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Under the Influence of … ‘lazy man recipe’ chef Jack Scalfani

Digital marketing company Influicity profiles the chef just as he surpasses 100,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel, which features recipes for the busy man.
May 12, 2014

StreamDaily and Influicity, a Toronto-based influencer marketing company that hooks brands up with YouTube’s rising stars have teamed up once again to celebrate a rising YouTube influencer.

Recently we chatted with chef and food enthusiast Jack Scalfani from Buena Park, California, whose lazy-man recipes, product reviews and down-to-earth personality have made him an influential voice in the food industry. On the weekend, he streamed his 100K episode – because he surpassed 100,000 subscribers – sponsored by Amazon’s Audible.com.

Name: Jack Scalfani

Category: Food, cooking, culinary products
Reach: 108,470
Influicity Score: 63*
YouTube: Cooking With Jack Show

What is it about food and cooking that makes you want to vlog about it?

My mom raised us on welfare and food stamps. She was a great mom and raised three boys all on her own. She loved food, and my whole life growing up, I never once went without meat, and I never once knew we were poor. She was amazing at making sure we had variety of things to eat.

She had to be thrifty and creative, it had to be quick and easy, but still taste good. That’s when I started to get into the lazy man recipes. I don’t want to warm up a microwave dinner, but I don’t want to bake bread from scratch. I’m a lazy guy, but I love good food and good flavors. I don’t like spending a lot of money.

What would you say is your target audience for your channel?

It’s the 90% of people that the Food Network doesn’t go after.

Have you collaborated with any brands?

There are two types. There’s the sponsor who pays for placement – and I let you know that they sponsored the show – but then when I review products, I usually pay for them. I let everyone know what people send to me. I am very open about it. I don’t get paid under the table.

Knife country USA just sent me an entire knife set for the show. Farberware has sent me their blender to try. I get products all the time, usually from independents rather than major companies. Now I’m getting into big sponsorships like Hulu Plus, Audible.com and GrubHub.

I try to partner with products and companies I believe in. I’m a huge Audible.com fan, from before Amazon bought them. I have to love whatever I talk about.

Do you review everything that is sent to you?

Sometimes I’ll put multiple items in a collaboration video, and I call it “Toys in the Kitchen.” If it is not something I would use, it is not something I would review on the show.

What goes into the process of making a new video? What sort of inspiration do you build off of?

The time of year is always important, or what I haven’t done in a while. Even things I have I never done, or just what sounds good. Every so often a recipe gets sent to me and I say, ‘Oh my goodness, I have to make this.’

Sometimes I’m just inspired by what people send me. Maybe it’s unique, or there’s an interesting ingredient. Some videos get done right away, but I am usually 3 to 4 episodes ahead of schedule. I try to stay ahead of the game.

Have you had any sort of culinary or video training?

Before I got into this business I did 7 years in radio, and before that, I did 7 years in nightclubs. I have been an entertainer in front of people my whole life, just hitting record is all I had to learn.

By being in front of the camera I have learned to be completely be myself, on the radio, in the nightclub and on YouTube. If you were to hang out with me all day and talk to me on the phone, it’s the same guy at the table waving his hands around talking.

What would you say is the key to building a great YouTube presence?

The key is audience engagement. They have to feel they are really connecting with you or they won’t come back. Build a relationship with everyone.

Influicity connects brands with influencers, to showcase their product, tell the brand story, and drive sales. The company’s marketplace enables brands to search, select, and purchase influencers/audiences with scale and simplicity.

*Used by clients when formulating pricing, the Influicity score takes into account YouTube subscribers, average views per video, comments, likes, and the quality of the subscriber accounts. This information is blended with data from Klout.com and Kred.com to produce a score between 1 and 100.

Interview as told to Michael Burton

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