TikTok chef brought cooking insight to After Dark


Joseph Dickin

Joshua Weissman performing for ISU AfterDark Nov. 12, 2022.

Viral TikTok chef Joshua Weissman shared his career journey and gave a cooking demonstration at the last After Dark of the semester.

Weissman, who has 6 million followers on TikTok and 7 million YouTube subscribers, was led in discussion by Kenna Smith, vice president of membership for the Student Union Board.

“I saw TikTok as a new way to be expressive and creative that wasn’t really possible anywhere else, and there was no one in food on it,” Weissman said. “The one thing that made me flip the switch was I saw this guy that was cooking eggs, and I swear this guy was filling it with a shoe box. And I was like, ‘Is this really the only cook on here? I gotta do something.’”

At a young age, Weissman’s mother brought him into the kitchen to help her cook. Around age six, he realized he had a knack and passion for cooking. His biggest inspirations were Gordon Ramsey and Anthony Bourdain.

“The reason why I worked in restaurants is because I read [Bourdain’s] book, and he was talking about how much he hated his life,” Weissman said. “I was like, ‘I want to try that.’ [Bourdain] really made it sound badass.”

A knife, a cutting board and a deep sauté pan are the three things Weissman claims everyone needs in their kitchen. With these, it is possible to make most recipes.

While moderating, Smith addressed her admiration for Weissman’s videos on TikTok.

“I’ve seen your trick on cutting grape tomatoes, and it’s good,” Smith said. “I haven’t cut any grape tomatoes since then, but I’m definitely going to use it sometime. It’s very helpful.”

With this trick, Weissman suggests not to cut each tomato in half one at a time. Instead, he finds two container lids, sets all the tomatoes between them and then cuts them all at once horizontally.

“I think my favorite element about being a chef is that most people don’t know that much about food, so it’s really easy to impress people,” Weissman said. “That’s why I’m on the stage today.”

In 2021, Weissman released a cookbook titled “An Unapologetic Cookbook.” He was given one year to write a cookbook with over 120 recipes. Three months before the due date was when he started writing, and two months were needed for editing. Due to this, he wrote 125 recipes in one month. Currently, Weissman is working on his second cookbook.

To end the night, Weissman brought Keven Goepel, a junior majoring in music, on stage with him to cook as a “punishment” for having TacoBell within the past 24-hours. Together they made ramen – a college classic. Their recipe included mushrooms, eggs, green onion and bonito flakes. Maruchan ramen was used, but Weissman recommended Shin Black instead.