Delia Smith has sold 21 million books, been on a lot of shows, and even helped cranberry growers, but now she’s giving up TV. A lot of people are relieved that the 71-year-old isn’t giving up on her apron because she wants to change things up in the increasingly competitive world of online cooking.
But even though she’s a well-known chef and has announced that she’ll be moving from TV to the web, does she know what she’s up against?
Unless there are reruns, we don’t expect to see any more Delia on television. When asked about her plans for the future, Smith has stated that she will never longer appear on television since she dislikes having to be “entertaining.” For her long-running website, she’s launching the Delia Online Cookery School. When it comes to online cooking videos, can her style, which shows only one person in her kitchen, quietly showing off her dishes step-by-step, be enough to compete? Here’s what she’s facing.
Other TV Shows
The dedicated food networks, such as the Good Food Channel in the UK and the Food Channel in the US, are clearly a key source of rivalry, with Valentine Warner, James Martin, and Rachel Allen among its lineup. Their videos have generally high production values, and the TV business has covered the expense of production. Non-specialist channel programming has the same benefits, however, it may be more geared at entertainment value than instruction, as Delia Smith is. However, I believe she is overlooking an important issue regarding cooking on television. It’s possible that the focus has switched toward entertainment, but younger viewers, who want to be entertained, maybe less interested in her purely educational approach.
Professional Youtube Chefs
Despite the fact that no professional chef has made a concerted effort to broadcast unique video content online, it may be found in a number of places. Of course, YouTube dominates the market (at least in terms of quantity). It features chefs from all over the world, not just the UK. If you search for Jamie Oliver, you’ll find tens of thousands of videos. You can also discover Raymond Blanc and Nigella Lawson on YouTube. Other films are made expressly for online distribution, often with commercial sponsorship, while others are based on TV episodes. Delia Smith is most likely to foot the bill personally, although there are other chefs who are sponsored by food and cookware companies.
Amateurs on Youtube
Cooking videos are no longer as expensive as they were when Delia started out in 1973; anyone with a £100 digital camera can make one. Professional lighting and a large kitchen make things appear better, but they aren’t required. What is important is the quality of the education, and some of the amateur content available online may surprise you. YouTube may provide some unexpected delights, such as The Amateur Chef’s straightforward and incredibly detailed description of how to prepare tortellini. Amateur videos, on the whole, don’t pose much of a challenge to Delia. It’s simply too haphazard a method of seeking online wisdom, and the quality is inconsistent, to say the least.
Will Smith be able to carry out her plans? She’s essentially betting on a new method to cooking instruction: she expects that people will want to stand in their kitchen and follow along with a video screen. This has the potential to work. I’m not convinced, but I wish her well. Even if she encounters rough seas, she will have the pleasure of becoming a member of the online cookery-video community.