In early 2016 Andrew Rea started recreating some of the most famous (and sometimes infamous) dishes from film and television in his kitchen for a new YouTube series called Binging With Babish. (The “Babish” pseudonym is an homage to Oliver Platt’s character in West Wing in case you were wondering.) The show has featured such famous dishes as Paulie’s prison pasta sauce from Goodfellas and Ross’s “Moistmaker” Thanksgiving leftover sandwich from Friends, but it isn’t the pop culture references that make Binging With Babish must-see-internet-tv. No, what really drives the show’s popularity is Babish’s fierce attention to each recipe’s details, his hilarious culinary commentary injected at each step, and the show’s pro-level video edits.
That attention to detail is expensive however, both in terms of time and money. And unfortunately for Rea, due to an issue with the copyrighted content he used in his videos he wasn’t able to turn on YouTube’s ads, missing out on the thousands of dollars each month that his millions of views would rake in. Without that ad revenue, Binging with Babish was just an “extremely fun after-work-hobby” for Rea, consuming his free time and savings.
That all changed however after Rea started raising funds for Babish on Patreon, a patronage-based crowdfunding site that lets creators solicit recurring donations from fans. 2ea initially set a modest goal of $1,000 per video to help cover some of his costs. He quickly blew past that goal though and with fans now sending him over $10,000 each month, Rea has been able to quit his day-job to focus on Binging with Babish full time. In addition to upping the production quality on his regular weekly episodes featuring pop culture recipe recreations, the Patreon funding has helped Rea launch a new cooking series, Basics with Babish, in which he helps beginner chefs get more comfortable in the kitchen.
Patrons of Rea/Babish through his Patreon page get access to exclusive content and other goodies, so if you enjoy binging on Binging as much as I do, support Babish on Patreon here. Or keep scrolling to watch some of my favorite past episodes of Binging with Babish from YouTube.