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Buzzfeed's Tasty Video Recipes Appoints San Diego Chef To Talent Program

August 20, 2018

As part as BuzzFeed's move to expand its super popular video recipe series Tasty into an original series, the company has appointed a culinary team to drive the brand's expansion, including world-famous chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson as its first-ever Executive Chef-in-Residence to oversee a team of eight additional chefs that include San Diego's own Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, Executive Chef/Partner of Liberty Station’s El Jardin restaurant and Top Chef and Top Chef Mexico alum.

Ranging in backgrounds from James Beard-nominated chef JJ Johnson to rising digital talent, the diverse group of eight chefs appointed by Buzzfeed will drive the brand’s biggest expansion yet into original series and new formats, building on Tasty’s growing slate of programming on Facebook Watch and YouTube.

"The Tasty Talent Program marks a crucial next step in the evolution of the brand," said Ashley McCollum, Tasty’s General Manager. "In today’s competitive media landscape, a lasting digital brand needs four key elements to realize its full potential: scale, brand recognition, ad effectiveness and talent. After turning an innovative video recipe format into a global food brand, Tasty is expanding further into episodic shows with a exciting group of chefs who will bring diverse, fresh, and often underrepresented points of view to the food world.”

In addition to Samuelsson, the Tasty chefs include acclaimed Harlem chef and restaurateur JJ Johnson, whose restaurant FIELDTRIP will open in Harlem this fall; Kanchan Koya, a mother and Harvard Biomedical Sciences PhD who explores the science of spice through her platform Spice Spice Baby; and emerging chefs from the Tasty team, including Alix Traeger, Alexis deBoschnek, Rie McClenny, and Vaughn Vreeland. San Diego chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, who opened El Jardin in Liberty Station earlier this summer and was a contestant on Top Chef Mexico, followed directly by the most recent run of Bravo’s Top Chef Season 15, will also be a part of the team.

Before joining Rise & Shine Restaurant Group in January 2017, Chef Claudette held a position as Chef de Cuisine, helping open and lead Little Italy’s highly-anticipated and now-defunct Bracero Cocina De Raiz in 2015 under the guidance of famed Baja celebrity chef Javier Placencia. Before that, she worked at hotspots such as at Sea180 and East Village’s Jsix, and has a plateful of experience as a sous chef, butcher, owner and pastry chef.

Buzzfeed's new chefs will expand the Tasty brand beyond its well-known recipe videos into original series in partnership with BuzzFeed Studios. Tasty has more than 70 billion lifetime video views across all of its pages and more than 9 million subscribers on YouTube, where it has more than doubled its audience in the past year. Tasty talent will create long-form premium content across BuzzFeed’s O&O properties and social platforms, external development projects for TV and VOD partners, and appear in established Tasty shows and formats, with several premium longform projects in development and production.

Fore more information about Buzzfeed's Tasty, visit Tasty.co and download the Tasty app.