Watch Cooking Channel

Tyler Capps Learns to Cook Comically

Cooking Comically by Tyler Capps Banner

Tyler Capps is not a professional chef. That is, he has no formal cooking training other than experimenting on his own in his small apartment kitchen. However, his blog, Cooking Comically, in which he cooks, photographs and creatively illustrates everyday recipes, has become an Internet sensation. A self-taught artist, Tyler is 28 years old and currently based in Asheville, N. C. After serving in the U.S. Navy for almost five years as a meteorologist, he was honorably discharged in 2007 and began work as a freelance graphic artist. He started Cooking Comically in 2011 after his photographic comic, “2AM Chili,” went viral on Reddit, a popular social news website.

We sat down with Tyler to chat about all things cooking, comics and what it is that makes his site so popular.

We also asked Tyler to give Cooking Channel the Cooking Comically treatment. So he recreated our Deep-Dish Pizza Recipe as a comic strip.

Check it out here

Where did the idea for the photographic recipe comics come from? 
I’ve been into photography since high school. I was a full-time student when this all started, and in a photography class, one of the assignments was food photography. The idea of a comic just landed on top of that.

Why did you decide to start Cooking Comically?
Comics and I go way back. I grew up reading comic books. I read Calvin and Hobbes religiously, and I’ve always drawn as long as I could remember. I would always make comics about whatever I was into at the moment. I rarely showed them to anybody but my friends, but then I showed one of them the chili comic and she insisted that I put it online. The first two comics I made, 2AM Chili and The Bananarama, I put on Reddit and they got really popular. So I decided I would start a blog and keep doing them.

Do you have any cooking background or training?
I have absolutely no background in cooking whatsoever. Most of my training comes from the art side of things. The 2AM Chili recipe started with my brother, and I changed it around and adapted it to be my own. I just started cooking in the past year and a half. I started cooking as soon as I moved into this apartment. That’s the first time that it lined up — to have the space and the time. That’s when I really started to go crazy and cook as often as I could. I always wanted to learn how to cook. Now, as I’m learning, I’m also trying to teach.

What has been your most popular recipe thus far?
The chili was probably the most popular and then a really close second would be the sexy pancakes.

What has been your favorite recipe to make?
I have to say the pizza. That was pretty fun. Deep-dish pizza is my favorite kind of pizza, and I’ve never made it before. It turned out really, really well. It was fun to make and fun to eat, and that translates into a good comic. Because the comics really depend upon whether I can get excited about the recipe itself, the ones I get the most excited about always turn out to be the most fun all around.

What, then, would you say is your culinary point of view? What kinds of recipes do you gravitate toward?
Basically, I try my best to only use ingredients you can find at a regular grocery store and keep it as simple and cheap as possible because ultimately, [the blog] is for people who don’t know how to cook at all.

What do you think is the appeal of your blog? What made it so popular?
I guess it has to do with the idea that there hasn’t really been cooking based on “geek culture.” I also try to break [recipes] down as simply as I can. I hope that’s why it’s popular, because it’s easy to do.

Do you think the blog’s popularity has something to do with today’s Facebook/meme generation potentially having a much shorter attention span for processing information?
The whole meme generation and shorter attention span might have something to do with it. But part of it is I try to take the recipes and break them down to be the simplest possible explanation, and that inherently makes them shorter. And there is more visual information, which caters to the younger generation.

Who would you say your blog is primarily targeted toward?
I direct it mainly at guys. It’s directed at guys who never learned how to cook, whether they’re in college or living on their own and never got around to learning.

That’s very interesting, particularly because you don’t really see many cooking blogs these days targeted toward men. Most of the ones I have seen are by women and typically for women.
I’ve never seen any for guys specifically. But the funny thing is that I direct [the blog] specifically at guys, but most of my audience is still women. If you get the traffic data it gives you the target audience reading your stuff, and for my blog it’s mostly women ages 35 and younger.

What kind of feedback have you gotten since the blog launched?
I get at least one or two people a week that email me saying, “Thank you for getting me to cook.” It’s weird for me, really. It’s nothing I ever really expected starting out. The fact that anybody would be cooking what I cook because I told them to is strange for me.

I noticed on your site that you get criticized for some of your cooking methods. For example, for your artichoke dip recipe, some people were critical of you using pre-grated Parmesan instead of fresh Parmesan. What would you say to those critics?
I respond to that saying that’s what most people use. Chefs may go for the fresh ingredients, but the average American person will buy grated Parmesan from the regular grocery store because it’s cheaper.

Do you ever get help or work with anyone for your comics?
So far it’s just me. The cooking, the drawing and photography are all me, but I do run recipes by some of my friends because they cook more than I do to see if they’re worthwhile.

What in your kitchen could you not live without?
Onion, garlic and cayenne are the ingredients I use a lot. As far as utensils, the wok and a rubber spatula.

What do you like more, cooking or drawing?
Now I like them both equally. For the blog, the food always has to come first, since the recipes are what the blog is all about. But I don’t want the art to be too far behind, because that’s what makes the comics entertaining.

What’s in store for you in the future? Any plans to get formal culinary training?
I’ve thought about doing formal training in cooking, but that’s something that would be way down the line. Now I’m really just focused on keeping up with the site and working on my book. I’ve only got about six months to get everything done for the book, so it’s been pretty intense. Looking beyond that, I have no idea where this is going at all. I always feel like I’m riding by the seat of my pants, really.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring cooks like yourself?
Do it. Just cook. Persist, because you’re not going to get better at cooking unless you keep trying.

Be on the lookout for the first Cooking Comically cookbook, which is slated to come out in the fall of 2013 by Perigee Books. According to Tyler, it will be made up of mostly new material, with a few of the more popular recipes from the site.

Tags:

Comments (1897)

  1. how to edit a pdf on mac lion posted 12/07/2012

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  2. from this source posted 12/07/2012

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  3. squeeze page design posted 12/07/2012

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  4. ebook design posted 12/07/2012

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  5. ZQuiet posted 12/07/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  6. Empreiteira Sorocaba posted 12/07/2012

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  7. e-book designs posted 12/07/2012

    Related……

    [...]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[...]……

  8. venetian blinds London posted 12/08/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  9. Check These Guys Out posted 12/08/2012

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  10. learn more here posted 12/08/2012

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

  11. he has a good point posted 12/08/2012

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  12. Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  13. buy twitter followers posted 12/08/2012

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  14. learn more here posted 12/09/2012

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  15. pizzaria em curitiba posted 12/09/2012

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  16. Look At This Website posted 12/09/2012

    Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  17. sales performance posted 12/09/2012

    You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  18. real estate agents posted 12/09/2012

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  19. gutschein heine posted 12/10/2012

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  20. You Could Look Here posted 12/10/2012

    Cool sites…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[...]……

  21. look what I found posted 12/10/2012

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  22. download arcane legends hack posted 12/10/2012

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  23. Find Out More posted 12/10/2012

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  24. ausbreitung arsch posted 12/10/2012

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  25. Visit This Site posted 12/10/2012

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great Blog You Might Find Interesting that we Encourage You[...]……

  26. las vegas nails posted 12/10/2012

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  27. Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  28. Visit These Guys posted 12/11/2012

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  29. lesbian posted 12/11/2012

    Woman of Alien…

    Excellent work you might have completed, this great site is actually neat with fantastic data. Time is God’s method of trying to keep everything from going on simultaneously….

  30. SEO Content erstellen posted 12/11/2012

    Text Spinning Software…

    [...] Permanent neue Artikel für Ihren Internetauftritt erschaffen, aber Sie müssen sich eigentlich um viele weitere Dinge im Rahmen Ihrer Geschäftstätigkeit kümmern? Generieren Sie Ihre Artikel mit der Unterstützung von professioneller Text Spinning S…

  31. You Could try these out posted 12/11/2012

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  32. policarbonato em curitiba posted 12/11/2012

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  33. Legal Buds posted 12/11/2012

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  34. xmas ornaments posted 12/11/2012

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  35. Legal Buds Website posted 12/11/2012

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  36. Empreiteira em Sorocaba posted 12/11/2012

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

  37. Helite dedetizadora curitiba posted 12/12/2012

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  38. The Absent Game…

    Among me and my husband we have owned more MP3 gamers over the years than I can count, such as Sansas, iRivers, iPods (traditional & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few a long time I’ve settled down to one line of gamers….

  39. jessica howard posted 12/12/2012

    The Birch of the Shadow…

    I think there might be a couple duplicates, but an exceedingly helpful list! I’ve tweeted this. Lots of thanks for sharing!…

  40. Check This Out posted 12/12/2012

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  41. Samuel Myren posted 12/12/2012

    Thorn of Girl…

    Excellent info might be identified on this online blog site….

  42. Online Article……

    [...]The information mentioned in the article are some of the best available [...]……

  43. Singapore private investigator posted 12/13/2012

    Websites you should visit…

    [...]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[...]……

  44. bloggers that make money posted 12/13/2012

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  45. dvd to avi mac posted 12/14/2012

    Related……

    [...]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[...]……

  46. drug rehab centers posted 12/14/2012

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  47. low risks trading posted 12/15/2012

    The Silent Shard…

    This tends to in all probability be very helpful for a few of the positions I plan to do not only with my blogging site but…

  48. villa koh samui posted 12/15/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  49. Term Life Insurance posted 12/15/2012

    Recent Blogroll Additions……

    [...]usually posts some very interesting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]……

  50. hamster cage cheap posted 12/15/2012

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c