There’s more to a television cooking show than the food.
You may not realize it, but when you watch Rachael Ray or Bobby Flay, these celebrity chefs have their own dedicated following either online, based in their hometowns — or both.
So when local amateur chef Tim Broxton traveled to Los Angeles for a cooking show audition of his own, he discovered you need more than a nice smile and good recipes to get on the Food Network.
He realized he needed to start building his audience on the Web — with a little encouragement from the show’s producer.
“I had an audition out in L.A. and they asked me if I had a ‘Web presence.’ I said, ‘Uh, no,’ so I’ve learned now, in order for me to try to be a player in this industry, then I’m going to have to build a Web presence,” said the longtime Gainesville resident. “There’s really no other way to do it for a (more) inexpensive price than YouTube.”
So Broxton started producing his own cooking shows in January, uploading them on his own YouTube.com channel as “Easy B’s Kitchen.”
“I’ve have 1,400 hits in about a month and I’m finding out slowly but surely the difficulty of getting people outside of your group of friends to watch your videos,” he said. “What you have to do is become a participatory member in the blogosphere, so you find the top food bloggers and you must be active on their sites and that is something that I’m starting on now.”
So far episodes of “Easy B’s Kitchen” have featured how to make Montana Buffalo Stew, Tuscan Bean Salad and included trips to Atlanta Highway Seafood Market and Green’s Grocery, among about 20 others.
Whether he’s in his home kitchen or out on the town visiting food-related hot spots, Broxton hams it up in the videos, along with offering tidbits on cooking. For example, in one episode about making homemade mayonnaise, he explains why the egg yolk needs to be brought to room temperature before mixing it with the other ingredients. (Because the yolk is better able to absorb the oil when it’s mixed to create the mayonnaise.)
Broxton tries to make each episode about nine or 10 minutes, and he features personal recipes written on his stainless-steel refrigerator with a dry-erase marker.
Taping the show, on the other hand, may take hours on some days.
“People don’t understand how long it takes to prep and record one of these shows,” Broxton said.
To prepare and cook two appetizers — Mini Crab Meat Quiches and Patty Pan-Stuffed Ravioli — along with one main dish of Veal Parmesan with homemade marinara and parrapella pasta took more than two hours of taping and will require even more time editing.
Longtime friend Drew Hollingsworth takes time out of his days to serve as Broxton’s videographer.
“I was amazed ... it’s very involved and takes a lot of time; very in-depth,” he said.
But that’s alright for Broxton, who said he wouldn’t be cooking if he didn’t love it.
“Cooking has always been my passion,” he said. “I’ve always loved food and had a passion for cooking. So I would love to try to pursue that goal.”