SORTEDfood – Born in Birmingham – Exclusive interview with Ben Ebbrell, founder of SORTEDfood
It’s a warm sunny summer’s day in my kitchen with the doors thrown open to the garden and it seems surreal to be talking to a YouTuber with over 2.2 million subscribers. (My teenage son was uber-impressed when I told him this morning.)
What comes across immediately when talking to Ben, is his complete obsession with food and all things foodie. He’s a food expert first and a YouTube sensation second – and that’s why it has worked so well for him and his team.
It all started at University College Birmingham. Ben chose to study Culinary Arts Management there because, as he put it, that was the best course in the country. During his studies he started suggesting to friends how to make easy, cheap, nutritious recipes (that would impress the girls) and scribbling them on the back of beermats in the pub. And from there came his first book ‘A Recipe for Student Survival’ which was published in 2008.
Ben started to create videos of his recipes to promote the book and what he found was the unique ability of video to show the friendship and fun around food. They started with ‘how-to’ videos but quickly evolved into entertainment around food.
You’d think Ben would run out of recipes to demonstrate and talk about, but you’d be wrong. With such a loyal following Ben, and the SORTEDfood team, take inspiration from their audience who comment on videos giving them tips on how to improve recipes with twists and nuances they’d never have dreamt of.
They also explore the food industry itself with interesting insights and quirky ideas. Food should be a talking point bringing a conversation to the table.
They love to bring stories together behind the food. For example, did you know that pigs are now 30% longer than they were 50 years ago? And 90% of the bananas in the world are cloned from the same banana!
Ben is always looking for ways to make food interesting and entertaining and the latest book they are working on is aimed at achieving just that. Called ‘The Bucket List’ it will include the 40 dishes you should eat before you die.
Ben started food college with a dream to open a cool gastro pub and feed 60 people a day – and now he is ‘feeding’, inspiring around 300,000 people a day… with over 10 million video views a month. Tasty!
You can take a look at Ben and the SORTEDfood team here: YouTube.com/SORTEDfood