In Indian society, you hear of celebrity chefs who have a dedicated following after working in the F&B industry for many, many years. They often start from zero but leverage the opportunities given to them along the way. Training plays a big role, and that is why top-grade chefs must go through the big grind to be able to make valuable contributions in the industry. But successfully creating one’s own value, in spite of having minimal training, is also quite commendable. Launched in April 2018, Village Cooking Channel (VCC), an all-men Tamil cookery channel, has been credited for its suave production style. It has also received many accolades for its boisterous energy. But the team members have declined to work on any other commercial projects, and hope to grow subscriber numbers on the cooking programme by continuing to post videos. Their content endeared them to everyone who came to watch what was cooking in their large traditional vessels, while the men carry out their respective duties around the pots and pans.  


More than one arrow in the quiver  
 

In their village of Chinna Veeramangalam in Pudukkottai district, the VCC team shares their local cuisine with people from a personal perspective which rings clear. This has created an impact in a very big way. Let’s talk about the factors which made VCC a hit:  
 

1. Cooking Style  


What makes this show so different from the others is the fact that so many unique voices are brought on one platform - thanks to one man, Subramaniam, who knew the basics of web design. Some other teammates have knowledge of regional cuisine. These six men on the team clocked in more than 1 crore followers recently, earning them the prestigious Diamond Play Button from Youtube. VCC team is made of — Subramanian (M Phil in Commerce), Murugesan, Periyathambi (Caterer), Tamilselvan (M Phil in nanotechnology), Ayyanar (B.Com), Muthumanickam (Catering). In the show, they use traditional equipment such as ammi kallu and firewood stoves to show their choice of food, which includes dishes as termites fried with puffed rice, acha murukku, mutton bone marrow, crabs, snails, octopus and fish. They also made Arabian mutton curry, panipuri and rosogollas, which hail from other regions.


    
 

2.  Shooting Style 
 

The recipes are shot in the open surroundings so that the views of the village are not missed out from the frame. A lot of people have admired the scenery, and the swooshing sounds from when the cooking takes place, and the action is captured as it is. Their verbal exchange, process, and the expert commentary of the grandfather (thatha) are very well-received.


    


3.  Community Work  

 

The food that they cook is often served to homeless people. Even politician Rahul Gandhi commended the hard work and dedication of the team and was seen enjoying a serving of mushroom biryani which he had taken part in cooking along with them. 


  


The team has a generous earning per month from their cookery show, and have even donated a huge sum out of it to Tamil Nadu’s chief minister’s COVID-19 relief fund.


The story is inspiring. Not all was easy in the beginning, of course. But with time, the quality of work improved by leaps and bounds, which had paid off well for them.