Food: Now, a cooking show for kids

Updated: 03 January, 2017 10:28 IST | Snigdha Hasan |

Sanjyot Keer who created a sensation on social media with a cooking show where hands do all the talking, is now ready to take the idea to kids

Keer prepares a biryani dish

Watching culinary content in India is an interesting exercise, for it brings to light the evolution of the way cooking shows have been presented over the years. What’s more interesting is that they all continue to coexist and thrive. There are the regional channels where recipes are cooked by a chef, while the host looks on, often chiming in with some redundant queries from time to time. Then there is the more modern style, where the chef owns his show and runs it solo. And then there is content designed for social media that needs no chef — or at least, a face.

Sanjyot Keer

A quick scan of your Facebook newsfeed is likely to throw up a crisp, snappy video of not more than a minute showing you how to whip up baked veggie toasts or even butter chicken biryani in a jiffy. There is no voice over, just short subtitles spelling out the ingredients and a pair of hands working magically fast to create tempting dishes. Your Food Lab (YFL) is one such venture that Mumbai-based Sanjyot Keer started about eight months ago on Facebook. It has now over 6.63 lakh page likes and has reached over 30 crore people through the medium.

"We are also coming up with vlogs [vide blogs] of restaurant reviews and food travelogues in January," shares Keer. In the pipeline is another interesting concept — a knife- and heat-free cooking show for kids in a mini food truck set-up; hosted by a kid. And this time, it will be Keer’s four-year-old nephew. "It will be shot differently, and my nephew will anchor the show in the regular style. Each video would last for four to five minutes, A hospitality graduate, the YFL concept had been brewing in Keer's mind for a while, but he went on to work as a food producer for the fourth season of MasterChef India's Extraclass show, and YFL took a back seat. With free time on hand, Keer got his team together and started shooting recipes, all his own. "A one-minute video takes 20 to 24 working hours, where I come up with the recipe, try it out a couple of times before actually shooting it and we then finally edit it for the upload," shares Keer.

Pullout Cheesy Garlic Pav 

One recipe is uploaded on the page every day at around 6 pm, well in time to be seen by the office-goer on his way back home. "Sometimes, within an hour of the upload, we have had our followers send a picture of the recipe they tried at home," smiles Keer.
A quick scan at the recipes reveal a pattern. They are mostly vegetarian, made with ingredients one can easily find in the kitchen, complete with tips including recipes of dips and chutneys used in the dish, and presented in a restaurant-style finish. In short, appealing yet achievable. "Non-vegetarian fare is easily available on foreign pages. We wanted our content to be as inclusive as possible," says Keer. A wise decision, if one considers the Baked Veggie Toast recipe’s reach of 5.7 million views.

With a loyal following on Facebook, YFL is now available on YouTube and Instagram. Each YouTube video also comes with the complete recipe written down in the description. Barring a few product plugs, the Facebook page didn’t have much scope for monetisation, but YouTube offers the opportunity.

First Published: 17 December, 2016 08:32 IST

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