YouTube’s ‘Hellthy Junk Food’ packs a lot of calo­ries into short videos

Santa Fe New Mexican - - TASTY TV -

The YouTube chan­nel may be called “Hellthy Junk Food” but don’t ex­pect to see recipes for a tofu Big Mac or quinoa dough­nuts there.

No, the iron­i­cally-ti­tled chan­nel of 5-10 minute videos hosted by JP Lam­bi­ase and his girl­friend Ju­lia Goo­lia (aka Yarin­sky) is ba­si­cally a how-to on re-cre­at­ing fa­vorite and iconic junk foods with their own per­sonal flair, be it the four-pound McDon­ald’s hash­brown (com­plete with the golden-arched sleeve) or the gi­ant Swiss roll (which checks in at a whop­ping 12,000 calo­ries). There are also un­usual com­bi­na­tions such as the mac-and-cheese-stuffed fried chicken and its evil twin, the fried-chicken-stuffed mac and cheese.

For this, Lam­bi­ase en­velops a piece of fried chicken in mac and cheese, wraps the con­coc­tion in wax pa­per and freezes it overnight. The next morn­ing, he rolls it in egg and flour and deep-fries, bakes and then deep-fries it again for ex­tra crispi­ness. On screen, it looks in­cred­i­ble and both say it tasted even bet­ter.

“Very good com­bi­na­tion,” Lam­bi­ase says, “Mac and cheese and fried chicken, it just works. And at the end of the day no­body got sick, so that’s im­por­tant.”

“We try to work off of dif­fer­ent seg­ments,” Yarin­sky ex­plains. “The thing-in­side-of-a-thing seg­ment. We also do like a test-kitchen seg­ment and we do copy­cat recipes. We have our gi­ant-food seg­ment on our chan­nel. So all these dif­fer­ent types of shows on our chan­nel.”

There are also road seg­ments, such as re­cent videos that show the cou­ple in Chicago sam­pling dif­fer­ent eater­ies’ deep-dish pizza and also go­ing out for a fine­din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in an episode ti­tled “What Does a $1,000 Din­ner Look Like?”

“It was a two-Miche­lin-star restau­rant, Ori­ole, and it was $195 per per­son,” Lam­bi­ase ex­plains. “So one of the things we wanted to have is buzz­words say­ing a $1,000 din­ner be­cause the whole din­ner came to $1,000 but that was for four peo­ple. So I think it was priced fairly for the ex­pe­ri­ence that we got.”

“If you’re a huge foodie,” he con­tin­ues, “$200 for a meal is more like $200 for an ex­pe­ri­ence. So some­one might go to a play or a the­ater and spend $200 ... . But when you truly love food and have a pas­sion for it and you want to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing you never ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore, that $200 is worth it.”

Lam­bi­ase and Yarin­sky came to “Hellthy Junk Food” from dras­ti­cally dif­fer­ent back­grounds, he from me­chan­i­cal engi­neer­ing and fast food and she from ra­dio ad­ver­tis­ing and fine din­ing, much of which comes into play in their videos.

“A lot of the stuff we’ve done has been engi­neered,” Lam­bi­ase ex­plains. “Dif­fer­ent types of recipes or equip­ment we need or molds or stuff to cre­ate the un­known has re­ally uti­lized a lot of my back­ground be­ing able to cre­ate this. Be­cause cooking is a science and needs to be engi­neered in a proper way to ex­e­cute some of the stuff we’ve done.”

JP Lam­bi­ase and Ju­lia Goo­lia

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