by Brandon Fox
The Urban Tavern’s Tim Bereika is now appearing on a computer near you. For the past few months, he’s been making how-to-cook videos on YouTube’s Tastemade network in his spare time.
“Tastemade is a company I pursued,” Bereika says. It’s hard to gain traction among the millions of videos uploaded to the site — a YouTube network bundles thousands of personal channels together and promotes them for a small cut of advertising proceeds.
“It’s the only way to grow,” he says.
Bereika’s persistence paid off. The network liked the look of his content and was particularly impressed that he was a chef. Most food content is produced by home cooks, they told him, not professionals. He now has a two-year contract with them.
A big part of Bereika’s job as head chef is leading, inspiring and teaching young chefs coming up through the ranks, he says. Sharing his ideas with a wider audience and teaching non-professionals how to cook was an alluring new option. “This is a way to be creative in a different direction,” he says.
You’ll find 14 videos on Bereika’s channel, Kitchen & Craft, and he posts a new one weekly. You can learn how to perfectly poach an egg or whip up dishes that include fried chickpeas with aleppo pepper, rosemary and sea salt — remember those from Bereika’s days at Secco Wine Bar? — olive oil gelato with Maldon sea salt or how to make pasta carbonara without winding up with a bunch of clumpy cooked eggs clinging to the pasta strands.
Filming, editing, posting — Bereika does it all himself. It was a crash course of sorts in the first few weeks, he says, and you can see the videos getting smoother as time goes on. From the beginning, he’s tried to limit as many variables as possible. Right now, he uses mostly close-up shots of what he’s doing and doesn’t speak directly to the camera — he edits the footage and adds voice-over narration afterward.
“I have plans to push that forward and expand a little bit more — bring my personality into the videos now as I’m getting more comfortable with the editing process,” he says.
“I’d post more videos, but work is a priority for me. I still love what I do.”