Courtney Accocella ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
As the saying goes, people eat with their eyes. They love to look at the vibrant colors of a fresh, thinly chopped mango slaw and the crunchy golden outside of a fried chicken, or the stringy line between a hot sliced grilled cheese. That’s why we love the glossy pictures of pancakes coated in golden syrup on our friends’ Instagrams, or the unique checkerboard patterned chocolate vanilla cake we see on Pinterest. It’s even been given a name fitting of internet humor, “#foodporn.”
But when someone wants to make the food from one of those beautiful pictures they found online – let’s say, rainbow pancakes – it can be hard to come by the right recipe in a traditional cookbook. Millennials need a resource just for them. Leave it to the Brits to capitalize on that situation!
Chef Ben Ebbrell and his friends, Jamie Spafford, Barry Taylor, and Michael Huttlestone, started their online cooking phenomenon as a joke to share recipes while in university. Now, SortedFood has amassed 1,128,218 subscribers, 113,405,436 views, three cookbooks, a website, and an app featuring hundreds of recipes not just from the guys, but also from their extremely active fan community.
If you’re a college student with a microwave as a resource, you have to have seen their most popular video, “Chocolate Cake in a Mug Recipe.” Or maybe you prefer their straight to the point series, EyeCandy (#foodporn), which satisfies your eyes and lets you know how to make their beautiful creation to eat later. You may prefer the factual fix for your health kick, which you can get from Performance Food. You might just say they are the YouTube version of Food Network with the variety of content they provide, and with a more “male-oriented” humor.
This is why their channel may be difficult to get into if you are just hearing about it now. So let’s break down SortedFood and get you up to speed on the internet sensation that’s taking eating with your eyes to a much more enjoyable level.
EyeCandy is as “eating with your eyes”as it gets. These videos beautifully show you step-by-step how to make decadent treats like poached pears, ice-cream sundaes, and Thai iced teas. Watch as the vibrant red syrup glistens down the nearly fluorescent pear. They can even make a slow shot of cracking an egg to separate out the whites look absolutely tantalizing.
To replace the narration, we get a superb musical selection. Their music choices always set the right mood to get you feeling impressed with what you’re watching while still feeling slightly embarrassed by your own culinary skill set.
Keep it Traditional…Sort of?
If you’re not sure what you are up for, you might be best starting out with one of Sorted’s more traditional videos. And that’s totally okay, because they have hundreds.
Whether you consider yourself a sous chef or a toast connoisseur, Ben has videos that will fit what you look for most. Even the more challenging items Sorted chooses to conquer have instructions given at the level of Ben’s less culinary-versed friends. And if something goes wrong and one of the boys messes up the recipe, Ben lets viewers know how they can correct it with ease if they make a mistake, too.
Parodies and Trends
Things are bound to get more than a little weird at times on Sorted. You can find jingles every now and again in the normal videos. But Mike’s musical stylings as a DJ shine in their parodies. “UpDown Dunk,” a parody of Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk,” might be one of the weirdest and greatest videos online, of course their ‘male’ humor (a.k.a. an excess of genital jokes), stars here. The secondhand embarrassment is also heavy on that one. If you want family-friendly comedy videos, you can get that, too. They not only parodied Frozen’s top songs, they also taught you how to make the kid in your life an Olaf made out of rice.
One of the best series on Sorted has to be Made Personal. In this series, we go into the home of one of the hosts, or sometimes the fans, to make their own personal favorite dishes. These episodes have a little more of a cinematic documentary twist to them. Sure, there is the fun, light-hearted nature one can find in any of their videos, but we also get little stories – tales of Jamie’s wedding, Mike’s hobbies, Barry’s photography, and even a look at Ben’s wardrobe, which consists only of chef jackets and red short shorts, because why not?
Sorted is no Barefoot Contessa or Paula’s Home Cooking, and thank god for that. Their audience is vastly different. This is not aimed for your mom to use to make family dinners. Sure, she could, but she really is not their target audience. This is about the youth demographic, as most things are online. The music choices are modern. The comedy is key. The expected level of food prep knowledge is low, and the creators focus on praise as the fans are starting to outdo them as the channel grows. You can pause and replay until you know exactly how to get your eggs to be the perfect stiff peaks.
They also have the biggest diversity in content – not just in terms of cuisine, but in style, too. You are bound to find something you really enjoy. The options are endless, and each viewer can have a different favorite series really specific to their own interests and lifestyle. They make sure they give equal opportunity and content for every viewer to get their food Sorted!
Make sure to check out Sorted’s newest series, Lost And Hungry. The guys are doing a world tour and you are in charge of telling them what to eat! They have already visited Los Angeles and will be continuing the tour in San Francisco. For more information check out their blog!