Millennials, especially women, are eating up YouTube food videos.

Researchers at Millward Brown Digital, Firefly and Google have delved into how YouTube videos are fueling the foodie culture. They found that women 18-34 are especially consuming recipe videos online, spurring a 280% growth in food channel subscriptions over the last couple of years.

The common thread for millennials, even men and dads, is they want to consume recipes while on the go. That’s why most of the recipe videos are viewed over a smartphone.

Google research shows that many millennial moms are looking for creative twists to make meals more interesting and enticing for their family, while single millennial women are looking for special occasion meal recipes.

The one thing they have in common is they don’t view themselves as being such good cooks as their mothers or grandmothers. They are looking for instruction in an entertaining way to produce meals they can be proud of and everyone can enjoy.

One loyal viewer of food videos is our own Melissa St. Aude, arts and entertainment editor for PinalCentral/Casa Grande Dispatch. She has been regularly writing about recipes and food in the traditional print manner for years.

Now she is going digital herself.

This week she premiered her own food video on PinalCentral and plans to add this multimedia dimension to her presentation of food preparation with a unique approach.

There are more than 80,000 regular food video series available online, so Melissa has decided to be more of a reviewer rather than just another YouTube cook.

“The concept of these videos, which I’ve been calling Simple or Not Kitchen, is to review various online cooking videos and determine if they are simple or not,” she said. “Online cooking videos always look so easy online, and some of them are easy, but sometimes, the results the average home cook gets from following the videos is much different than expected.”

Every week, Simple or Not Kitchen will put an online cooking video to the test in a short, fun and engaging way, with the goal of educating audiences and entertaining them at the same time.

“My hope is that readers will become more engaged,” she said. “I’d love for readers to make suggestions of videos for Simple or Not Kitchen to put to the test.”

Melissa has six videos in the can, with three already finished and ready to go, while the others need some fine-tuning.

For the first batch of videos, a few neighborhood kids appear with Melissa to give the final verdict on whether the food tastes good and to help make the determination if the recipe was simple or not. They add a bit of entertainment to the videos too and make them a little more light-hearted than most cooking videos.

“I haven’t decided yet if the kids will be in all the videos,” Melissa said. “My hope is that the videos will become a bit more interactive and each one can have a guest (maybe not always a kid and not always my neighbors).”

The first video posted this week is for Korean egg bread. It will be followed by ratatouille and banana-stuffed French toast.

The videos range from 2-3 minutes long. Each video will have a companion article that will run on the Dispatch Food page on Tuesdays. Melissa won’t be including the list of ingredients in the videos, but the detailed recipe she follows will be in the article. Readers will know what website the original video comes from, such as or

Melissa creates the videos in her own kitchen at home and she is open to suggestions.

In one of the upcoming videos, three kids taste the ratatouille vegetable dish. One reluctant taster ends up covering his mouth and running off camera to jettison his mouthful. It was just like the party scene in “Big” in which Tom Hanks spits out caviar, then wipes his tongue with a napkin.

Melissa was caught off guard by the boy’s reaction.

“I thought it was a kid-friendly dish,” she said.

So, moms may want to suggest dishes for Melissa to try first on her guinea pig kids before they serve them at home to their own.


You can reach Melissa St. Aude at

You can reach Andy Howell at