YouTube star gets UCB's "kitchen nightmares" cooking

November 2016

Eight self-confessed “kitchen nightmares” got a cookery crash course when YouTube star and former UCB student Ben Ebbrell returned to his old stomping ground. 

Ben, who founded with three friends, now presents to an audience of more than 2.2 million subscribers worldwide. 

Together with fellow presenter Barrie Taylor, he spent the day at UCB discovering why more young people avoid cooking as part of a wider project sponsored by the Co-op. 

The supermarket chain recently commissioned research which examined the state of cooking in the UK. Its findings included the fact that only 16 per cent of 16 to 34-year-olds learnt to cook at school, with 48 per cent relying on their parents. Shockingly, it revealed 24 per cent of 20 to 34-year-olds do not think they will ever learn to cook. 

Ben, who studied Culinary Arts Management (CAM) at UCB, invited a group of the University’s less-able cooks to spend time in the kitchen learning how to make a simple chicken stir-fry. 

He said: “It was great to return to UCB after so many years and still see so many familiar faces, although I’m kind of jealous of all of the food science facilities that are now available to students.

“As for investigating the #CookingGap, is was brilliant to chat to and learn from students, both culinary and otherwise, what they know about cooking, who or where they learnt from, and how or if they now put their cooking skills into practice. It was super informative and useful.”

UCB’s current CAM students got a chance to pick Ben’s brains. Lucy Dengate was one of 20 undergraduates who quizzed Ben on everything from careers advice to his YouTube success. 

She said: "It made me realise that you can do anything you want if you work hard for it. 

“It was good to see another UCB student doing so well, and to be able to talk to him about his career."