Our Favorite Youtube Cooking Shows

July 9, 2012 7:12 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Youtube Chefs
Our Favorite Youtube Chefs. (Photo: Creative Commons)

From authentic Indian food to trailer park grub with attitude, these are our absolute favorite Youtube Cooking Shows.

1. Hilah Cooking

From the first word out of her mouth, you know everything you need to know about Hilah's quirky personality. Fortunately for both you and her, that personality proves entirely winsome-- even after rigorous kitchen testing. But unlike all the other celebrities and pseudo-celebrities who have cashed in on artificial quirk, Hilah means it. The "manic pixie" type, deader than cliche, seems incredibly fresh when it's this genuine.

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Sift through her videos and you'll see what I mean. When she recommends that you cook her quinoa salad during the summer when it's "flipping' hot," she quickly follows it up with a "that's right, I said flipping.'" In fiction, this is a tired old bag. Here, it's captivating to see her mean every word.

This is the kind of girl that you'd run into at a party and have a great conversation with. And her recipes run a really fun gamut: from eclectic stuffs like homemade donut holes and sweet potato breakfast tacos, to more how-to oriented videos with techniques on roasting a turkey and cooking a lobster.

2. Manjula's Kitchen - Indian Vegetarian Recipes

Manjula's Kitchen was the first Youtube cooking channel upon which I stumbled, and I've been a long-time devotee ever since. She's emblematic of what it means to be a Youtube cook: shoddy production values and zero bells-and-whistles. It's just Manjula in front of a camera, talking about her delicious food and showing you in painstaking detail how to prepare it at home. And you're hard-pressed to find a warmer personality.

The meticulousness of her camera is wonderful. We watch as the camera lingers over every single ingredient being chopped, seasoned, toasted, and cooked. For Westerners-- particularly Americans-- who don't have the same entryway into cooking Indian food as, perhaps, our friends across the pond may, this is an incredible service.

And if you're a seasoned veteran of Indian cuisine who just wants to look at the recipe, she's written all of them out on her website.

There's a ton of love that goes into the production of her show-- more than I've seen on any other cooking channel. It's worth a watch.

3. Trailer Park Cooking with Jolene Sugarbaker

No words. Should've sent a poet or John Waters. That's exactly the kind of mind that could have (and wishes he would have) imagined a personality like Jolene Sugarbaker, a beautiful bell-shaped southern belle who's seeking out to (I'm paraphrasing here) undo all the damage done to trailer park cooking by years of daytime television.

She's budget-minded, she says, and proud of it. Her lengthy introduction jingle boasts that all her fun is good, clean fun, and that she's completely cuss-free. Well... seeing for yourself how much of that is true is almost all the fun. And while you're at it, watch her make some pink lemonade cookies. That's the rest of it.

4. Little Chefs

Okay, so this is more of a bonus video than anything-- and if they'd shown how the dough in their pizza recipe was made, it could've actually been a brilliant cooking video spoof. But this charming, little video-- wherein young chefs get swapped out every time they injure themselves-- does more than just highlight how dangerous it is to cook at home. The edits point our attention to the artifice of the cooking show, through which everything is made to look so easy, even a kid can do it. It's worth a watch, if just for the self-confidence boon.



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