10?’s with Instagram chef, influencer and presenter, What Willy Cook
What Willy Cook makes some of the most interesting and amusing cooking-based content on Instagram. We caught up with Willy, hitting him with our unique blend of 10 Questions – a pinch of serious and a squeeze of casual. Don’t be afraid to reheat this one.
First and foremost, your style of Instagram cooking video is very… different. Where did you get the inspiration for the lofi approach?
I think that subconsciously I was influenced by Big Cook Little Cook when I used to do all the green screen stuff. It started out lo-fi because I didn’t really know how to edit at all so I was sort of just teaching myself and if I couldn’t do something I’d just Google it and watch a YouTube video. The more I learned how to do things, the less I fancied trying to make the videos look fancier. I think it works how it is. Word Art is funny although I’ve not really been using it as much recently!
Your content series with our mates at MLB is the collab we didn’t realise we needed. What’s important to you when partnering up with a brand?
I didn’t really know I needed it either! They reached out about me hosting a food-based baseball show a couple of years ago and I thought it would be a good idea to test out my presenting abilities at the time – which was really why I went for it. I didn’t know anything about baseball then! I know a bit more now and I suppose that makes me a better fit than I was when we started working together.
For me the most important things when partnering up with a brand is really whether it’s a product that I actually use/consume or would use, or whether it‘s an opportunity for me to learn and improve on presenting and things like that. For example I love Hellman‘s mayo so when they reached out I was like GO ON THEN. Jameson whiskey is a brand that I work with a lot and I also drink it so it doesn‘t feel too gratuitous. I‘ve rejected Heinz several times as I refuse to promote their mayo. I don‘t like it.
INTEGRITY (especially with mayo).
Something dear to our hearts is condiments, especially around our tiny lunch table. What one condiment would you take with you to the desert island?
With the cost of living crisis and the rising prices of food, can you could give us one quick, easy (but actually delicious) budget recipe/non-stressipe?
Hot oil noodles are always good. Get those packet udon noodles and loosen them up with boiling water. Heat up a good load of neutral oil, maybe like four tablespoons worth. Grate garlic and ginger into a bowl, some salt and pepper, MSG, maybe some chilli, peanuts, coriander etc. Anything you like really and then pour the hot oil all over those things and mix with the noodles.
This recipe is also great if you replace the hot oil with a load of peanut butter (crunchy obviously) and some boiling water to loosen it up.
Can you give us your most controversial food opinion?
I absolutely hate baked beans but I’ve recently eaten them a couple of times so I think my hatred is a bit unjustified these days.
However I hear it is quite controversial to say that I massively prefer spaghetti hoops to baked beans.
In your opinion, what’s the best pub to get a pint of Guinness in London?
I went to Dublin recently and hadn’t really drunk much Guinness before that. Big fan of it now but I’d say people probably take it a bit too seriously. It’s never going to be as good anywhere else as it is in Ireland is it? Haven’t found my spot for the best of a bad bunch Guinnesses yet.
Loads more food and maybe a book. I’d like to present a TV show if it was possible and I want to break the world record for most crisps eaten ever.
A really fucking extravagant meal out with my mates with loads of wine and cocktails. In tuxedos.
Well usually me and my editor Alex sit down and think up stuff we hate and love about food and things surrounding food and then just pick one and decide to write a song about it. It never really takes that long to do the lyrics especially if it’s a parody of another already written song.
It can take a full morning or so to write something from scratch but we both really enjoy it so it’s become something that doesn‘t take too long! We have been known to write and record two songs in a day!
Finally, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Ainsley Harriott. Kiss, marry, avoid?
Swerve Gordon. Marry Jamie. Kiss Ainsley.
Will Hughes aka What Willy Cook is a chef who turned his passion for eating into something productive – creating an Instagram page with over 200k followers. He also regularly works with local and international brands on food collaborations and sponsored content including Mob Kitchen and MLB Europe as well as founding Saucy Buns burger company with Taster Kitchens.