Food porn comes in small bites on First We Feast’s ‘Food Skills’

 

Anyone with a love of beautifully photographed food would do well to check out a popular series on the First We Feast channel on YouTube.

In “Food Skills,” the emphasis is on visuals as chefs and cooks show off their awe-inspiring culinary skills in preparing favorite dishes at their restaurants in New York City. From the $150 kobe steak and the ultimate rotisserie chicken to hand-pulled noodles and squid-ink pasta, each two-to-three-minute episode gives viewers an eyeful as they pick up a few pointers on how to pull off that particular dish.



Did someone say “food porn”?

“Oh yeah, absolutely,” Chris Schonberger, editor-in-chief of First We Feast, says with pride. “That’s like the space that we’re playing in for sure … because that’s what people want. Like we’ve seen the explosion of Instagram, which is just one big food porn jamboree, and then also the huge growth of video content across social media, especially Facebook.”

“And for us, it’s more about the culture of food and the people who make food than the home-cooking part,” he continues. “That traditionally is what we focused on so we thought, ‘How can we take that, put a lens on it but still give people just amazing visuals that will get them excited about it?’ So ‘Food Skills’ is really that behind-the-scenes look at how dishes come together in a kitchen.”


“First We Feast” editor-in-chief Chris Schonberger, Daniel Boulud, and FWF contributor Phoebe Lovatt.

Most of the restaurants are in Manhattan and Brooklyn although a few were shot outside the five boroughs (such as a bagel episode in Montreal). And since each episode is only a few minutes, the “Food Skills” crew is able to film four to five in a day.

And the dishes truly do look luscious, such as the Detroit-style Sicilian pizza in one recent episode shot in Williamsburg – which the crew got to take home afterward, a definite fringe benefit of the job.

“We’ve seen camera people go home with enormous doggie bags that’s full of, you know, pastrami sandwich, barbecue, soba and some amazing babka or something like that,” Schonberger says. “So it’ll be a real smorgasbord by the end of the day. And then we have a great shot of a director’s dog eating a T-bone steak bone from one of the crazy steak shoots that we did, which is one of my favorite pictures.”

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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