Wild Cookbook: Tradition with a Twist | Sunday Observer

Wild Cookbook: Tradition with a Twist

20 December, 2020

In the competitive world of content creation, it is practically impossible to stand out amongst the ocean of content creators, all trying their hardest, vying for relevance. However, some creators can find a niche, that untouched bit of content they can call their own to cultivate their audience, such as Wild Cookbook, an up-and-coming YouTuber which innovated the unique combination of a cooking channel and a nature vlogging channel.

We got the chance to speak to Charith Silva, the man behind Wild Cookbook, who explained to us his goals with his channel and his experience as a brand-new YouTuber.

Q: How would introduce your channel to the uninitiated?

A: My channel is Wild cookbook, it is about exploring different aspects of culinary art with the beauty of nature.

Q: What would you say is the real purpose behind it? What sets it apart from other cooking channels?

A: In this fast paced and hectic world people do not have the luxury or the time to commune with nature. Nor are many people exposed much to traditional cooking anymore. So,I wanted to create content combining traditional and primitive cooking methods with the beauty of nature. Many people will be able to enjoy what they do not get to experience through this channel. It will be good for mental relaxation as well which I believe is something really needed nowadays. I also want to take the beauty of my country and our traditional culinary styles to the world through these videos.

Q: What has your experience been so far as a brand-new content creator. What has the feedback and response been like?

A:I had doubts about whether this would be successful when I started it. Building an audience is really challenging due to the high competition in the YouTube platform these days. It has just been around a month and I have gotten much more feedback and responses than I thought I would. I believe people will love this even more in the future.

Q: Do you make these videos on your own? Or do you have a team which helps?

A: While I am the one who came up with this concept and created the scripts, I do have friends who help me to make these videos.

Q: You do not seem to include a written recipe for your cooking videos, nor is it narrated. Is this a purposeful creative choice? Are your videos not meant to be practical guides?

A:Yes, all my videos do not contain any narration or a recipe guide. I believe this is what sets my channel apart from other cooking channels. We have done it this way on purpose, so that the audience will be able to enjoy the content fully without the natural sounds being taken out of the experience. I believe this way is more relaxing and satisfying. But we have also included all the ingredients and the methods in English in the closed captions (cc/subtitles) for anyone who’s interested in knowing.

Q: What gave you the inspiration to start your channel? Did you model it after any particular channels?

A :I have been working in the culinary field for a few years and I always wanted to do something different. I believe my love for nature and cooking is what made me come up with this concept.

Also, I was brought up on a small island down south. Most people do not get to experience the life I had. When I had the idea of creating this kind of content, I saw that there are foreign channels focusing on the different primitive cooking methods and nature.

I got inspired by those and knew I wanted to create content using Sri Lankan traditional cooking to bring that to the world.

Q: How do you choose the locations for shooting? Is it all in your area? Do you go travelling for the purposes of the videos or is your channel a result of your travelling?

A:Yes, I am currently shooting these videos in my village and one other village close to mine. I was unable to do in any other locations due to the Covid- 19 situation in the country.

Q: Some dishes you’ve made videos on, like squid ink string hoppers or octopus kalupol curry, aren’t exactly common recipes. How do you come up with some of your more out-there recipes?

A: Yes, I always loved to experiment with new recipes by combining traditional and modern flavours. For example, squid ink is used for food in many cultures, especially for the pastas and I thought “Why not for the string hoppers?”. And kalupol curry is a famous dish in sri Lanka since ancient times. I wanted to give it a try with octopus.

Q: Do you feel your outdoors nature-oriented videos are hindered by Covid- 19? Is it difficult for you to make these videos now that it is discouraged to travel?

A: Covid-19 affected my channel negatively I would say. I wanted to start this at the beginning of this year but because of the curfew and safety issues I could not until now. As these are outdoor nature - oriented videos I had to consider the safety guidelines while shooting as well. And because of Covid-19, I could not shoot in any other locations as it is hard to travel.

Q: How do you expect your channel to evolve in the future? Will you stick to your current format or will you diversify more?

A: Yes,I want to diversify more. I would like to explore the different culinary styles in the more exquisite places of my country and will bring the best possible content to my audience.

Q: Do you have any advice for anyone who would also like to start out as a YouTuber?

A: I am still new to this, so I don’t think I’m mature enough to give any advice. But what I can say is that we should create and give the audience quality content. It should be something good, which people can take something out of and apply it applicable to their lives by watching.