Amherstburg Entrepreneur’s Plant-Based Kitchen Finds YouTube Audience

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Yeung Man Cooking, Wil Yeung’s herbal recipe chain from Amherstburg, recently surpassed 500,000 subscribers and has more than 26 million views.

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How does Wil Yeung, a resident of Amherstburg, explain the popularity of Yeung Man Cooking, the YouTube channel he runs with his wife and which focuses on plant-based recipes?

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“I have absolutely no idea,” Yeung laughs. “I always say, I’m just a random guy on YouTube… I get so many amazing comments. It is very humiliating.

The channel – which shows Yeung making vegan versions of Asian-themed dishes – recently surpassed 500,000 subscribers and has racked up more than 26 million total views since 2014.

But Yeung points out that the channel’s audience has seen the majority of its growth over the past two years.

“Most people give up on their YouTube project very quickly,” Yeung says. “We were fortunate enough to be randomly chosen as a ‘Booming Creator,’ where YouTube’s algorithm picks out which channels are gaining momentum and displays them on the 24-hour trending page. It encouraged us a lot. “

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Now, hundreds of thousands of people regularly check Yeung Channel for herbal reinterpretations of fried rice, ramen, satay, pad thai, bulgogi, katsu, and more.

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Born in Hong Kong, Yeung came to Canada at the age of three. He grew up in the Greater Toronto Area and studied music and education at the University of Windsor.

His eclectic resume includes professionally teaching music, commercial photography, and extensive entrepreneurship.

Yeung started creating content for YouTube as part of one of his businesses: he wanted to feature recipes involving Tru Mylks, his own brand of nut milk.

The highly competitive Toronto food business proved too stressful for Yeung. He turned to creating YouTube content as a kind of therapy, exploring ways to create popular Asian dishes without involving animal products.

“I was like, ‘Hey, it would be nice to have my own cooking show, just for fun,’” Yeung says.

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“It’s interesting to discover new ways of making classic dishes, without meat or dairy products.

Coconut Chickpea Rice, prepared by Wil Yeung of Amherstburg for his YouTube channel Yeung Man Cooking.
Coconut Chickpea Rice, prepared by Wil Yeung of Amherstburg for his YouTube channel Yeung Man Cooking. Photo by YouTube /Windsor Star

Yeung notes that while the channel is vegan-friendly, he is not a vegan himself, and he does not promote a plant-based diet for dietary or philosophical reasons.

“In terms of nutrition, I am not qualified in this area. I usually don’t comment on whether something is healthier, ”Yeung says.

“It’s kind of a niche. Sometimes I have the impression that I have cataloged myself a bit. But, at the same time, I’m really, really curious about plant-based foods. Every day I discover a new technique, like mixing cashews to make a cheesecake. It’s almost a challenge.

“There is no politics in the show. We’re not talking about anything beyond plant-based cooking because we want our content to be inclusive.

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Wil Yeung from Amherstburg in an image from his YouTube channel, Yeung Man Cooking.
Wil Yeung from Amherstburg in an image from his YouTube channel, Yeung Man Cooking. Photo by YouTube /Windsor Star

Nowadays, the channel is more than a full-time occupation for Yeung. He is committed to uploading high quality videos twice a week, applying his skills and resources as a photographer and videographer.

“It’s seven days a week. It really takes a lot of effort,” says Yeung. “If you want to take YouTube seriously, you have to treat it like you’re doing a TV show. When I was younger I loved watching Food Network and I try to put that same energy into the channel.

“To broadcast a TV show, there are a lot of moving parts behind the scenes in production. “

But the future of Yeung Man Cooking will not be limited to YouTube: Yeung has already published two cookbooks under the brand and plans to further develop the business in merchandise and other products.

“My roots are in entrepreneurship,” he says. “I truly believe that anyone can achieve their aspirations.”

Learn more about Yeung Man Cooking via yeungmancooking.com.

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