By happy accident NMR was all set to release this YouTube Nextup Creator Profile on rising star in the social media world, Jack Scalfani, when it turns out, on the very same day, this amateur chef just got his own line of sauces into Walmart (yeah, that Walmart!). So I guess Jack is something of a rising star in the food world as well.
There is something of a fatherly appeal to Jack’s style of cooking — it isn’t manicured, neat or always perfect, but it’s real and it always looks delicious (mostly). See, Jack doesn’t do practice runs or have some casserole hiding in the oven that has been professionally prepared and smeared down with Vaseline to give it a “glow.” What you see is what you get, when it comes to the Jakatak way on his YouTube channel Cooking With Jack. And fantastically, the same can be said for the pleasant and honest answers he served up when I fired some really random questions in his direction.
If his sauces — currently available in BBQ, spicy BBQ and teriyaki are have as good as his interviewee skills and his YouTube channel, I’d say some amazing things are in store for Mr. Scalfani.
You are “Jakatak69” — tell me the “69” is because of the sex position and not something like your birth year …
Jack Scalfani: I launched my YouTube channel before I even thought I’d do anything with it. So, “Jakatak” was taken. I wanted a number I would remember. 69 came into my head — not trying to refer to sex positions, just a number that’s easy to remember. Then the channel took off and now people always ask me about the “69” and why. YouTube does not let you change a channel URL unfortunately.
Why is yours the best cooking show on the Internet?
I am the only person who cooks things the first time. I am like you — trying it out. Sometimes it comes out wrong or not perfect and that is what make my show so “REAL.” I also do honest product reviews. I don’t accept money for any reviews. Farberware sent me their new blender that was coming to Walmart for the holidays. I told them I would be brutally honest. They were cool with it, and it did get a good review. But if I don’t like something, I’m going to say it. I have to; my viewers need to trust me.
Regionally, who has the best cooking in the United States?
New York and California have the best variety, but I believe the South is the best with their real down home cooking.
How did you get onto YouTube in the first place?
I started doing cooking tips on YouTube to help promote my line of sauces, and it worked. I now have my BBQ sauce, Hot BBQ sauce and Teriyaki sauce going into 180 Walmarts this April all because they knew my show and allowed me to go to the home office and present my sauces. The sauces are called:
THE BEST BBQ SAUCE YOU’LL EVER TASTE
THE BEST HOT BBQ SAUCE YOU’LL EVER TASTE
THE BEST TERIYAKI SAUCE YOU’LL EVER TASTE
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It’s got to be burgers. I can have a burger 1 million different ways, including wrapped in lettuce. I never get tired of experimenting with different flavors. I just created a chipotle ketchup today, and it totally made the burger amazing.
If you had to get rid of a dead body, how would you do it?
Definitely incinerate it. It’s the only guarantee that it can’t be identified (sorry. the Italian in me just came out) …
This is like a commercial break for you to quickly plug that you have your own line of sauces.
Buy my sauces at http://TheBestSauces.com (was that quick enough?).
What is one surprisingly handy cooking tip for amateurs?
Always prepare every item before starting. The French call it “mise en plus”; it means “everything in place” Do not start cooking until everything is diced, cut, stripped, cleaned or separated. It makes for flawless cooking.
How are you going to use the YouTube NextUp program to better your vlog?
I will take what I learned to analyze my analytics, engage my audience in more creative ways and make use of ALL the tools YouTube provides in posting a video.
What is the most embarrassing moment of your life?
When I was a radio DJ, I hosted a trip to Cancun with the local bowling league of 100 people. We all went for food and drinks. I got a little drunk. About 10 of us were walking back to the hotel, and as I’m talking to my wife (girlfriend at the time), I walked face first into a stop sign. I hit the sign so hard that it made that warping metal sound as it flew back and forth for about two minutes. My face was cut and bleeding. All I saw was my leftover burger smashed in front of me on the ground. I was so upset — that was the best burger in Mexico. Everyone was dying with laughter. I will never forget that day, because my wife cracks up every time she TELLS PEOPLE THE STORY!
You’re a sports fan — what would you say if I said the Denver Broncos were going to win the Super Bowl next year?
I’d say that Peyton Manning is the luckiest man alive. He truly should have retired after two neck surgeries. I still worry about him and still think he should leave the game on top.
Out of YouTube’s thousands of creator channels, 30 promising creators are picked every season to participate in the YouTube NextUp Creator program — a sort of Hogwarts Academy for the very best of the YouTube best. They spend a week training at the YouTube Creator Space in Los Angeles, attending seminars, learning advanced filming techniques and interacting with some of the YouTube greats. In short, it’s a pretty cool honor. Since YouTube thinks they’re worthy, NMR thinks you should know about them.
So we’re featuring the Winter 2013 class of Nextup participants — 2 a day for the next 15 days. Learn about these fresh faces, love their content and then subscribe to their channels, because these are the next generation of YouTube innovators.
Follow Jack at: