An illustration of food for an article about three food videographers, including Carolina Gelen. (Illustration by Lucas DeJesus, Montserrat College of Art)

Gelen and More Food Videographers To Check Out for Fun New Recipes

Cooking, baking and drink-making have all picked up steam during the pandemic, so take a look at these three striking Instagram chefs for inspiration in the kitchen!

Food and cooking videography was one great takeaway from the exhausting times of the pandemic. Exciting cooking trends — dalgona coffee with its whipped finish, cloud bread’s cotton candy-like texture, satisfactory hot chocolate bombs, the four-way fold tortilla wrap hack and the recent baked feta tomato pasta hit — went viral on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat, allowing home dwellers all over the world to join in on the fun.

As Kastrenakes explained in an article on The Verge, this cooking content became a much-needed source of entertainment and a “valuable educational resource” as people realized that they would be stuck at home indefinitely. With restaurants shutting down and grocery stores running out of staples left and right, people everywhere discovered that they would need to work on their cooking chops. This ample amount of time at home led to buffed-up kitchen skills and soaring kitchen confidence.

Let’s Talk Numbers

As Shoup’s article on FoodNavigator-USA noted, American’s kitchen confidence has soared post-pandemic; many people adamantly planned to carry on their cooking habits permanently. In a poll of 1,005 Americans, HUNTER found that “54% of consumers report cooking more” and “46% report baking more.” Further, of those surveyed, “75% said that they have become more confident in the kitchen and 73% are enjoying it more than they did before.”

Not only did cooking confidence and enjoyment surge during the pandemic, so did food and drink streaming. As The Verge article discovered, food and drink streams on Twitch “doubled in hours watched” during pandemic times, and YouTube cooking videos “more than doubled in popularity.”

TikTok and Instagram have also become central mediums for sharing food content; as this food trend has grown, food and drink videographers have taken advantage of these easily shared social media apps. With TikTok and Instagram, food content creators can share a recipe that took them hours to make in under a minute, making their recipes digestible, approachable and simple for their viewers to recreate.

My Favorite Food Videographers

It’s no surprise, then, given the surge in cooking trends and cooking confidence that social media food videographers rushed to fill the gaps in this rapidly growing trend. Three Instagram food videographers in particular — Carolina Gelen, Maya Leinenbach and Pierce Abernathy — whose recipes are tasty and whose personalities are absolute showstoppers, draw you in for hours on end as you watch yummy video after yummy video.

Carolina Gelen

The quirky, Romania-dwelling Carolina Gelen, @carolinagelen, is a recipe developer, food stylist and videographer who has been featured on “Good Morning America” and is also a Food52 website user and a New York Times cooking freelance contributor. Gelen enjoys sharing her flavorful, Eastern European food and drink recipes with the world. These niche, easy-to-follow recipes have allowed Gelen to amass quite the fanbase — almost 265,000 Instagram followers, to be exact.


In addition to her long list of accolades, Gelen is hilarious and relatable — the perfect mix of genuinely awkward and klutzy. As she proclaimed on her website, her overarching aim is to “make cooking as fun and approachable as possible.” She’s winning at that goal; with her Starry Night-inspired Focaccia bread, to-die-for rosemary grilled cheese, colorfully pickled veggies and sesame pancakes, it’s hard to not be instantly drawn to the artistically gorgeous and distinct recipes.

I urge you to check Gelen out — you won’t regret it. She’ll have you whipping up artsy, aesthetic, drool-inducing European wonders while simultaneously winning your adoration for her quirky, instantly likable personality. 

Maya Leinenbach

Another fun food videographer is 16-year-old German Maya Leinenbach, @fitgreenmind, who specializes in vegan content. With over half a million followers, Leinenbach is inspiring people everywhere to see the appeal and benefits of delicious vegan recipes. As Leinenbach revealed on her website, she loves to “keep [her] recipes as simple as possible with healthy ingredients but no regrets in flavor.”

The fact that her recipes are plant-based doesn’t hold her back from injecting real, lasting flavor into her creations. From her vegan baozi dumplings and BBQ beanballs to her vegan homemade cookie cereal and carrot lox, there’s nothing that Leinenbach can’t find a tasty vegan replacement for.

Her young age and dietary restrictions really go to show that, like Gusteau says in the movie “Ratatouille,” “Anyone can cook.”

Pierce Abernathy

Finally, it would be amiss not to mention the Kentucky videographer Pierce Abernathy, @pierceabernathy, who injects humor and creativity in every recipe. Using rapid cuts and switchbacks, mixed with overt humor, he models his videos after “How to Basic” videos. With over 190,000 Instagram followers and incredibly enjoyable recipes, Abernathy is on the rise; as his Instagram bio champions, Abernathy’s goals are to create “fun and approachable food” and to persist on “a never-ending journey to make the perfect dip.”


Some of Abernathy’s most comical yet informative food recipes include blowtorched crème brûlée grapefruit, potato pillow gnocchi and beet and sweet potato hummus dip. I highly recommend checking out this rising food videographer. Abernathy is sure to spark you with the inspiration to get up and get cooking — or dipping.


What will the future of food and drink videography look like? Will the market continue to grow? I would like to think so. With any luck, cooking trends will continue to take hold and inspire people everywhere to get creative in their own kitchens. Cooking is an artform — a form of familial and friendship bonding, a form of expression, a form of indulgence and a form of self-expression.

Let’s appreciate this saving grace of a pandemic trend, which has allowed us to get quirky and imaginative with what we’re whipping up in the kitchen. Boredom can give rise to amazing things, and this surge in cooking content and creativity is certainly a win for society and for our own stomachs.

Alexa Katherine Will, University of Pittsburgh

Writer Profile

Alexa Katherine Will

University of Pittsburgh
English Literature and English Writing

I’m Alexa Will, a passionate bookworm who’s always bursting with energy. I hardcore vibe with the bands Vampire Weekend and Hippocampus, and making art and writing bring me so much joy.

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