Relatable and Racy: Isolation Cooking Show From Down Under
May 21 2020

Relatable and Racy: Isolation Cooking Show From Down Under

By: Kim Ranjbar

"Don't be scared of leeks. I know they look weird but they're just tall onions." -Nat's What I Reckon, Sin Bin Soup

Heavily inked and pierced with long hair and a sailor's mouth, Nat (no surname) isn't your average cooking show celebrity. Based in Sydney, Australia, this YouTube star, comedian, mental health ambassador and drummer has been posting gut-busting videos on his channel Nat's What I Reckon for the past ten years, accumulating a massive cult following with his unique form of social commentary on everything from The Correct Way To Have a Hotdog (which doesn't include eating it) to The Overpriced Boat Show Review.

Nat has also been honest with his online audience about his personal battle with anxiety and depression, using his platform to destigmatize mental health issues and encouraging open discourse. Additionally, he's an ambassador for the international arts festival The Big Anxiety, an initiative of UNSW Sydney, "bringing together artists, scientists and communities to question and re-imagine the state of mental health in the 21st century."

Pre-pandemic, Nat had started performing live and was about to go on his first country-wide tour On Purpose when Australia was put on lock down. While the outbreak dealt a major blow to the burgeoning comedian's career, it was also strangely serendipitous, as it was during the stay-at-home mandate that Nat was inspired to branch out into cooking segments, enabling him to reach a whole new level of popularity.

When people began panic-buying and hoarding food, Nat noticed that while packaged foods and jarred sauces were flying off the shelves, the produce section was virtually untouched. Nat had already begun eating healthy after major surgery and since he was stuck at home in self-isolation with nothing to do, he began his virtual war against jar sauces and packaged meals.

Currently nine episodes in, Nat began his cooking series a couple of months ago with How to Make Quarantine Sauce where he shows viewers, amidst a flurry of expletives and colorful slang, how to make a basic tomato and basil sauce. "There's a plethora of fresh food out there, so you can just make this [sauce] without having to drop kick 35 tons of sugar up your guts."

Segment after segment, Nat's emphasis is on simple ingredients and cooking tips. He doesn't care how you chop up your vegetables or where you get your herbs (in Wham Bam Thank You Lamb, he steals rosemary from a neighboring yard), but he does offer basic recipes using fresh meat and produce, presented in a funny, oddly-endearing, down-to-earth way. Though Nat has no professional cooking experience, you can tell he knows how to handle a knife, as well as make a great bolognese. In an interview, he says that a lot of his skills were honed through trial and error, though it probably didn't hurt that his father was a professional chef.

***Nat swears up a storm (part of his charm), so his videos are likely NSFW or kids!***

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Check out more of Nat's videos on his Nat's What I Reckon YouTube channel or visit him online at NatsWhatIReckon.com.

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