By Michael Varrati
“Food is a universal language.”
For Steven Kydd and his partners at Tastemade, this isn’t just an oft-cited mantra, it’s also the edict that’s rocketing their brand around the world.
“We’re all food lovers. That’s how it started, with a shared passion for food. But then, we saw a macro trend that could be a great business opportunity,” says Kydd. Recognizing that most food content online rarely reached past a single channel or platform, Kydd and his partners sought to change the game by not only connecting creators, but by also unifying the shared appetite of the world.
“The mission of Tastemade is to connect the world through food. When you make that your mission, it leads to a curating that implies and requires a certain approach,” Kydd says. “What we did not want to do is fall into the ‘celebrity chef’ approach of ‘this is how food is done.’ You get a lot of that on television. We wanted to do something very different, which was much more useful, encouraging, and community driven. For us, connecting the world through food actually happened by not telling people the best way to make food, but rather by encouraging people to make it in a variety of different ways.”
“Our content we create is from all around the globe. If you look at our channel, you’ll see people from the UK, Australia, and the United States who are traveling the globe,” Kydd continues. “Our network is a very global and offers a diverse point of view, and that’s really important. You’ll see a lot of networks, especially on TV, where the vast majority of their talent is from America, and that leads to a certain point of view about food culture. We wanted to have unique and authentic voices from cultures all around the world, and because we invite people into culture via food, it becomes more welcoming.”
One of VideoInk’s favorite shows on Tastemade is “Raw. Vegan. Not Gross.” Check out our review and watch an episode above!
By breaking the constraints of the typical televised cooking show format, Tastemade revolutionizing the way content, both culinary or otherwise, can be consumed via media. Whereas a TV cooking program is locked in at a certain time, with personality and viewership curated to drive an audience to a particular slot, Tastemade has made multiple levels of content available to foodies who don’t want to wait for an airtime or date. Viewers merely have to seek out the voice and style that most appeals to them, and they can get to cooking.
With a chorus of international voices already singing the praises of food online, it would seem that Tastemade’s goal of connecting the world via food has already more than been achieved. However, Kydd reveals, the online network was merely the beginning of the unification of this delicious community. Taking into account that most users of this generation also access the web via smart phones, Tastemade wants to change global food creation with its iOS app.
The first of its kind, the Tastemade app expands the network’s roster of foodie creators by literally allowing anyone to create their own show. Kydd explains: “Talking about diverse views, there’s a certain amount of talent we have in our studios in LA and a certain amount of talent around the world on things on YouTube, but we wanted to open it up beyond that. Because of all the smartphones now, we built an app that allows anyone to shoot, edit, and upload their own show directly from the app. If Instagram allows you to be a better photographer than you are, Tastemade app allows you to be a better filmmaker than you are, allowing you to be the star of your own show.”
The app launched a few months ago, and Tastemade has already started uncovering talent “at a very primitive stage.” “We had a user of the app who was doing great things, and we said, ‘My god, she’s really fantastic,’ and we reached out to her and now she’s doing some video work. This is exciting for us, because the pyramid we have of studio talent, global network, and consumers who share the passion of food now are intermixed.”
More than just a food revolution, Kydd and company have done one better and created a food evolution, allowing anyone, anytime to be the star of their own kitchen.
“There’s much more flexibility, much more that can be done, and with that comes the ability to offer more voices and many more types of voices, and that’s exciting.”