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Title [CCF] [INTERVIEW] How versatile Gabriela Kook draws 940,000 YouTube subscribers [The Korea Times 2019-07-08]
Posted by webmaster Hit 294 Date 2019.07.11

YouTube creator Gabriela Kook, also known as Gabie Kook, speaks during a recent interview at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. Korea Times photo by Kim Kang-min

By Dong Sun-hwa

How can we garner hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers?

Those looking for hints should set their sights on Gabriela Kook's channel "GabieKook," which boasts over 940,000 subscribers worldwide. Ranging from food to lifestyle, Kook's channel is a compilation of her unique story as a chef, recipe developer and the "third culture kid (TCK)." TCK refers to people who grow up in a culture different from that of their parents. 

"I attempted to develop my own style for my channel," Kook told The Korea Times at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. She began with food content, because food and cooking have been her long-time passion. She is also an alumna of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, a prestigious hospitality and culinary school teaching French cuisine. 

"Many Korean YouTube creators focusing on foods did not talk or explain much about their recipes on the videos," she said. "They were quiet and relaxing, but I wanted more engagement in my videos."

Kook knew her videos would be less sharable if she added more talk because non-Korean speakers would find them difficult to understand. Nevertheless, she took the risk. 

As she introduced her recipes, she provided specific instructions for every step in her slow and velvety voice. At the end of the videos, she ate her dishes ― sometimes with her husband "Korean Englishman" Joshua Daryl Carrott ― and chatted with subscribers. 

Her risk-taking has been a big hit. Kook, best known for her simple "one pan recipes," is now one of the most beloved food content creators on YouTube. She also participated in the 2019 Culture Communication Forum (CCF) on June 30-July 2 as one of 11 delegates of the creators. 

Kook's husband Josh is also a YouTube creator with more than three million subscribers on his channel "Korean Englishman." He and his friend Oliver John Kendal introduce diverse Korean dishes on this popular channel. 

Kook said her husband had given important advice regarding YouTube, but he was not intrusive and respected her creativity. 

"I have learned a lot from the pair as they work right next to me. They inspire and motivate me to work harder, but sometime this makes me burn out," she said with humor. 

Although she began with food content, she now deals with a variety of other themes such as international marriage and TCK. 

Many people who involved in international marriages or who had a long distance relationship watched her videos, she said. Those who had Korean nationality but did not live in Korea and people who studied abroad also subscribed to her channel because they could relate to her. 

Born in Argentina, Kook lived in Spain, the U.S and France, but she was in Korea for only two years. She now lives in the U.K. with her husband. 

"I once shared my stories about growing up in different cultures and introduced the concept of the TCK, who do not feel like they belong to any country just like myself," she said. "I saw so many people saying they did not know about the term and they began recounting their own touching stories (as the TCKs). From the experience, I learnt that people open up about themselves more, if I disclose myself first."

Kook said she had faced an identity crisis as she grew up, struggling to define who she was. But she is more comfortable now. 

"I am 30 years old and maybe that is why," she said. "Now I know I could have made different friends worldwide, thanks to my diverse backgrounds."

Asked about the future, Kook said she would not open an eatery. 

"People at the restaurant enjoy the excitement of being pushed to cook very fast, but I am not that kind of person," she said. "I do not think I would enjoy cooking the same things every day. I am also uncertain if I would be able to handle the financial issues."

She added: "I have no idea of what I will do if I stop my YouTube activity. But since I enjoy creating stuff and love foods, maybe I would seek another platform to do what I am fond of." 

Visit her channel:

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