The SAVEUR Blog Awards are here, and from a pool of tens of thousands of reader nominations we've selected 72 finalists in 12 categories. Now it's your turn to vote for a winner. Cast your ballot here early and often; you can vote as many times as you like by September 6th. Today: meet the finalists for our Best Food Video category, in their own words.
These are the web series making us hungry, featuring travel across the world, adventure in your home kitchen, and some innovative ways to appreciate the aesthetics of our favorite ingredients.
The Series: It's all about the ingredients. The Chef Project mission is to help and encourage people to discover more about the foundations of their food prep and cooking. Entertaining videos featuring celebrated chefs, highlight a new building block in each post. Finding out more about specific ingredients and how to use them helps connect us with our food, and the more we know, the more confident we feel in the kitchen.
The Creators: A long relationship of making films, combined with a shared passion for food, story telling and compelling images led founders Robin Miller and Rob Quartly to create the Chef Project. A sense of curiosity, and a desire to learn drives them to explore and share the world of food around us – and have some fun while doing it!
The Series: People's Republic of Fermentation is a video series exploring fermentation in China, produced by Sandor Katz and his Foundation for Fermentation Fervor. China is known to have the world's most ancient and varied fermentation practices, though there is little information in Western languages on specific techniques. Given the growing interest in fermentation in the West, we were interested, and we imagined others would be interested, in learning more about China's vibrant fermentation traditions. This series of eight videos is our first effort—in a project we view as ongoing—to document what we have been learning.
The Creators: Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist and author of the books Wild Fermentation and the Art of Fermentation. A self-taught experimentalist, the New York Times calls him "one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene." Check out his website. Mara King is a native of Hong Kong, a chef as well as co-founder and COO of the Boulder, Colorado fermented foods company Ozuké, where she nurtures billions of invisible friends every day. Mattia Sacco Botto is an Italian filmmaker based in Amsterdam. His work focuses on the culinary traditions of indigenous communities around the world, especially in China and India where he has lived for 5 years.
The Series: Betty's blog celebrates the mingling of Eastern and Western flavors, drawing inspiration on her own Shanghai heritage as well as influences from her travels. Her blog is known for the photography, documenting both the final dish as well as the microstories of making food, the in-between moments and human involvement that make food so fascinating. Betty is also known for her unique stop-motion food videos, which have been featured by Instagram, quickly and creatively showcasing the adventures of food being made, such as latticing pie, wrapping dumplings, or forming babka.
The Creator: Betty Liu loves photographing stories behind the food, drawing on her experience as a wedding photographer and her education in architecture and design. She teaches photography workshops around the world, delving into local culinary rituals and sharing her perspectives on capturing food on camera. She currently lives in Boston with her husband and her big goofy dog, Annie, documenting love stories and food, exploring all New England has to offer.
The Series: I think the best reason to travel is to eat local food, and the best way to experience a culture is by interacting with others around a meal. My goal is to share local food and authentic eating adventures with you, so that we can learn more about another culture—the differences and similarities—and realize the beauty of how diverse the world and its people are. My blogs and videos are not only meant to inspire you, but to provide practical tips so you can have similar food experiences when you travel.
The Creator: Mark Wiens is a full-time travel eater and video blogger who is passionate about sharing local authentic food experiences. Originally born in the United States, Mark grew up in France, DR Congo, and Kenya, before returning to the USA for university. After graduating in 2008, he bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok to discover the food. He's been eating his way around the world, while blogging and making videos, ever since.
The Series: Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, my mom kept me busy in the kitchen at an early age. When four o'clock rolled around each day, she assigned me a different task to help her prep dinner, setting me on a course that lead me to share my passion for Japanese cooking on my blog Just One Cookbook. With my two beautiful children as the taste testers, and my husband as the cameraman, we work as a family out of our home in the SF Bay Area to inspire people around the world who love Japanese cuisine and culture.
The Blogger: Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan, her mother kept her busy in the kitchen at an early age. When four o'clock rolled around each day, she assigned Nami a different task to help her prep dinner, setting her on a course that lead her to share my passion for Japanese cooking on her blog Just One Cookbook. With her two beautiful children as the taste testers, and her husband as the cameraman, they work as a family out of their home in the SF Bay Area to inspire people around the world who love Japanese cuisine and culture.
The Blogger: Aran Goyoaga is an author, food stylist and photographer based in Seattle. Her food blog Cannelle et Vanille is a 2-time James Beard Award finalist. Aran grew up in the Basque Country in Northern Spain in a family of professional pastry chefs and cooks. Her love of food began in her maternal grandparents' pastry shop and in the fields of her paternal grandparents' farm. Aran worked as a professional pastry chef for years before turning into food styling and photography.
She is the creator os the video series “A Cook’s Remedy” as well as the author of “Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking” (Little, Brown & Co), which was named one of the top 6 cookbooks of 2012 on Good Morning America. Aran’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, GOOP, Jamie Magazine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Martha Stewart, Coastal Living, Fine Cooking, In Style, CNN, Miami Herald, Living Without, Oprah.com, ELLE Gourmet, Design*Sponge, Sweet Paul magazine, PBS.com, Daily Candy, NBC Latino, Cooking Channel and more. Aran works out of her downtown Seattle studio where she offers photography and styling workshops as well as communal dinners and collaborative projects.