Jamie Oliver signs up poached egg chef who became YouTube sensation
A budding chef and his four-year-old daughter have been signed up by Jamie Oliver – after videos of their home cooking became a hit on YouTube.
Foodie Barry Lewis decided to learn to cook with daughter Phoebe three years ago and posted videos of their efforts online.
After wracking up a million views online the pair have now been snapped up by Jamie Oliver’s new Food Tube channel.
Barry is now taking a break from his job as a quantity surveyor to pursue a career in cookery.
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Jamie, 37, announced the news in a video on his YouTube channel, singing the praises of enthusiastic Barry, from Worle, Somerset.
He said: “He’s a proper dude, he’s a dad of two little girls.
“He’s a regular guy – he’s not a chef and he’s not formally a cook, and he was a virgin in the kitchen.
“So he set up this blog. He films it himself, he cooks it himself, he edits it himself, he throws it up, people watching can follow with him, even if they are just like him and couldn’t cook.
“I just love his energy. He loves to have a laugh, he does crazy things sometimes. The cooking is getting really good and I just love his enthusiasm for food and having a laugh and for family and I think at the end of the day that’s what food is about.
“Viva Virgin Kitchen.”
Barry used to rely on takeaways but was inspired to learn to cook after watching Jamie Oliver poach an egg during a Christmas special.
He said: “I couldn’t cook a thing and I wouldn’t even go in the kitchen at all.
“As part of the Big Family Meal he was preparing, Jamie poached an egg and I thought it looked just about easy enough for me to try.”
His first video “poached egg on toast” was posted on YouTube in January 2010 (view the video below) and was soon followed by “ratatouille”.
He has since created over 400 videos and has his own website www.myvirginkitchen.com.
Many of the videos feature Barry cooking with Phoebe and they often wear fancy dress as they lark around in front of the camera.
Barry, who lives with girlfriend Rebecca Gardner, Phoebe, and youngest daughter Chloe, one, said: “It just snowballed from that first film.
“I uploaded poached egg on toast and it has gone mad ever since.
“It has become more than just a hobby, so I spend most weekends cooking and coming up with recipes.
“At the start I was getting ideas from food websites, but I soon started to get a bit more creative and a lot of the recipes these days tend to be more of my original ideas.
“I’ve found it has been a really good way of bonding with Phoebe.”
Barry sent one of his videos to father-of-four Jamie about 18 months ago and was invited to meet the renowned chef, where the pair decided to team up online.
He has now taken a sabbatical from his job in Wales and is trying to launch a career in cookery.
He added: “I never thought I’d ever make any money out of it.
“Everything you see me cook I am cooking for the first time – it is all about trying to inspire people who have never cooked to give it a go.”
See the video below in which Barry explains his roast beef in giant yorkshire pudding recipe.
For more of Barry's video recipes, visit his My Virgin Kitchen YouTube channel.