YouTube food sensations hit Edinburgh for an epic food marathon

The hosts of YouTube channel SORTED will touchdown in the Capital tomorrow to take on an impressive Food Marathon which will see them wolf down 26.2 dishes in 24 hours.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 9:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 10:45 am
YouTube's Sorted attempt 'food marathon' in Edinburgh.

Four old school friends from Hertfordshire, who started the UK's most subscribed YouTube food channel in 2010, will dash around the streets of Edinburgh today popping in to foodie hotspots across the city to get a flavour of the Edinburgh food scene and spread the word to their 2.2 million viewers.

Starting at 8am this morning and finishing at 8am on Friday Ben Ebbrell, Mike Huttlestone, Jamie Spafford and Barry Taylor will visit Marchmont's specialist porridge and grains cafe Brochan, followed by some hot breakfast nosh at the newly opened Loudons at New Waverly via Makar's Mash Bar and on to lunch delights at Rabble before stopping off at Gardener's Cottage for some high-end seasonal food at communal table.

With no time to spare, the marathon continues at Spoon before hitting Nordic-inspired contemporary dining at Aurora in Leith and onwards through the night for a sprint finish at an undisclosed location.

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Barry Taylor, Jamie Spafford, Mike Huttlestone, Ben Ebbrell will tour the city on Thursday.

They'll also be stopping off at award-winning 'hidden gem' Tapa in Leith.

Owner Daniel Shearon said: "As subscriber to their channel, I couldn't have been more delighted to have be asked to part, but, really the fact the guys are coming up here from London is testament to how incredible the city's dining scene is at the moment and just how much of a city of foodies Edinburgh really is!

"We've prepared two unique cuts of Iberian Black Pig for them to sample for the Tapa leg of their marathon...but they're not visiting us to 8pm tonight so we're hopeful they're still going to be as excited by the idea of eating food as we are gong to be to meet them!"

Sorted's James Spafford said the team can't wait to explore Edinburgh and have been putting in some prep ahead of their marathon challenge.

In 2015, the four Sorted Food members went on a three-month USA tour for NBC's Today Show.

"Although our main purpose is to dive into the city’s food scene to help our audience and Club Members discover the best places quickly, the gorgeous views, architecture and traditions are sure to have a major impact on the content that we’re creating," he said. "Our audience on YouTube and Sorted Club members have been asking us to explore Edinburgh for a long time - it’s a bucket list destination for so many people travelling to the UK and we’re constantly being told how exciting the food scene is. Hopefully through the YouTube videos we create from the marathon and the restaurants we sign up to our Sorted Club, this is our opportunity to help tourists and locals discover the best places quickly and be treated like a local the minute they walk through the door!

"We’ve all been taking different approaches to preparation - Ben’s been pretty much starving himself all week, whereas Mike and Jamie have taken the approach of eating more than usual to open their stomachs up!."

The quirky food channel runs episodes on Wednesdays and Sundays, showcasing weekly themes such as Pass It On Recipe Relay where the team attempt to create a dish by working on it for 10 minutes each, one after the other, with no feedback or hints from anyone; ‘Ultimate Battles’ where Barry, Jamie and Mike, get a certain amount of time against each other, to create a dish under a certain topic and the self explanatory ‘Testing Kitchen Gadgets’.

And the taking advantage of Edinburgh's compact size the team are hoping that they will be able to walk everywhere and potentially burn off some of the extra calories.

James added: "From the traditional to high-end and out of the ordinary, we think we've got everything covered.

"We have to hit the traditions - haggis, tatties and neeps, amazing Scotch, porridge, cranachan etc. But also can’t wait to see what the new wave of chefs and restaurants are creating, both in pushing the boundaries of the traditional dishes and using ingredients in new and exciting ways.

Having toured the world trying culinary delights from across the globe Sorted aren't phased by anything...nearly anything

"I think we’re open to pretty much anything," James said. "Having explored food with Sorted and our audience around the world for the last 10 years, we’re still amazed at how often we’re served new ingredients and dishes we’ve never tried before. We’ll try anything once.

"Although our worst food experience was surströmming - a speciality from Sweden…fermented Baltic Sea herring."

The basis for creating accessible recipes on YouTube came when Ben, the only member with any culinary training, started suggesting simple and cheap recipes for the others to try instead of eating only ready meals. They have since been joined by their friend and fellow chef James Currie in the majority of their videos.

And last year Sorted launched a membership club which for members includes features such as personalised experiences as independent restaurants around the world and priority access to cookbooks.

With over 2.2 million subscribers and over 440 million video views the Sorted Food crew has won a host of accolades including The Guardians "30 Under 30: The Top Young People in Digital Media" in 2014, New Media Award 2014 from Guild of Food Writers awards and Best Online Content 2017 at UK Blog Awards.

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