Podcasting can be a great facility for chefs

09 November 2006

For the last year or so the online video market has been growing at an ever-increasing pace. Websites such as Google, BBC and, most notably, YouTube, have turned online video sharing into the latest social media craze to sweep the world.

You haven't embraced youth culture if you don't have a MySpace page, and you're way behind if you haven't created an alter ego in Second Life… in short, the world has gone online community-crazy.

After Google, arguably the most successful new media creation has been YouTube, which in just one year went from a small garage-based business to become one of the world's fastest-growing and most popular websites. Its growth was so enormous that the ultimate internet big daddy search engine Google snapped it up for a staggering $1.65b (£865m) last month.

While YouTube is mainly the preserve of funny home videos, music videos and news clips, the technology has improved so much that almost anything can now be filmed and uploaded on to the net.

Video is also a great way of teaching new techniques or tricks, and for that reason it's a great facility for foodies and up-and-coming professional chefs.

Websites like www.bbc.co.uk/food or www.uktvfood.co.uk are now offering the internet-surfing gourmet a chance to not only download recipes but actually watch cookery demonstrations.

Some celebrity chefs are leading the way and have already set up their own online demonstrations. Jamie Oliver has embraced video and podcasting more than most, and has several clips of his cooking demonstrations at www.jamieoliver.com/podcast/video.

Other celeb chefs are also highly visible online, either through their own sites or hosted by a TV company, such as Heston Blumenthal's latest series www.bbc.co.uk/bbctwo/programmes.

But what is there for the more professional chef to learn from? Well, you can try a US site called Chow at www.chow.com/videos, which has a bit more educational stuff.

However, this list barely scratches the surface.

We would like to know what you think are the best sites for learning new techniques, viewing masterclasses online or just watching chefs prepare recipes.

Let us know by contacting James Garner here.

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