Is he a chef? Is he an instagram influencer? Well all we know is that he has quite a few followers and knows how to whip up some quick, easy and tasty grub!
Turning his passion for eating into something productive, Will spent his time during lockdown to create a food page to help keep track of dishes he’s made. With cooking being something anyone can do, naturally the stage was set for someone to fill a gap to make simple easy meals that anyone is able to do at home.
We reach out to Will ahead of our collaboration with adidas Originals to talk all things food and how his career took off the way it has.
Footpatrol: Will welcome to Footpatrol Discussions! How have you been?
Will: I’ve been good, not doing too badly considering these lockdown rules.
FP: For our food enthusiasts could you share with us a bit about your backstory on how you go to where you are now?
W: Well basically I liked cooking and I was cooking a lot at the beginning of 2020 so I set up an Instagram account to post pictures of the food I was making and then just as the (first) lockdown came I thought I’d try a video. It was fun so I did a couple more. Eventually I was furloughed so I spent my time making videos every day and then MOB decided to share them so here we are now!
FP: Has cooking been something that your family brought you up on or was this something you discovered a passion for yourself?
W: Not especially but I was always into food growing up. Everyone likes a good meal, but I wasn’t massively into cooking until I was a bit older. I probably started trying to cook properly when I was in secondary school but not in the slightly obsessive way I am with food now. During sixth form and uni I would cook a lot and try new things but when I moved into my current flat I think that’s when making dinner became the most important part of every day and I just got way more into it.
FP: What about the idea for WhatWillyCook? We have all been watching it and not only trying to make some of the dishes but had a laugh too, it’s very comical!
W: Many thanks! I guess the point is that it’s not a serious “how to” guide to cooking, you’re meant to be having fun whilst cooking at home and I know a lot of people find it really stressful, so I guess that’s the vibe. Saying that though the idea at first was not to do videos I just thought of that as a name for an account where I’d just post/keep track of nice bits I’d cooked. It’s just gotten a bit bigger than that, I’m glad it gives people a laugh though.
FP: Did you see this career path taking off the way it has for you?
W: Not even a little bit but I’ve just quit my job so I guess it is a career now, just going to see where it goes.
FP: As a big foodie yourself where do you get the inspiration for your dishes?
W: I follow good people who fill me with big old inspiration, there are so many people doing cool food stuff on Instagram, it gets a bad rep as a platform sometimes; with influencers posting teeth whitening products and all that jazz, but once you sift through the rubbish you get some real gems. I watch a lot of food programmes as well, especially stuff on YouTube. Matty Matheson’s YouTube bits are always great and there’s loads of rubbish quality Keith Floyd shows that I thoroughly enjoy. What that stuff lacks in picture quality it more than makes up for in just being fucking excellent.
FP: What about the videos and social content do you do that all yourself as well?
W: I do all of the bits myself yeah. My mate gave me a copy of Final Cut Pro and I just sort of worked out how to edit throughout the first few weeks of the lockdown. I like it that way, just being able to get everything done like the editing, effects and stuff. It will maybe get a bit better as I learn how to do things better but for now I think the phrase is “Lo-fi”.
FP: Do you have a significant time in your career that you always look back to and think about how good of a moment it was?
W: When big Ben from MOB first contacted me wanting me to do a video for them. That was a good moment because I’d followed them for ages and even emailed to see if I could work for them just because I wanted to work in food-media-production-whatever. They posted that first video and then I gained about three thousand followers in a day so I was kind of like “that’s nice, people like what I’m doing”.
FP: For any younger enthusiasts, do you have any words of wisdom you would pass on to them for encouragement?
W: Erm. I guess just if you have an idea to do something then just go for it and see what happens. Without the spare time in the lockdown this wouldn’t have happened so I feel like the circumstances were odd and often people don’t have so much spare time to work on this kind of thing. However it definitely wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t decided to make a video first and post it on the interwebs. So yeah, just go for it whatever it is unless it’s something really dangerous, in that case at least wear a helmet.
FP: Where do you see yourself in the future, would you like to take this into a high octane kitchen or keep going with the route that you’re currently following?
W: I don’t know if high octane kitchens are my thing. I like cooking in my little kitchen, just cracking on like that is good, but I would like a better (larger) kitchen. I’m working on doing a pop up thing for sure so people can sample my food. I want to keep it nice and relaxed, pre orders and all that. I like minimal stress levels at all times if possible when it comes to cooking, far from what you get mid-service in a restaurant kitchen.
FP: Well Will it’s been so good to meet you man! Before we let you go is there anything you would like to share to the Footpatrol readers?
W: I’d like to share my recipes and hope people give some of them a go and then in turn they can share pictures of their creations with me, and we can all be happy and full of nice food. That’s some premium sharing right there.