Tastemade Expands Food Programming to Include Animated, Scripted Series (Exclusive)

All the Pizza Still - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Tastemade

All the Pizza Still - Publicity - H 2016

Many of the studio's shows will premiere first on its Snapchat Discover channel before moving to other platforms.

Silent videos of hands turning recipes into beautiful final creations have proliferated the online video world. But digital producer Tastemade is taking a broader approach to food-related content. 

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based creator of web video is giving them just that with its newest slate of programming, which includes an animated series, several travel-centric shows and a short-form scripted project. "What gets lost in the stories of the hands-only recipes that are taking over the world — we do them too and there's a place for them — is that we also think there's a place for really great storytelling," says Tastemade programming chief Oren Katzeff

Beginning Monday, Tastemade will start to roll out several new shows, many of them testing formats that will be firsts for Tastemade. 8-Bit Cooking School, for example, will use the old-school, pixilated animation style to follow the travels of a chef as he captures ingredients from all over the world for his 8-bit meal. Alice in Paris, meanwhile, is a super short-form scripted series, telling the story of a Parisian food lover in just 90 seconds an episode. 

"We want to test these formats and see how the audience responds to them," says Katzeff. "We've done that throughout the history of Tastemade." 

Tastemade also is introducing several series that blend food and travel. One for the Road features the experiences of solo travelers, and The Tale of Kitto Katto explores the many Kit Kat flavors found throughout Japan. 

Meanwhile, All the Pizza will be devoted to the Italian invention; Grand Opening — Bondi Harvest will follow Australian chef Guy Turland as he turns a dilapidated cafe in Southern California into a new local hangout; Food Court will bring a culinary twist to courtroom TV; and All-Nighter will explore the best late-night eats. 

All told, Tastemade will release 80 episodes — equal to eight-and-a-half hours of content — through this programming slate.

The company, which has received backing from Scripps Networks Interactive, began as a network of food and travel talent on YouTube but now distributes its content across a wide network of platforms that generate a combined 1.5 billion monthly views. Many of the upcoming shows will debut on Tastemade's Snapchat Discover channel before being repurposed for other platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Apple TV. For example, after an initial run, some episodes of All the Pizza will find their way to Facebook. And One for the Road will be extended for longer viewing via Tastemade's Apple TV app. 

"What we really wanted to do through these shows is deliver a great experience wherever our audience is," says Katzeff, noting that each show should be tailored to the platform it's on. "We've never launched a slate this way, optimizing versions based on platform."