Another, mostly unknown, fun fact about me is that I am obsessed with cooking. I dabble in my spare time, but mostly enjoy learning about cooking techniques and watching videos from experts. One of my great loves: Bon Appétit Magazine.
Bon Appétit, an award-winning food lifestyle magazine with a focus on cooking, fashion, travel, technology, design and home, describes itself as “where food and culture meet.” What’s not to love? There are multiple examples of what this food industry mogul is doing right, from their witty writing voice to expert food knowledge, but where they really take the cake is in the digital media world. One realm of the space they’re dominating (and amazing me with daily) is YouTube. Specifically, a segment called Gourmet Makes, featuring Senior Food Editor Claire Saffitz.
For the segment, Saffitz spends hours – even days – tapping into her amazing food knowledge to recreate childhood classics, from Cheez-Its to Twinkies to Gushers. Not only does Saffits find a way to make these nostalgic foods FROM SCRATCH, she also elevates the flavor and adds a gourmet touch. She is so precise in her adaptations that she even matches the food’s measurements exactly so the replica is almost unidentifiable when compared to the real thing.
The first video, featuring homemade Twinkies, accumulated a whopping 5.9 million views. Now, 20 videos and many months later, the series has consistently maintained its audience, averaging about 7 million views per episode – more than Bon Appétit’s own 4.1 million YouTube subscribers.
How do they do this? My guess is their exceptional SEO strategy. Each of the segments is titled specifically to make the videos go viral – giving the viewer all the information up front. In the Twinkies example, the video is titled “Pastry Chef Attempts To Make a Gourmet Twinkie | Bon Appetit.” Simple, yet effective. That, in addition to the carefully chosen nostalgic foods with hard-to-pronounce ingredients makes for a video that’s almost impossible not to click on.
Gourmet Makes is an outstandingly smart series that has managed to tap into my deepest food memories. I am an avid fan, and never miss an episode.
Make sure to check it out and let me know what you think!