Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar’s recipe for creating mouth-watering digital food content

Authenticity is the key to content creation. speaking to Your story‘s Creators Inc. Conference 2022Indian celebrity chef and digital food content creator Ranveer Brar says every digital medium is about people wanting to see the “real” you. It’s not about “real” or “false” you, it’s only “real” versus “false” you.

Asked about “the secret recipe for building a successful career in creating food content,” here’s what the social media savvy chef and standout TV personality, who has hosted various cooking shows, including Thank God, it’s Friday, master chef india, Sony BBC Earth, Raja Rasoi Aur Andaaz Anokha, had to say:

  1. Beyond Virality: A lot of people (creators) do such great things. They might not have five million views on any of their videos, but they consistently get 200,000 views. They say what they mean and they have a nice expression. So, don’t just get inspired by virality, get inspired by content that reflects perfection, commitment and zeal to excel, choose the right templates and not just templates based on virality. It’s not true. Not in the food space, food is a process.
  2. The food space is very forgiving, because it is very huge. No one can know everything.
  3. Appreciate the beauty of other people’s food. And I think that’s very important as food content creators.

Television versus digital

“The ability of digital to be real-time is magnificent. It’s beautiful, because you’re more in tune with what people want. If you try something, the result is there in front of you, whether it worked or not. TV doesn’t do that,” Ranveer says.

In terms of production, the culinary rockstar says that digital embraces the idea of ​​”try small, fail small”. Low or zero barriers to entry and minimum production values ​​allow for more realism.

Mediocrity could be a problem with television because it tries to make a lot of people happy. Digital media, on the other hand, does not need to work with the lowest common denominator in terms of the audience it wants to address.

“The startup mindset of digital versus the big business mindset of TV will always have its advantages,” says Ranveer.

TV is more about set parameters where you create content for a certain group of people knowing full well that a certain group of people might not like it. Broadcasters/channels have their own settings, they have their own idea of ​​content. So you’re still locked into that frame. Digital allows you to be yourself without shame, he stresses.

With 4.6 million subscribers on YouTubethe celebrity chef whose first successful restaurant “Banq”, in Boston, Massachusetts, was featured in the Wallpaper magazine as the “Best New Restaurant in the World”, emphasizes how very important it is to understand analytics in order to really benefit from the medium in which you work. “TV not responding, digital yes. And if you don’t understand the language he’s responding to you in, and if you don’t do anything about it, then you kind of turn in the dark,” says the digital kitchen guru.

The digital take-off and the Nihari video breakthrough

“When we had the idea for digital, I sat down with Pallavi (his wife who is in charge of production) and the team, and I thought to myself: ‘When you travel, you are free, but when you’ cooking in a kitchen, how to be free then How not to be in a situation ki ep episode mein teen receipts karni hain, das minute mein ek Recipe karni hain (which we have to pack into three recipes in one episode, or pull out one recipe in 10 minutes flat)? How to free yourself from this standard format? Ranveer shares.

Speaking of his groundbreaking digital work, Ranveer says, “We made 16-minute videos and wondered who was going to watch them in an ecosystem where three- to five-minute cooking videos are the norm. I remember the Nihari video lasted 16 minutes. And it just took off. Everyone was talking about Nihari’s video. That’s when I realized that unlike television where you have real constraints, most of the constraints in the digital space are created in your own head.

Twitter and models

In July 2016, Ranveer launched his avatar on social media through a mini-video series on Twitter titled Ranveer on the road. The show covered his culinary journey across Australia, Seychelles, Turkey and Thailand.

“I’ve always wondered why Twitter should be a character-driven place? Why can’t it be a content-driven place? We spoke to the Twitter team in India and they really liked the idea of ​​a Twitter-exclusive travel series,” recalls the avowed movie buff and content junkie who enjoys reading as much as seeing and absorbing.

Monetization – the rules to remember

“Often we see what works and try to replicate it because it makes money. But we forget that it took a trip to get there. I have a lot of people coming up to me asking questions, ‘my video went viral, why am I not making any money?’ Ranveer shares.

The key is to create a base of people who understand you, who get your voice over a period of time. You must have a body of work to be able to do this. “The virality and sustainability of content will always have to go hand in hand. Your content goes viral, people go to your page and then they see, everything else isn’t so great, it just doesn’t work. Durability, constancy, perseverance over time, take a trip and then this one machis ki tilli will do,” Ranveer says of maintaining digital content’s virality quotient.

Brand collaborations and maintenance of values

Previous brands were lining up for Bollywood superstars to endorse their brands, but now they are vying for the attention of influencers. How does an influencer stay true to what they believe in and choose brand collaborations accordingly?

“I think brands also understand that the digital ecosystem is a ‘try small, fail small’ ecosystem, and they have to be okay with failure. They’re much more open to creators giving input trying to do things their own way, which makes the space more beautiful because we’re moving towards real collaborative ideas from simple execution briefs,” says Ranveer on evolving dynamics.

Ranveer says it’s important to differentiate between the short-term view and the long-term view. “Believe that you are a brand yourself. And if a brand is not willing to compromise when talking to you, then you have the right not to compromise because until you start behaving like a brand, a brand won’t take you not seriously. Whether you are a small influencer or a big influencer, it doesn’t really matter. It’s very important to have a long-term vision for your brand,” comes crucial advice from the chef.

Notes of nostalgia and warmth

To meet the quintessential feeling of mother’s food, we bring it back to the digital series Maa ki baat and he says the central feeling was “ma toh ma hain na” (there is no one like mothers). “Initially, we wanted to invite the mothers of my famous friends, etc., but we ended up calling the mothers of the team members, the dad is (grandmothers) of team members. It just seemed to work better because they had never faced the camera before and after a while they were just themselves,” Ranveer shares.

Ranveer has often mentioned that “cooking is not rocket science”. “My content space is about teaching people a certain skill, it’s not just about making them laugh or evoking an emotion. You have to tell people, it’s okay. I think it’s is what my approach has been, using my 25-26 years of experience in the kitchen to make things easy, accessible, to allow people to connect with food throughout my journey,” the chef leaves us with. parting wisdom.

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Edited by Ramako Sengupta

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