Tastier Than Looney Tunes, But Just As Fun

Viewers are flocking to the funny and tasty YouTube recipes of How to Feed a Loon partners Kris Longwell and Wesley Loon.

Kris Longwell, left, and Wesley Loon in their YouTube video blog logo.
Kris Longwell, left, and Wesley Loon in their YouTube video blog logo.

Three years ago, Kris Longwell and Wesley Loon started a food video blog called How To Feed A Loon. It has grown from zilch to about 100 cooking videos that receive 250,000 YouTube views a month, they say.

Wesley Loon, left, and Kris Longwell of the YouTube video cooking series How to Feed a Loon.

Wesley Loon, left, and Kris Longwell of the YouTube video cooking series How to Feed a Loon.

It began when Longwell created a particularly pretty dish of grilled shrimp and summer vegetables and posted a photo of it on his Facebook page.

“The response to it was just so overwhelming,” he says, “and the vain performer in me thought it was really cool.”

Performer?

Well, yes. In fact, theatricality is how the two life partners met. That was 27 years ago when they each moved to New York City—Longwell, at 19, from his native Texas, and Loon, at 24, from his native South Dakota.

They came to the big city to pursue careers in theater. They fell in love at “Hello” and have been together ever since.

Although they eventually left theater for marketing and sales, they have remained entertainers at heart.

Now the the couple, who live in Franklin Park, transmit their passion for what Longwell calls “fun, food and fabulousness” through online video.

Loon, who often pokes fun at his own ample girth, was happy to be his partner’s taste tester. What’s more, he found he had a knack for food styling and photography.

Longwell credits the online traffic to his approachable and lively style of comfort-food cooking.

Among the more than 550 cataloged recipes are categories such as delectable desserts, scrumptious sides and cele-brunch dishes such as apple-cider cinnamon doughnuts and a classic shrimp ‘n’ grits. The last of those is presented in a nearly 12-minute video of instruction, accompanied by cheering, singing and general merriment.

When Longwell was growing up in Texas, his mom was always in the kitchen. At a young age, he “learned that food was not only enjoyable, it was a great way to bring people together to have fun and celebrate sharing good food,” he says.

Last year the couple met television producer Mark Ganguzza of Belmar. Ganguzza showed them how well video could “capture the spirit that we feel makes us unique and sets us apart,” Longwell says.

In addition to recipe videos, the pair have a video series called Weekend Food and Fun, pegged to seasonal happenings and events like the tuxedo-clad session that recently appeared celebrating the Tony Awards.

“Front and foremost, humor is a big part of it,” Longwell says. “People can watch us like we are in our own kitchen just being us, having a good time, cutting up and being silly.”

Classic Gazpacho

From howtofeedaloon.com

How to Feed a Loon's Gazpacho

How to Feed a Loon’s Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • ⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2½ pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled (heat in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then peel away the skin), and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, finely chop (but don’t puree) the cucumber and bell peppers.
  2. Add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add to food processor the onion and parsley. Chop, but don’t puree.
  4. Add the onion/parsley mixture to the cucumber/pepper mixture.
  5. Add to food processor the tomatoes and pulse for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add tomatoes to the veggies in the bowl.
  7. Add to the bowl the tomato juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, jalapeno and salt.
  8. Stir well and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  9. Serve in chilled vessels

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