Binging with Babish, a steadily growing YouTube Channel, recently passed the 7 million-subscriber milestone. The channel is unique as it specializes in recreating dishes and meals from movies, video games, and TV shows. Andrea Rea, the channel owner, expressed his thanks to his fans by creating a special two-part series based on Lord of the Rings. The seven-course British-inspired banquet included mince pies, a tea loaf, rabbit stew, and a four-bone tomahawk rib roast: truly any hobbit’s dream. Binging with Babish has achieved new fame as consumers search for alternatives to traditional television in the age of coronavirus. People are tuning to Youtube channels because companies such as Disney have delayed the release of tv shows and movies like Mulan due to COVID-19.
It is typically when YouTubers attain several million subscribers and monetization on their videos through sponsors that they can quit their “real” job and pursue their passion for making videos, if that is their wish. Rea seems happy leading such a lifestyle, though he recently announced the opening of his own pub in New York in 2021. This will surely further boost his income and fame, as fans will eagerly flock to the restaurant to try his menu. Maybe Rea will even drop the humble title of home cook and start calling himself a chef.
Rea also has an ongoing series called “Basics with Babish”, in which he demonstrates how to prepare more commonly known meals, like one-pot pastas and coffee cake. He additionally makes videos that show more basic kitchen skills, like pan sauces, healthy meals, kitchen care, and various ways to prepare eggs. Though his channel is centered around unique, fantasy-inspired dishes like those pictured above, these videos allow his audience to develop the same essential cooking skills he started out with. After all, it would be impossible for Rea to delve into his culinary fantasies without these mastering the basics.
Rea is a New York native, and films most of his professionally edited videos in his SoHo apartment. He is mostly self-taught in both his cooking and filmmaking skills. It seems Rea’s channel was born when his love for cooking and the big screen crossed roads.
Because of his growing Youtube stardom, Rea has been interviewed and featured on several culinary-themed shows, including Sean Evans’ Hot Ones. He won a Streamy Award in the Food category just last year. His audience keeps pushing this humble home cook to grow and achieve.
It is especially important to have such content at a time like this, when many are bored in quarantine, and want to learn a new skill. Cooking is more than just an everyday task: it engages the mind and develops skills like timing, memorization, hand-eye coordination, problem solving, and creativity. Though many rely on ordering take-out or heating up frozen food these days, it is often cheaper and healthier to buy your own fresh ingredients and cook your own meals. The reason why many don’t choose the cooking route is it takes up a lot of time, and someone who is in school or has a job simply doesn’t have time to cook each meal from scratch.
This is why meal-prepping has risen in popularity, and Rea’s “Weeknight Meals” video has nearly reached four million views on Youtube. The video features a one pot chicken dinner and a sheet pan salmon dinner. What these two recipes have in common is they both require ten or less ingredients, are quick and easy to prepare, and can feed you for days ahead. The efficiency and low cost of the meals despite their nutritional value make them appeal to busy people.