Welcome back to our food column, Hot Links, where VICE employee Dan Meyer explores the neglected culinary stars of YouTube. Each week, Dan presents a selection of videos highlighting specific food themes, from amateur cooking to local restaurant commercials, elderly drinking buddies, kitchen disasters, to the infinite supply of odd YouTube wonders in the food category. We encourage you to fall into this culinary video k-hole, and include your own comments and contributions below.
I've always been very jealous of the winter habits of bears. Their ability to eat as much food as their bodies will allow, only to lie down and sleep until it's time to eat again, is my main motivation for living. The winter solstice is the time when most people—myself included—indulge in heavy meals and warming beverages to survive the arctic blast from Mother Nature. If you're in need of culinary inspiration to get through these next few months of anti-social temperatures, here's my selection of YouTube people who are using simple culinary concepts to achieve this communal theme of hibernation. Some readers might perceive the following food videos as disgusting offenses against humanity, but I think there's a truly mysterious sense of desire that's captured in this genre of absolute over-indulgence.
STUFZ Stuffed Burger Commercial
"Celebrity Chef" Brian Duffy is here to show us the plastic tool that will cram random ingredients in the middle of ground meat to make a stuffed hamburger. Typically, these would be defined as toppings, but sticking them inside the burger makes it easier to eat, I guess. Chef Brian's coy glances at the camera in the midst of grilling macaroni and cheese filled meat patties coupled with his flair for silver bracelets, gives a sort of Guy Fieri feel to this whole infomercial.
Cooking Under the Influence Scotch Eggs
Scotch eggs are a fried indulgence reserved for gluttons. Out of the millions of amateur YouTube chefs, Shawn has one of the most scattered approaches to teaching his internet audience how to cook Scotch eggs. Yes, his "show" has the obvious click-bait about cooking under the influence, but the circumstances—he is wearing a kilt in a dimly lit kitchen in Louisiana—outweigh the alcoholic aspect for the culinary viewer experience.
Hot Dog Boat and Tex-Mex Corn Dog Casserole
When I think about gorging myself sick, my mind often wanders over to hot dogs. This video contains Midwestern weiner recipes that would make Julia Child blush. The two lady hosts want to show you how to cook with tubes of meat when you're out in the wilderness, because we can all brush up on our survival skills in winter time. The production quality of the video gets really trippy because the sound is frequently out of sync to make you wonder if you are on Payote. All I know is that the phrase, "Grease the bottom of your dutch oven," is music to my ears.
Top Notch Thursday Gravy's Grill Free
I discovered this commercial for what appears to be some sort of bar or nightclub in South Carolina after typing "gravy on everything," in my YouTube search. Chef "Gravy" is the dude who is cooking your chicken and steak kebabs, beef hot dogs, and burgers, while taking orders and rapping at the "same damn time." He admits in his rap song—featured in the video— that he wants his 25 percent, but when he collects his money, he reinvests it into kitchen appliances. Once I started watching this entire commercial, I realized that this is the type of dining venue that will make you feel nauseated from the massive amounts of free food and booze you will get offered by Chef Gravy. There's no denying that you will leave wasted. This is the video you can play at your house when your stoned and hungry buddies are around as a way to motivate them to leave your house.
Eating Everything on the Menu on NCL
Considering that all food is gratis on cruise ships, this loving couple ordered everything on the menu at their cruise ship vacation dinner. They claim that it worked, but based off of the length of the video, all they have received is iced tea and a bowl of miso soup. I hope that they didn't experience the mysterious cruise ship Norovirus after their romantic meal.
Bacon Bowl—As Seen on TV
We are all aware of the current absurdity of America's bacon obsession. I can't help but be enamored by this miserable commercial that many of you have probably seen at home. The sound effects are outrageous—almost as outrageous as the concept they are selling. I don't really think I need to elaborate any more.
Flushing Turkey Broth, Tofu Spaghetti and Meatloaf
Warning: this is borderline pervert stuff. When I was searching for meatloaf scenes on YouTube, a classic hibernation food, I came across this shockingly well-populated genre of flushing food into porcelain toilet bowls. I've always known that using the toilet was a good way to get rid of finished food, but I wasn't expecting the host to have a quasi robot-meets-movie-trailer-voice, with a melancholy soundtrack in the background. Is that Joni Mitchell? A couple clicks from here, and you'll probably find sock and high heel videos involving toilets that you won't understand.
Coma Recovery 1st Hairy Crab Dinner
We often consider the term "food coma" as an obnoxious phrase that relates to the result of excessive eating, but here is an incredible YouTube genre, "first meals after comas," that I didn't know existed. It changes everything. This is an outlier on the proverbial hibernation theme, but it features some happy over-eating, a nice family atmosphere, and some calming music. Enjoy.