Toronto is producing a number of diverse and high-quality food web series'. Matty Matheson, executive chef at Parts & Labour, irreverently brings the party on Vice's Hangover Cures. On the opposite side of the "dial" is Food Bomb, an arty, sometimes sci-fi - always offbeat - headfirst dive into food's infinite tangents. Independently produced by Daniel Goodbaum - he shoots, edits, and hosts in front of, and behind, the camera – the brief description for Food Bomb's newly-posted Episode Seven reads: "I was invited to a genitals-themed dinner party."
This time, Goodbaum's camera documents a friendly, if not perverted, food battle in a thrift-store bejeweled apartment, as a gaggle of smart cool nerdy girls battle smart grungy nerdy boys to make dishes based on their respective private parts. Impartial judges crown the winners. No spoilers but the make-your-own vagina cupcakes looked pretty tasty. For this particular episode, the overall style amounts to the odd combination of mumblecore meets Next Food Network Star. But Food Bomb's premiere episode, from a couple years back, is virtually unrecognizable. To set up the unpredictable series, Goodbaum was mentored by a disembodied pig's head with neon green eyes, cheekily invented and demonstrated his new catch-phrase: "Make It Funky"; and took questions from the future. Somehow, it all works. To understand Food Bomb, viewers have to sit back and let it happen, trusting the creator's style, quirk, and excellent taste in music. Goodbaum – also known for his Style Eye videos for The Globe And Mail – is obviously having a lot of fun. Those who like it will love it.
Eater felt compelled to ask Daniel Goodbaum some questions and found out he hates avocado ice cream with a passion. Here is part of the exchange:
Are you a chef?
Daniel Goodbaum: I have no formal chef training, but I think the instruction manuals for Lego sets laid the groundwork for being able to follow recipes. I also learned a lot from watching Julia Child and Martin Yan. My dad and brothers are all dedicated home cooks, so competition and dietary issues ensured a baseline of cooking knowledge.
What are your hopes and dreams for Food Bomb?
DG: Cooking shows have been a passion of mine ever since I was 14 (years-old) and Food Network Canada came on the air. I'm hoping to turn Food Bomb into a monthly live comedy/performance series starting this spring. It's been my dream to be involved in the production of a 'real' food show in front of, or behind, the camera.
What do you think of traditional food television?
DG: I love cooking shows like Quentin Tarantino loves schlocky 1970s movies. I think it's unfortunate that most food programs today have become focused so much on competition because there are creative ways to expand the genre. There are still interesting programs coming from the UK, and American networks like PBS and IFC, as well as little-seen shows from Japan.
What is your least favourite food item that you refuse to eat?
DG: I tried avocado ice cream at a pop-up food event and found it disgusting. Avocado ice cream is a crime against nature. It is the "fracking" of the food world.