Why Your Cooking Show Is Bigger Than You

business development

I originally started writing this article with Black male chefs as the intended audience, but as I started writing, I realized it applies equally to chefs across all demographics.

Here's the interview clip that inspired this article:

The timestamps below are where you can see how this interview applies to you and your cooking show:

  • 3:15 - Hollywood comes calling.
  • 4:45 - Lack of Black male role models in the culinary industry.
  • 9:30 - The importance of using today's technology to build your own platform for amplifying your voice.
  • 10:00 - Why getting a show on a traditional TV network isn't as good as creating your own show on YouTube.

The first point I want to make is I saw this video on TV when I took my lunch break.

I work from home and I normally watch one or two YouTube videos when I break for lunch because YouTube is the most convenient channel on my TV.

YouTube always has something on that I benefit from watching and none of it comes out of Hollywood.

I don't learn anything watching the scripted programming out of Hollywood, but it's rare that I watch a YouTube video and don't learn something, even if it's not an educational video.

47% of people watch YouTube on their TV like I do.

So being on YouTube is being on TV and you can get all the exposure that comes with being on TV. And you can do it for free because YouTube doesn't cost anything.

Creating Opportunities for Yourself

At the 3:15 mark of the video, Mr. Wilson shares how Hollywood came calling because of a viral video.

That's exactly how Tabitha Brown catapulted herself into the success she enjoys now.

And that's what Mr. Wilson is promoting at the 9:30 mark when he describes the podcast studio he built for his students so they can lead their own shows.

You want a cooking show? You're going to have to take some action to make it happen because you're an adult and nobody is coming to create your show for you.

If you're not consistently publishing videos on social media, how in the world is anybody supposed to know you exist?

As I always ask, are you doing the things that are necessary to create the success you say you want?

If you want the benefits of being a well-known chef or even a celebrity chef, are you doing what it takes to achieve that level of success?

[RELATED: Favorite Chef Appears To Be A Scam]

Black Male Chefs As Role Models

We all know the importance of role models.

As Mr. Wilson points out, at the 4:45 mark, many Black boys growing up in environments where dreams of pursuing a culinary career will not be nurtured.

If you're a Black male chef and you came from one of those environments, what are you doing to reach back and be a beacon of light to the boys who are where you used to be?

By creating your own cooking show and hosting it on YouTube, you can reach them wherever they are and show them what is possible.

But if you're waiting for Hollywood to decide that it's important to show Black male chefs in charge of the kitchen so that young Black boys have positive role models, you're part of the problem.

You're standing on somebody's shoulders to be where you are.

You have an obligation to reach back and bring somebody with you.

And all you have to do is stand in front of your smartphone, press record, and teach while you're cooking.

That's all it takes to show a young Black boy what it's possible for him to be, regardless of his current circumstances.

Imagine the impact you can have just by cooking and sharing your journey, past and present.

Is that asking too much from you?

Chefs of All Types As Role Models

The overall point about the importance of being the role model you wish you had applies to everyone.

Again, if you're waiting for Hollywood to decide that it's important to showcase someone with a story like yours, good luck.

Women do most of the cooking around the world, but 87.5% of executive chefs in the U.S. are men.

If you want young girls to see that it's possible for them to run a commercial kitchen just as well as they run a home kitchen, what are you doing to show them that career path?

YouTube makes it possible for you to achieve all your culinary dreams, as well as help the person who you used to be pursue theirs.

YouTube is equal opportunity for everybody.

Do not complain about a lack of representation when you do nothing to be a representative.

All you have to do is press record on your smartphone and start cooking and talking.

The Reality of Being on Traditional TV Networks

At the 10:00 mark, Mr. Wilson explains why being on ESPN isn't as great as you think.

I don't have ESPN...or Hulu, or Disney+.

But I do have YouTube. Everybody does.

Remember, I saw this interview because it popped up in my YouTube feed. And you're watching it on YouTube because I was able to share it directly with you.

Do you think his documentary would do more for his organization by being on ESPN or by being on YouTube?

Do you think your cooking show would do more for you and your family by being on the Food Network or Bravo or HGTV?

Or do you think it would do more for you by being on YouTube?

It's kind of a trick question because there's only one channel where you actually have a real opportunity to have a cooking show. I'll let you figure out which channel that is.

A Side Note About Jemele's History With ESPN

Jemele Hill got fired from ESPN a few years ago for being outspoken.

Now, with her podcast, she has more freedom of speech than she ever could have had with ESPN--freedom to conduct interviews like this one, for example--and she's able to reach way more people because, again, YouTube is free for everyone to use.

You have to ask yourself what's really important to you?

  • Being free and controlling your own destiny?
  • Or standing on a stage that someone else owns and staying within the box they decide to put you in?

YouTube is where you can control your own destiny.

The Food Network is where you will find yourself put in a box that someone decided you belong in, so be careful how you define success.

[RELATED: Why You DO NOT Want Your Cooking Show on the Food Network]

What Is Your Cave of Adullam?

What is the safe space you can create for a specific group of people?

Because as Jason Wilson's story makes clear, the world is in need of safe spaces.

You can build your safe space for free, if that's your calling.

But I teach people how to build fee-based safe spaces because, as Jason Wilson's story makes clear, trying to help people without having a revenue system in place is unsustainable.

All you have to do is find 500 people on planet Earth who are willing to pay you $20/mo to teach them how to cook and you have a cooking show that pays you $10,000 per month.

The angels in heaven may live for free, but the angels on Earth have to pay rent and mortgages.

So if you're inspired by the interview and you want to do good for the world and do well for yourself by using a cooking show to build a revenue-generating safe space, take some action.

Next Steps

The next time you cook something, put your phone on the counter, press record, and cook and teach.

You don't need fancy equipment, so stop making excuses. Prop your phone up with a book if you have to and press record and start talking.

You don't have to upload the video if you don't want to. Not this first one, at least.

But you need to stop thinking about a cooking show and start taking actions that will result in you having a cooking show because you cannot impact anyone's life, including your own, by waiting for a cooking show to drop out of the sky with your name on it.

By the way, my Celebrity Chef Masterclass is where you can learn how to start your cooking show in just 5 days, even if you don't have a lot of free time and even if you've tried to do this before and failed.


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