NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — BuzzFeed’s Tasty video series has only been around since last summer, but it already has more than 53 million likes on Facebook alone.
So what’s behind the digital sensation? CBS2’s Ben Tracy went behind-the-scenes with the team that’s turning up the heat on social media.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine On Long Island: Doses Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Arrive, Babylon Woman Among First To Receive Shot
It’s dinnertime for three 20-something roommates in New York City. Their cramped kitchen leaves little room for cookbooks, but they don’t need them.
Their guide is a one-minute-long online video from the BuzzFeed Tasty series.
“I don’t think you actually need a lot of space to make Tasty stuff, as long as you have a cutting board and an oven, something that every New York City kitchen has,” Tasty fan Lauren Whitehead said.
The Tasty videos are cooked up in the shadow of the Hollywood sign inside a rooftop test kitchen in Los Angeles.
“We want people to be able to watch the video and feel like they can pull it off at home,” Andrew Gauthier, creative director of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, said.
That simple recipe is working. More than 500 Tasty videos have been posted online since last July. Everything from lasagna poppers to chocolate cheesecake bites and a mojito to wash it all down. Each video ends with an emphatic, “Oh yes!”
They’ve been viewed 14 billion times, mostly on Facebook. BuzzFeed estimates that one in four active Facebook users watch at least one Tasty video every month.
“There’s a new generation of people, they’re in college, they’re in their 20s, they have their first apartment, perhaps, their first real kitchen,” Gauthier said.
The goal?READ MORE: Asbury Park Businesses Hopeful For A Successful Summer With Fewer COVID Restrictions Than 2020
“We want to reduce all of the friction and all of the anxiety that comes with cooking,” he said. “We really want to position cooking as this natural thing that anyone can do, and you’re going to make mistakes as you go, that’s okay.”
The Tasty team, which includes actual cooks, meets every week to figure out what kind of food to make.
“Rainbow toast– How cool is that?” one person suggests.
“I don’t know. Is there some milky graham cracker dessert or something?” another brainstorms. “And grilled strawberries as well, and then do like Nutella in the middle?”
“Is strawberry strong enough to infuse in, like, an oil?” a third ponders.
Andrew Ilnyckyj produces Tasty videos. The entire team whips up an average of two videos per day.
“Claire and I are going to be working on a mini-smores pie with a broiled marshmallow on top. It’s really good!” he said. “We want to give people the most instruction possible in the least amount of time.”
After some editing and the added ingredient of music, the end result is drool-worthy.
“There’s something cool about making a video that inspires somebody to take action and then share the results of that action. Also, I mean, food is just fun!” Gauthier said.MORE NEWS: Better Business Bureau Offers Warning As Dueling Van Gogh Experiences Create Some Confusion For New Yorkers
Now it doesn’t have to be so hard to make something so tasty.