I’ve always thought how SORTEDfood began was quite a public story, it turns out not everyone knows how we got started, so why not cover it now?!
Like any good story, we should start at the beginning…
The 4 of us (Barry, Ben, Jamie and Mike) met when we were 11 years old at Chancellor’s School in Hertfordshire, England.
We were part of a much larger group of friends that got particularly close in our final two years before splitting to go our separate ways to university or other ventures.
Amongst the friends training to be doctors, accountants, actors, health and safety experts etc, the four of us specifically went off to study/become:
Barry – photographer and ski instructor
Ben – chef
Jamie – marketing
Mike – teaching and music production
As with a lot of 18/19 year old guys, one of our favourite pastimes was drinking… so whenever we came home from uni for holidays etc we spent an unusual amount of time in our local pub drinking and swapping funny stories from our new and exciting lives.
On top of the standard drunken stories, one topic kept cropping up – food. We were all eating rubbish. And I mean real rubbish. The one ‘meal’ that went down in history was a frozen doner kebab I’d found in a supermarket near uni for some reason and decided it was worth trying! That was a big mistake!
Shocked by how little we knew about cooking, we started to exchange the few tips and recipes that we did have with each other. Obviously, Ben was training to be a chef and so had a few more tips and recipes up his sleeves than the rest of us.
When we all went back to uni a few weeks later, we were much better equipped to survive and started to impress some flatmates with our new found recipes and skills. In exchange they gave us some of their favourite recipes, which spurred us on to learn more and share more with other people.
At this point, Barry came up with the idea of harnessing the conversation and trying to grow it. Slowly but surely we all got involved in finding ways to reach more people and share more recipes and tips.
After a few experiments with self-published cookbooks, touring round universities in a burger van showing some of our best recipes and other adventures that could warrant their own blog post (did you know we brewed our own beer at one point?), we realised that a few of the fun videos we’d made and uploaded to YouTube were starting to get more views than just our mums watching!
We also noticed that we were getting comments from people that we didn’t know, asking us to make other recipes or giving us their own tips for how to make things.
The more videos we put up, the more the conversation grew and the more seriously we took it.
… And I suppose the rest is history!! 5.5 years later and there’s now almost 1.4 million people joining in this conversation, making it the largest cooking conversation on YouTube – and we honestly couldn’t be prouder!
Anyway, there’s a bit of an insight into our story… I can’t tell you all the sordid details otherwise you won’t buy our autobiography in 10 years time!! Haha!