Episode 24: Emmy Award Winning Tastemade FoodTuber Frankie Celenza

Frankie Cooks

Frankie is a host for Tastemade on YouTube and Snapchat. Tastemade is Food Network 2.0,  recently receiving $40 million in seed funding from Goldman Sachs. With the death of cable, companies like Tastemade are revolutionizing the way we consume media.

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The Full Shebang

Frankie’s new show “Frankie’s World” launched this year, it’s the project he mentioned that’s sort of a cross between Bill Nye and Tim & Eric, but in a food show. He’s the Alton Brown of our generation, with a way better sense of humor.
Food TV shows usually feature Hollywood personalities that just read off recipes, bringing little-addedd value to the dish. Frankie has an amazing perspective to his cooking shows. His belief – bring mystery and storytelling to your cooking, “tell why and go deeper”- that way it becomes about the experience, bringing the history behind the dish not simply following a recipe brings the pressure off “it’s the chord progression, and you’re improvising over it”, Frankie says in the episode.

From Music to Video Production

Frankie went to music school at NYU Tisch School of the Arts where he studied music (he even has a sound credit on the first episode of Mad Men). During college breaks, he visited a family friend in Italy where he practiced the Italian he had been learning in school, and watched the locals cook amazing Italian dishes. Frankie would go back to school and cook for his friends, bringing the stories and ingredients from Italy back to his New York. Eventually, enough people he didn’t know told him he should film himself cooking so he gave it a shot.

Frankie Cooks was his first TV show, where he used iMovie, a $99 digital camera, and floodlights from Home Depot to produce the show with his friends. During that time, he bounced around working video editing jobs with outlets like Radical Media and the New York Times while producing jazz albums as well.

Tastemade found Frankie through his YouTube, and his channel took off from there.

From Money Diva

“Making a meal for someone is one of the sweetest things you can do, its therapeutic, it gives you time to think in your own mind”

Hustle Round

Frankie’s go to comfort food is spaghetti aglio e olio.

Frankie says an activity he has learned a lot from is bicycle racing

In response to listener question from Elliot Roth @ThatMrE “If you could pick a dish to be your patronus, your spirit animal, what would it be?”

His response: Bucatini with Amatriciana sauce claiming that it was the single dish that led Frankie to cooking.

A lot of Italian restaurants are donating proceeds to the town of Amatrice to help rebuild the town after the devastating earthquake. Order an Amatriciana dish and ask them to donate! (for reference) “Italy hit by four powerful earthquakes in four hours”

Music wise, Frankie is really into Queen right now. (side note he went to high school with Lana Del Ray, and played in a middle school band with Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers).

Weekly Callout:

Rachel Tipograph founder of MikMak


“when that many people you don’t know validate your project, you’re on to something”
“the future depends on many things, but mostly on you” my dad gave me this card right when I was ready to quit.
“You can learn anything you want now, without school”
“give the why in the recipe, not just the recipe”
“if most of us focus on how to make the world a better place, vs how someone else makes the world a worse place, we would be better off” – Bored Elon Musk
“Block out the stuff that is designed to put you in pause, and keep moving forward”
“You need to see through the bullshit, see everything from every side”
“Go do something about it”
“25-33% of the groceries we buy go directly into the garbage” We need smart inventory tracking!
“Im trying to help people not have fear in cooking”
“The US is the biggest and the fastest melting pot”
“Simplicity is the ultimate complexity”
“1% sailinity, 1000ml of water for 100g of pasta with 10g of salt”
“Be grateful that you have opportunities”
“The future depends on a lot of things but mostly on you”
“stagnation in the 21st century is a death sentence”
“TV is dangerous” its dangerous in a time wasting mode and a psychological mode, its designed to be addictive
“Talk 20% of the time and listen 80%”
“every experience is relevant expereince”
“Your kitchen can take you anywhere, anytime based on the dish you make”
@Frankie Cooks on Insta, Snapchat, Facebook, and Tastemade.com. His new show Frankie’s World (both entertaining and educational)

Shoutout to J-Buff and SoHHL for the beats!

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