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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Univ makes foodie YouTube clips

Published: January 20, 2012
Section: News

Brandeis administrators Kathryn Howell and Shannon Hunt recently shot webisodes for “Food New England,” a video channel that launched as a beta channel on YouTube in mid-November.

“Food New England” is produced by Robert Mighty, who also directed the show when it was aired on television.

When “Food New England” was featured on Channel 5, celebrity chefs, such as Todd English and Ming Tsai, taught viewers the culinary arts.

Now, home cooks have flooded “Food New England” with their skills and cooking techniques. Howell is one of these Internet personalities.

“Knowing that I am comfortable on-camera as well as in the kitchen, Robert [Mighty] asked me to sign on,” Howell said in a university press release.

Howell became passionate about cooking when she chose to bake a few cakes with her mother from her mother’s childhood baking book. She has also worked as an actress, performing for the Charles and the Gloucester Stage Company.

“As an actress it’s not easy just ‘being me’ in front of the camera. I’m used to folks telling me what I need to be and not just be myself, so this was actually an interesting challenge,” Howell said.

Howell has shot one webisode, where she teaches viewers how to make shortbread cookies. In the process of working on her webisode, Howell recommended Hunt to “Food New England.”

“On my webisode, I made garlic linguine with asparagus and pine nuts, which is a great meal for every-day eating.

It’s fun to make fancy dishes, but on a day-to-day basis, people don’t always have the time or will to spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen, and the recipe on the webisode takes just about a half hour, including prep,” Hunt said in a press release.

Hunt describes that her expertise in cooking and baking, however, were rather poor as a child. She describes a time when she tried to bake a pound cake, but instead nearly burned down the house.

“I became much better at baking as I got older, but I didn’t really get excited about cooking until I came to Brandeis back in 2001,” Hunt said.

As an administrator in the English department, Hunt became close acquaintances with many graduate students, many of whom were solid home cooks.

She credits them for igniting a desire to learn more about food and for building her cooking skills and knowledge base.

“I think the best part of having a show on “Food New England” is showing other people that if I can cook, they can cook,” Hunt said.