Nieman Foundation at Harvard
America’s Test Kitchen, “the Consumer Reports of cooking,” wants to grow to new platforms
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Feb. 21, 2014, 10:40 a.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   February 21, 2014

Whenever a new form of online media comes along, it’s pilloried in some corners as insufficient for real content. Think blogs in 2002 (“It’s just guys eating Cheetos in their mothers’ basements!”) or Twitter circa 2009 (“You can’t say anything in 140 characters! #longform”). And we’ve seen the same sort of reaction with the rise of new short-form video networks like Vine and Instagram: “You can’t show anything real and valuable in 15 seconds!”

Changing people’s minds on this sort of thing usually requires a new set of people doing work that embraces the constraints of the form — while at the same time being undeniably professional and high quality. With that in mind, here’s the Dutch chef Bart van Olphen, who has started the world’s shortest cooking show, Fish Tales, on Instagram (via Kottke). In 15 seconds or less, Bart shows how to cook a complete seafood dish:

It helps that he’s making simple seafood dishes and not something old-line French — you probably couldn’t squeeze pâté en croûte into 15 seconds; Julia Child needed the full half-hour, after all — but even so, it’s a remarkable act of compression.

I have no idea what van Olphen’s business model is — he has a book for sale, and I imagine any notice he attracts for this could be turned into catering, teaching, or other kinds of work. But his little cooking show is evidence that you can build interesting things if you understand and use the limits of the form.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
America’s Test Kitchen, “the Consumer Reports of cooking,” wants to grow to new platforms
“We’d like to move to other platforms, particularly as we see the changes in how people consume television.”
A program from Poynter and ONA is helping foster a community of female leaders in digital media
The Women’s Leadership Academy provides camaraderie and concrete advice beyond a bundle of platitudes.
Come talk ad blockers with Nieman Lab and a set of experts in New York
We’re having our first event in New York City with industry leaders: Wednesday, December 2 at 6 p.m.
What to read next
How one blog helped spark The New York Times’ digital evolution
“I certainly had editors tell me that I shouldn’t be wasting my time on Bird Week. But that was the best part of City Room…We were like unsupervised children.”
572News outlets left and right (and up, down, and center) are embracing virtual reality technology
Among those experimenting is The Wall Street Journal, which plans to open source its 360-degree mobile video and VR technology and hopes to turn VR into more of a mainstay of its storytelling.
502Podcasting in 2015 feels a lot like blogging circa 2004: exciting, evolving, and trouble for incumbents
The same trends we saw a decade ago — professionalization on one hand, platformization on the other — sure seem to be playing out again.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Sacramento Press
The Daily Show
The Wall Street Journal
Seattle PostGlobe
Ars Technica
The Boston Globe
Voice of San Diego
The Guardian