know, that's my wheelhouse. And I've been doing this full time since 2016. So, you know, new adventure multiple times a week, just going into people's homes and new places, new spaces, new dishes, new kitchens, but, you know, bringing my food to people.

00:47:52.019 --> 00:48:26.880
There's nothing like people, you know, raving about your food and having an amazing time. And I think the fortunate thing about what I do is I only do like parties, it's not meal prep and stuff. So every time I go out, it's you know, an anniversary, a birthday, a bachelorette party, we're celebrating something. So the vibe is always amazing. One time I did a dinner where the people were fighting and we actually had to stop in the middle of dinner. And they're not from America. So they were fighting in another language and screaming and people left the house during dinner. And but other than that, it's been a 99.9% amazing time. Every time I've had a dinner

00:48:27.239 --> 00:48:29.760
last night a high success rate. Yeah, you

00:48:29.760 --> 00:48:36.989
know, I mean, families once they get around the dinner table, sometimes I mean, if people if they're they were fly on the wall at some of my dinners here at my house.

00:48:38.369 --> 00:49:12.360
And correct me if I'm wrong. Um, but at least in my personal experience, the one thing I love about being a private chef is the brotherhood and sisterhood. I've often found that once I start networking with a lot of these chefs, they'll invite me to events to help them cook or if I need, you know, a sous chef to help me when I'm doing an event, you know, someone will be more than happy to raise a hand and assist. And I feel like that's one of the things I love about not just cooking, but just the business in general, is that I like other companies like when I worked in retail banking, there was a lot of cutthroat activity where people just wanted to get to the top and they didn't mind stepping over you to get there.

00:49:12.360 --> 00:49:20.760
Whereas in the culinary industry, Everybody looks out for everybody. We're here to help each other. And I couldn't think of a better place to be personally. So

00:49:20.760 --> 00:49:44.550
that's how Chefs Without Restaurants started. So very briefly, like if you don't know, and for any of my listeners who don't know, that's how it started. Because once I started my business, everyone was asking me like, how do you start a business? Can you tell me and you know, we're doing that. And then I found that, you know, I'm booked on Saturday night and customer reaches out and wants a dinner. So I was like, What can I do with this referral? Well, now I know, like three people I can share it to.

00:49:41.969 --> 00:50:28.409
So it's like, you know, we build this community. It's it started as a Facebook group that I thought was gonna be like seven people that I knew and now we have 1600 members, and so much of it is gig referral. Like I've really built it because I was tired of paying money to platforms that were taking cuts where it's like, well, we should have Enough referrals that we can share around. Oh, and by the way, I have no employees. So what do I do when I have a party for 15? Wouldn't it be great to, you know, hire someone, I know someone in my community throw some money in their pockets. I love having this rotating group of other culinary professionals in the area that I can rely on to go do dinners with. It's a beautiful thing. It is. And I guess like to kind of round it out because you didn't have enough things going, you started a podcast to like, why not?

00:50:24.989 --> 00:50:28.409

00:50:28.710 --> 00:50:39.389
So it's actually something that I've actually wanted to do for a while. I love talking with people, I love having conversations about food.

00:50:34.800 --> 00:52:46.230
And it actually got inspired, ironically, by my youngest son, um, most people know this. But for those of you who don't know this, I have a disabled son, he's on the autism spectrum. And a lot of what he does, unfortunately, is limited. But one of the things that he loves to do is he loves to watch me cook. He, you know, sits in the kitchen, whenever I'm cooking, and he likes to help out, you know, he'll pass me an ingredient. And he'll stare and I feel like that's a great way for him to learn. And it got me to thinking, you know, there are so many people out there who watch cooking, there are so many people who see visually, you know, what goes on in the kitchen on YouTube? Or what goes on on social media. But what about the audio experience? What about the people who you know, who may be blind and who can't actually see the videos, but actually want to hear what we're doing in the kitchen, that people who like ASMR content or you know, there's people who, let's say, for example, you might be running errands, and you have a YouTube show on but you can't actually see it, but you hear it. So that got me to thinking. In addition to doing interviews with you know, some great chefs and people in the industry, I could do food based content, where it's a completely audio experience. So a great deal of my podcast is you'll see, you can see the recipes that I make on YouTube or Instagram or social media. But the podcast gives you an actual edit audio version of it. So you can hear the pots and pans in the background, you can hear the sizzling, it puts a lot more focus on the sounds of the cooking. And I actually get a little bit more descriptive when I discuss the recipes, as opposed to Instagram and YouTube where there's a little bit of editing. I don't put too much editing into the podcast because I want people to hear every single thing as if they were actually in my kitchen cooking, and witness me cook. And it's been pretty successful so far. I mean, I've only had it launched for the past. I'd say about two weeks or so. But I've gotten a lot of downloads a lot of support. My think it's a great idea. And I think it opens up a lot of doors for different avenues for the podcast industry to go into.

00:52:46.980 --> 00:52:52.829
Yeah, I've listened to all the episodes. I mean, thankfully, it's not a lot. I didn't have like for no effect.

00:52:52.829 --> 00:53:06.300
Like I didn't have like 40 episodes to go through. It's like oh man, I can I can listen to all these before we talk. So you know, I, on the other hand, have 260 episodes and don't expect that you listen to all of them before you came on the show. If you did props,

00:53:06.989 --> 00:53:10.559
I can guarantee I'll definitely binge every single episode. Don't get

00:53:10.559 --> 00:53:28.320
don't go back too far. No. Pot, we could talk podcasting forever. Well, that's great. And I'm gonna link all that stuff in the show notes. So people will be able to find that and follow along on your journey on all of your platforms. Do you have anything that you want to leave our listeners with? Like a bit of wisdom? Last words, anything before we get out of here today?

00:53:29.579 --> 00:53:54.780
Um, yeah, there's one quote that I always go by. And whether you're a chef, whether you are in lifestyle, whether you're, you know, working nine to five, no matter what industry you're in, I always tell people, if you're the smartest person in the room, then you're in the wrong room. Never be somebody who feels like you have the answers to everything. Always open the doors for learning.

00:53:50.610 --> 00:54:18.840
Open yourself up to just take into experiences and you never know what you can learn who you can learn from. I've learned certainly over the past four years in my culinary journey, that there are people who have given me advice and given me direction on how I can grow as a chef. And I'll continue to learn that, you know, until I'm old because I feel like that's the only way we can grow as a people is to just constantly learn and just share these experiences. I

00:54:18.840 --> 00:54:21.000
love that quote.

00:54:18.840 --> 00:54:33.239
That's what I've used myself. So I'm glad to glad to hear that you're a fan of that one. I mean, I'm someone who loves learning. I'm a big lifelong learner. It's something I'm trying to instill in my kids as I've twins. They're in middle school right now. And school isn't the most exciting, right?

00:54:30.719 --> 00:54:48.510
And yeah, they'll come home and they'll talk about like, Oh, I hate this learning site. It's like, well, yes, because it's packaged in a way that you don't love but I'm trying to encourage them to love the process of learning. So, you know, they go down the YouTube rabbit hole. So I have some rules about what you can and cannot watch on YouTube.

00:54:48.719 --> 00:55:02.369
But there's no great cooking content. So my son knows that he's allowed to watch cooking content on YouTube. So just this morning I woke up and he was watching cooking videos, cooking shorts, and I was like, Okay, well it's better than like company toilet or whatever kids are into these days?

00:55:02.789 --> 00:55:04.949
I have no idea what that is. Oh, do not

00:55:04.949 --> 00:55:10.679
do not do a deep dive on that so well, it's great having you on the show. I really appreciate you taking the time.

00:55:11.309 --> 00:55:11.639

00:55:11.639 --> 00:55:14.519
you for having me on.

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This has been great. As I said before, Chris, I love talking with people about food and just, you know, shared experiences.

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And I wish you the best of luck in your pockets.

00:55:21.210 --> 00:55:32.010
Same to you. And we'll definitely see each other again. Absolutely. And to all of our listeners. This has been Chris with the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. Thanks so much and have a great week.

00:55:28.409 --> 00:55:57.599
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