An insatiable love for food and a splash of parental support saw 13-year-old Yaman Aggarwal set up his own cooking channel on YouTube.
The boy with a flair for showmanship started Cooking Shooking in 2012 and is now a nationwide culinary sensation. Barely 17, this young chef already has over 272000 people subscribing to his channel.
As a mere 17-year-old, how do you manage the cost of sourcing ingredients for CookingShooking?
I stick to Indian food mostly rather than cooking gourmet food. This ensures that the cost of sourcing ingredients stays low.
Who eats all the food we see you cooking?
(Laughs) Well, I usually cook in the evenings and portions serve 3-4 people. So all of us usually binge on them as an evening snack or gobble them for dinner. I always stick to small portion sizes so that there isn’t any wastage.
Do you double test the recipes?
Oh, definitely! Once, I ended up making a Rasgulla 40 times to perfect it.
It’s all about ensuring the recipe is faultless so viewers can easily perfect it in their kitchen. I usually make between 5 and 10 variations of each dish.
How long does it take you to shoot your YouTube videos?
Right now, I’m shooting with a multi-camera setup. So, shooting in the studio takes between 7 and 8 hours. The entire process demands a lot of effort in pre-production and post-production. For instance, the editing process spans two days for each and every video. I usually end up shooting on weekends and upload every Wednesdays.
When was the last time you had a huge fanboy moment?
I got the chance to have dinner with my biggest inspiration from the food industry recently. Dining with Chef Harpal was indeed a huge fanboy moment for me.
How do you handle flak for some of your videos?
There have been instances where I modified an authentic recipe with new ingredients. That irked some people who sent in harsh comments. However, I’ve tried responding that this is simply my twist on the authentic dish and they could try it out if they liked.
How profitable is an endeavour like this for you?
I actually didn’t get into this for generating an income, rather as a means to pursue my passion. So whatever came from YouTube in terms of revenue has always gone back in terms of investment for my channel. I’ve had to spend a lot on cameras, lighting and studio costs over the past two years.
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