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There is a long standing tradition in my house. Along with the usual british regulars (sunday roast dinner, sheppards pie, sharp english cheddar and Branston pickle etc), there has been Sunday morning's and Jamie Oliver.

I love to cook, and like finding new music (also a passion), finding new reciped and techniques from Jamie has been a standard. I usually try to watch the new uploads every week to his phenominal Youtube channel, FOODTUBE.

Like many people when they approach the age of 40, Jamie Oliver felt the need to take a look at his diet and lifestyle. The mop-topped motivator is better equipped than most people to make any changes that he felt were necessary, and fortunately forthe rest of us he is now sharing his findings and his solutions in the form of a new book, Everyday Super Food.

But before we get into his new book, leys talk Youtube!

Jamie Oliver's Food Tube is a rare example of an established brand embracing, and conquering, a new platform.

The chef, whose fame is rooted in TV and The Naked Chef, transitioned to YouTube after noticing a drop-off in TV viewers, even as his Facebook and Twitter followers shot up. While Oliver was popular among millennials, they weren’t watching his shows.

It isn’t just happening to Jamie, notes Richard Herd, head of Food Tube.

According to 2014 stats from Ofcom, the average number of broadcast TV minutes being watched on a TV set is dropping 5% year on year, driven by younger audiences switching to on-demand services like Netflix, and YouTube.

Richard Herd, speaking at the Marketing Digital Exchange event, said: "They are not going to get to 22 years old and suddenly turn the telly on and come back. They have gone now. We have to find a way to engage with those viewers and to understand what they want from their media."

Here are Herd’s tips on conquering YouTube:

Find a narrative

A recipe, according to Herd, is a natural storytelling format – there’s a beginning, middle and end.

Other brands might look on in envy at such a ready-made way of creating content, but even recipes were hard to get right.

For starters, the Food Tube team made the mistake of trying to create recipes the way they did on TV.

Herd said: "We’d lift out some of the recipe sequences from the long-form show, drop in there, and we’d have a lovely time and get loads of subscribers."

In fact, the team "got spanked" at the beginning. Where Jamie’s TV show set in Tuscany can have a three-minute intro to set the scene, this just looks rambly and boring on YouTube, says Herd. After examining their YouTube stats, the team found that viewers switched off before Jamie had even got to making the recipe.

On YouTube, the team has more like three minutes to create an entire recipe, so it’s essential to hook viewers in other ways.

Herd said: "That’s essentially the problem we had with YouTube - it was just a place we put videos up and they’d be very functional videos about how to put a pie crust on with Pete, one of our food team members.

"Pete’s a lovely guy, but most of the comments under that video were ‘who the f*ck is this boring man?’"

With these initial video efforts, the team found 53% of the viewers would leave after 23 seconds.

Herd said: "You have to be honest and authentic with what you’re giving them, because that’s the way to make an amazing YouTube video."

Clearly labelling videos with guest presenters, and bringing in personalities like Alfie Deyes boosted engagement, Herd says.

Find strong characters

With limited access to Jamie himself, the Food Tube team has broadened out its video network to include other chefs who can fill the gaps.

One example is Gennaro Contaldo, an Italian chef and Jamie Oliver’s mentor.

Contaldo is eccentric on-camera, playing up to his Italian roots with lively tutorials. His mannerisms lend themselves to parody and lively edits, something the team wouldn’t consider on TV.

Herd describes a "new grammar" of YouTube, which means punchy video intros and breaking out of a "nice safe zone".

After Gennaro Contaldo’s remix video was posted onto Food Tube, Herd says, the millennial audience came back to see his full-length recipe videos.

Video isn’t cheap

While the likes of PewDiePie give off the impression of being a one-man editing band, Food Tube has 32 staff managing its 22 channels.

Brands that want to take video seriously need to invest in similar resources to TV, according to Herd.

Herd said: "We’re an independent production company, the same team that makes Jamie’s Channel 4 shows. It’s not cheap, but that’s because we’ve got Jamie Oliver at the forefront of what he’s doing."

While "one camera, one kitchen" is possible, Herd says, Food Tube has to meet higher standards.

Be sure to tune in, and like me, join more than 2 million subscribers who do the same everyweek! 


Subtitled “Recipes for a healthier, happier you”, the book marks another staging post on Oliver’s public journey from banister-sliding Naked Chef to elder statesman of the British food industry. It picks up on many of the concerns raised in his hard-hitting Channel 4 documentary Jamie’s Sugar Rush to demonstrate ways in which all of us can adopt a more sensible diet without forgoing the fun of cooking and eating.

There is more to the project than pretty food on plates – Jamie has also taken advice from health and sleep experts to develop a holistic, homely approach to living well – but the core of the project is recipes for 30 breakfasts, 30 lunches and 30 dinners, with healthy snacks and drinks.

As we have come to expect from Oliver – and as you can see from our selection here – the recipes are bright, straightforward and simple to prepare. But they are also buzzing with the kind of energy and urgency that makes their creator such an effective communicator.

“My wish is that through incredible food, this book will inspire and empower people to live the healthiest, happiest, most productive lives they can,” he says. “Food is there to be enjoyed, shared and celebrated and nourishing food should be colourful, delicious and fun.”

Like all the best popularisers of innovative cuisine, Oliver is a sharp‑eyed magpie with a great gift for mingling tastes, traditions and techniques for the broadest appeal in today’s multicultural, social-media- sharing food world.

About the book in Jamies words:

This is the most personal book I've ever written, and in order to write it I've been on a complete journey through the world of health and nutrition. Now, using the thing I know best—incredible food—my wish is that this book will inspire and empower you to live the healthiest, happiest, most productive life you can. Food is there to be enjoyed, shared, and celebrated, and healthy, nourishing food should be colorful, delicious, and fun. This book is full of well-rounded, balanced recipes that will fill you up and tickle your taste buds, and because I've done all the hard work on the nutrition front, you can be sure that every choice is a good choice. If you pick up just a handful of ideas from this book, it will change the way you think about food, arming you with the knowledge to get it right on the food front, most of the time.
Love,  Jamie xxx

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