So Rob tell us a little bit about yourself “how long have you been doing your thing with food?
My name is Rob Goodswen, i’m 29 years old and i’m from Huddersfield. Myself and my twin brother Dan started Go Cook Yourself just over two years ago. I had been cooking for a few months before and Dan recognised that I was enjoying it and suggested that we start a blog. A couple of weeks late GCY was born.We’ve had a roller coaster first couple of years, we’re one of about 50 recommended food blogs on Tumblr with a following of just over 120,000. Thats a lot of hungry people. Mine and Dan’s working relationship can be difficult at times as he lives in Australia, cue many late night/early morning Skype and text conversations. He works as a social media strategist and is amazing at what he does and without his expertise i doubt we would have gotten as big as we are.
What was your first meal you ever made?
I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. I least early in life that if I helped my mum with the cooking I was exempt from the washing up. In school I took home economics instead of Woodwork stuff so that I could spend more time with the girls. So I guess I recognised the power that being able to cook gave me from an early age. As for the first meal I ever made…..shit man, probably beans on toast or a pot noodle of something trivial like that.The first post we did for Go Cook Yourself was ‘The Yorkshire Mafia Pizza’ followed by ‘Hungry Man Eggs’ which are scrambled eggs with salami and fresh green finger chillies which is still one of my favourite things to eat. As a marker of how far i’ve come the pizza recipe used pre-made shop bought pizza dough…i can now make it from fresh and its amazing
Where in the world has the best food?
Damn, thats a tough one to have to answer. I’m going to have to sit on the fence on this one. The thing about food is that its a completely subjective topic when talking about what we like. I recently made some crazy New York inspired bagels for a group of friends. I hadn’t factored in the fact that some of them may not have like pickles or mustard which i had added. Whilst nobody complained its important that not everybody will like what you cook. Therefore not everybody would agree with my answer
What 1 foodstuff do you love & hate?
Love – Eggs. Who’d have thought that the unborn children of chickens would turn out to be so versatile and tasty. I’ll take mine fried, poached, scrambled, in fried rice, as part of my Yorkshire pudding batter, whipped into tasty meringue and any other way you can imagine.
Hate – Raw Tomato. Surprisingly I’ve always been a really fussy eater, as a cook I know how useful tomatoes are as a flavour base for many dishes, I just can’t get my head around them when they aren’t cooked. They kind of freak me out.
What advice do you have for aspiring chef/ home cooks etc?
First and foremost I want each and everyone of you to head down to GoCookYourself.com and find a few recipes that look tasty, go out buy the ingredients and give the recipe a try.Secondly, just keep trying. People can become disheartened when what they have cooked doesn’t turn out like the picture in the book/computer screen. People get paid loads of money to make food look good for advertising purposes. The recipe should allow you to get the right flavour combination. I know people say that you eat with your eyes, but thats a load of shit. I’m not saying that an attractive plate of food doesn’t swell your appetite but a tasty plate of food that doesn’t look great works in just the same way once its in your mouth.
What is the hardest thing about cooking for you?
I wouldn’t say anything was particularly hard. Frustrating maybe. Especially when I’ve worked for 3-4 hours on a recipe for the blog and the final picture disappoints. I hate that. I suppose that the downfall of being a food blogger. As my skills in food photography have grown, my level of expectation as to how something should look gets higher. When what i’ve shot doesn’t match that expectation it can feel like I’ve wasted my time.
Do you have any chefs you particularly look up to?
I have admiration for anyone who has develop their cooking into a viable business. Guys like Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey who have turned their considerable talent into multi million pound businesses are massive inspirations to me. Across the pond there are a number of people who I love. Adam Richman from Man vs Food has caught the culinary phenomenon that is foodporn in a 30 minute programme that is watched by everybody.Also a special mention to my buddy Josh, who is part of the youtube smash Epic Meal Time. If I can replicate 1% of their success with Go Cook yourself then i’ll be a happy man.
I was looking at your Instagram and you seem to have quite an eclectic taste, where does that come from, you have a lot of cultural influence or are just a bit of a fatty bum bum?
Apps like Instagram have really helped me to build an online presence I’m really proud of the feed that I’ve built up on there. The pictures are very varied and thats definitely down to my eclectic taste. I’m also a massive ‘fatty bum bum’ haha. Food pictures like the ones on my feed are there for people to look at when they are trying to escape the monotony of their packed lunch so I’m trying to help them out by posting ridiculously calorific pictures.
What would you say is the key to your success?
Content. I doubt that we’d have the level of success we’ve had so far if the recipes we all rubbish. The ‘voice’ of the blog has helped to increase our popularity. So many food blogs are filled with paragraph after paragraph of the thoughts and feelings of the blogger mixed with rambling recipes with require an couple of A-levels to understand. GCY is fast funny and friendly. Dan (my brother and business partner) is probably the biggest reason why we are so successful. He is an amazing social media strategist and we benefit from that because he uses his considerable knowledge to boost our popularity.
What are your future plans?
I’d like to keep building our online reputation for a couple more years. I’m constantly improving my photography and generating more content for the blog. Getting to collaborate with people like you is another step in the right direction. In the long term who knows what’ll happen man. I’m super happy with how things have worked out so far. Let’s just see how it goes.
What would be your dream job?
Swedish Volleyball Team Masseuse…dur!
Tell us something people might not know about you?
I almost got a part on Hollyoaks when I was 17, I used to be a nun and in my early teens I could juggle five balls.If you could go back in time and have a chat with a 10 year old Rob, what would you say?
‘Player, you won’t know what this means yet, but you are going to get a lot of ass. Enjoy’ Then I’d shake my little hand and stroll back to the DeLorean.
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