Binging With Babish (sometimes abbreviated to BWB) is a YouTube-based cooking show hosted by food enthusiast and hobbyist chef Andrew "OliverBabish" Rea. Each episode sees Andrew attempting to accurately replicate a food and/or recipe that appears in either a film or a TV show, using descriptions from the movie or show combined with his own culinary knowledge. If the food in question doesn't work, ends up being inedible, or could otherwise be improved upon, he then attempts to create a better version. Some episodes cover multiple dishes from one piece of media, or showcase variations of a food from different works, such as the "Cocktail Special" episode.
The show debuted in February 2016, and after hitting 100 thousand subscribers in January 2017, it quickly exploded in popularity, making it all the way to 1 million subscribers in less than five months. The channel hit the 3 million subscriber mark in August 2018 and is still growing.
The show also became affiliated with other major cooking channels, such as You Suck At Cooking and First We Feast, and did several collaborations with other channels, like Cocktail Chemistry and Bon Appétit magazine's It's Alive! with Brad [Leone].
In October 2017 he released a cookbook, Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers, containing recipes he's done on the show (and some he hasn't).
On October 12, 2017, Andrew launched a subseries, Basics with Babish, to help people who are just starting cooking.
On March 19, 2019, Andrew announced a series by the name of Being with Babish, featuring he and his friend/collaborator Sawyer visiting/helping fans (with It's Alive!'s Vincent "Vinny" Cross as cameraman). It launched on March 22nd.
Also, for full, detailed versions of the recipes from each of the episodes, please see the the Binging With Babish website.
Binging With Babish has the following tropes:
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Numerous examples:
At this point, you can keep these fries frozen for up to three months, so you can have fresh fries whenever you fancy. But for now, I want fries in my face forthwith.
- Episode 61 (The Wire) stands out.
- April Fools: He makes "traditional Japanese donuts" from an English dub of Pokémon for his April 1st, 2019 episode. (He makes actual riceballs the next day.)
- Alliterative Title: Binging With Babish. Sometimes abbreviated to BWB.
- Author Appeal: Frasier.
- For a while the opening theme of the series was "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs".
- During the episode on il timpano from Big Night, he mentions that he watched the show for six hours while cooking.
- A special on it after co-star John Mahoney died was made.
- In one episode, he gets into an argument with his cameraman if Daphne or Roz is hotter.
- He sometimes uses the show's episodes as units of measure for cooking times.
- Awesome, but Impractical:
- With some ingredients, such as puff pastry in the first episode he did on Mad Men, Andrew finds that as cool as it might be to make them homemade, the process is so time-consuming that it would be much easier to just pick them up at a store.
- Similarly, Andrew bluntly points out in "Szechuan Sauce Revisited" that you could just go and buy Chicken McNuggets instead of making them at home.
- Most of the Movie Theater Popcorn & Raisinets from Whiplash episode ends up this, with Andrew making chocolate covered raisins and cranberries. However, he makes them with Dark Chocolate (which he prefers), painstakingly coating each individually. The results turn out not to work when mixed with the popcorn as the Dark Chocolate clashes with the buttery flavor of the popcorn, making the store bought chocolate raisins (covered in Milk Chocolate) a better choice.
- In the "Lemon Pepper Wet from Atlanta'', he makes his own Lemon Pepper seasoning, while admitting from up front that it's a waste of time and effort and that the viewer should just buy readily available commercial Lemon Pepper seasoning.
- Again with Créme de la Créme á la Edgar he pretty much tells the viewer to just go out and buy some damn Ritz crackers.
- Bubble Bass' memetic order at the Krusty Krab is borderline impossible to stack up properly since it's less of a burger and more of the line of something Shaggy and Scooby would try to create.
- Badass Beard:
Let's answer some viewer mail. adarsh asks: "What is the secret to growing a beard as glorious as yours?" Well, adarsh, it's two things, really: genetics, which thankfully, I have on my side — not up here but down here; and, regular trimming, shampooing, conditioning, oiling, and brushing.
- A coal-black one which, according to the 1 Million Subscriber Special, he puts a lot of work into:
- His friend and former roommate, Rashid, sports a pretty impressive one, too.
- Andrew makes a point of saying that he's not going to use real blood in the Game of Thrones blood pie... before admitting that yes, he is, in fact, doing so (pig's blood, to be exact).
- In "The Moistmaker", Andrew starts off by claiming he will use store-bought processed ingredients to make the titular sandwich before admitting he's just fucking with the viewers. He then proceeds to make cranberry sauce and stuffing from scratch and cooks a fresh turkey which he then hand-carves in order to make the sandwich.
- Beat: Played straight in the Pasta Aglio e Olio episode when he fails to peel garlic with the Tupperware method.Babish: You have perfectly peeled... oh, that didn't really work, did it?
[grabs scotch from pantry]
Babish: I-I guess we're gonna peel these by hand, so get your tools ready...
[pours a stiff one]
Babish: ...and get to peeling.
Babish: Be sure to use your scotch as necessary.
- Black Best Friend: One of his "dearest friends in the entire world" and former roommate, Rashid.
- Broke the Rating Scale:
- The Peep Show rum, water, lettuce, vinegar and salt cocktail is the first accurate show cocktail recipe Babish has done that he flat out stated there was no making it good.
- Likewise, breakfast dessert pasta is the first accurate movie recipe that Andrew doesn't even attempt to improve. The video ends with him forcing down one bite before switching to regular pasta to wash the taste out.
- For laughs, it's one of the recipes he did include in his recipe book "Eat What You Watch". The blurb at the top of the recipe advises against making it.
- The car panini was so disgusting that Babish had no idea how to make it better.
- Buffy Speak: Sometimes Andrew doesn't know or forgets the proper name for an item or cooking technique and just describes it.
- "Let those flavors get to know each other."
- "Let's get down to basics" for Basics With Babish.
- "We can do better" whenever he's going to improve upon a recipe that doesn't work in real life, such as the Chocolate Salty Balls or Moonwaffles.
- "Scrape up all that good stuff off the bottom of the pot..."
- "I feel like I'm saying 'type of food' a lot," usually followed by him attempting to give it a different name that fails quickly.
- Cluster F-Bomb: He lets out one of these after accidentally cutting himself by using a mandolin without a hand-guard. Quite fitting, considering the episode covered the foods of South Park.
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: Andrew himself is a skilled cook, but he invokes this for the sake of accuracy and/or humor towards a disgusting dish, such as the Elf dessert pasta or Homer's Moon Waffles. He'll then try to make an appetizing version of the dish.
- Dagwood Sandwich: Bubble Bass' order was a twenty-four patty patty melt, which Andrew diligently made over the course of six hours.
- Deadpan Snarker: Andrew, though his humor is more on the deadpan side than outright snark.
- Does Not Like Spam: Andrew is NOT a fan of cilantro, which he once even called "the Devil's lettuce". The times a recipe calls for cilantro, he'll still use it for the sake of accuracy but make a point of mentioning his dislike of it. note
- Doing It for the Art: After making Kevin's famous chili, Andrew decides to go the extra mile (because as he states, he's all about accuracy and faithfulness to the source material) and serve it appropriately: spilled onto a carpet. A "low-quality poly fiber carpet", like you would see in an office, to be exact.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The torso and hands of Andrew's friend and then-roommate, Rashid, first appear in the thirteenth episode (Fish Tacos from I Love You, Man), ten months before we ever see his face or hear his voice.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first episode (Parks and Rec burger cook off) was made before Andrew ever intended to make a series, only existing as a test of food lighting. It is missing the usual intro, and Andrew doesn't take the same effort, as usual, to keep his face off camera.
- Epic Fail: When making Eggs in a Nest, Andrew managed to screw up the bread-making process 5 times before deciding to measure by weight instead of volume and got it right the first time.
- The Faceless:
- Andrew deliberately keeps his face out of frame in order to keep the focus on the cooking while he narrates in voiceover. For the first two years, this was occasionally subverted in short, incidental moments when preparing the food or in involuntary reactions to particularly bad tastes.
- Directly averted in his 1 million subscriber special, where he revealed his face to thank the viewers and give a tour of his apartment. He began showing his face a little more often thereafter, such as for the 2 million sub special, where he answers some fan questions while driving out of town to go shopping for exotic meats, and the Hot Pepper Challenge made to honor his late friend Garmt who had recently passed from ALS; his roommate Rashid also shows his face for the first time in the latter. The Garbage Plate episode is a rare non-special with both Andrew and Rashid on-camera to show how much better homemade pasta salad is than store-bought.
- Also averted on Basics with Babish; Andrew gives a brief on-camera introduction to each episode.
- Food Porn: But of course. A common example occurs whenever Andrew makes a sandwich or burger and slices it in half to show the cross-section.
- Gone Horribly Wrong:
- The first attempt at making "Homer Simpson's Patented Space Age Out-Of-This-World Moon Waffles", by following Homer's method exactlynote , resulted in Andrew's waffle iron becoming completely wrecked due to burnt caramelnote , and Andrew's mouth being burned in the process when attempting to eat it. The episode ends with Andrew attempting to chisel the now-solidified caramel off the waffle iron before giving up and buying a replacement.
- Twice in the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode:
- Downplayed: attempting to cut back on the number of times he says "roast" in the Chateaubriand Steak episode almost immediately backfires when he settles on calling the roast he's working on "Julio".
- Downplayed: Andrew forgot to oil the countertop before scraping his pizza dough onto it in "Pizza from Deadpool", and as such has to pry the sticky mass off the counter and his hand in order to quickly remedy it.
- Similarly, right as he's pouring the cheesecake filling into the springform pan in "Pies from Waitress", he immediately realizes he forgot to butter down the sides. Cue him pouring the filling back into the bowl and doing so.
- I Like My X Like I Like My Y: When making the gravy for the Moistmaker sandwich from Friends, Andrew quips, "I like my gravy like I like my women — thin and rich." He then apologizes for it.
- Lemony Narrator: Andrew's silky smooth voice and slightly offbeat humor are half the reason to watch the show.
- Long List: The Every-Meat Burrito. It includes chicken, beef, pork, lobster, shrimp, fish, duck, lamb, turkey, bison, cornish game hen, goose, pheasant, quail, rabbit, squab, venison, boar, alligator, antelope, caribou, elk, ostrich, turtle, rattlesnake, and kangaroo. Plus bacon. And bull testicles.
- Loophole Abuse:
- Because of the fact that "Eggs in a Nest" has been featured in several different shows and movies, people in the comments congratulated him for finally doing a Frasier episode.note
- The episode concerning cannolis from The Godfather. Said cannolis were not actually shown, and were only mentioned; Andrew just wanted an excuse to make cannolis. (That being said, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." is one of the most classic lines from the film.)
- Andrew also used the mere mention of a garbage plate in The Place Beyond the Pines as an excuse to make the Rochester classic.
- Malicious Misnaming: Andrew hates cilantro and has referred to it as "soap" at least once.
- Masochist's Meal: Many of his episodes are just this. Take the most disgusting food you would find in fiction and he would make it as accurate to the work as possible, then taste it on-camera.
- "No. Just... No" Reaction:
- Andrew pointedly decides there is no way to make the rum, water, lettuce, vinegar, and salt cocktail drinkable.
- Rashid's reaction to store bought pasta salad in a blind taste test for the Garbage Plate episode.
- Obligatory Joke: During the Cocktail Special, Andrew shows the very brief recipe for sweet vermouth, rocks, with a twist... which he then repeats (although he cuts it off near the end, apologizing for the joke).
- The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: As the original faithful recreation of the Ultimeatum demonstrated, the entire concept was just a terrible idea. Except for the Himalayan ketchup, which he absolutely adored.
- A Rare Sentence: During the Krabby Patty Supreme episode:Babish: While that heats up, its time to batter our burger. Words I never thought I say.
- And then again a little later:Babish: And then its time to double batter our burger. Words I really never thought I say.
- And then again a little later:
- Reality Ensues:
- By following the Ultimeatum recipe exactly, you get an over-bloated, greasy mess.
- The Cocktail special sees Andrew down six cocktails... which necessitated an epilogue segment where he tried to remedy his hangover.
- Barney's Hangover Fixer Elixir does not fix Andrew's hangover; it actually winds up making him throw up. Not to mention the fact that, since he once went into anaphylactic shock because he ate a banana, he had to have an EpiPen on the ready just in case.
- The Every-Meat Burrito is gag-inducingly awful because different meats require different cooking methods and prep times. It only tasting like chicken like it does on the show would be a massive improvement.
- Rachel's trifle, contrary to Joey's opinion, does not taste good, and contrary to Ross' opinion, does not even taste like feet. The combination of jam, meat, and custard is awful.
- Following Jake's instructions on making the Perfect Sandwich, which includes a lot of fillings (including a whole steak), results in a sandwich that is far too big to actually bite normally (no problem for Jake given his stretching abilities). Andrew has to cut it into slices and roll it into a log to eat it. It was still an apparently good sandwich however.
- Likewise, a workaround was needed for both the "bird from the window" step (as that would've meant, in Andrew's case, using a pigeon), and the "lobster soul" step (which Andrew decided upon making a lobster aioli). Also, using the blowtorch to toast the bread didn't produce favorable results.
- The Car Panini, as made in an actual car, was dangerous to make, impossible to make fully accurately because Creme Egg goo doesn't spill out like the contents of a real egg would, and a structural disaster that was barely stable enough to eat or even remove from the press.
- In a rather roundabout way, the 2019 April Fools Day episode showcases exactly how a jelly filled donut could resemble onigiri (outside the ones that look more accurate).
- As one can guess, Ralph Wiggum's Crayon Sandwich was inherently unappetizing.
- Real Men Cook: Andrew's a more mature, masculine guy than his job description would indicate.
- Running Gag: Andrew's deliberate and varied mispronunciations of "Worcestershire", whenever the sauce is used.
- Self-Imposed Challenge: Whenever Andrew decides to improve upon a given food item.
- Since the "World's Greatest Sandwich" is just a BLT with cheese and a fried egg, Andrew decided go through the time and effort to make homemade bread in order for the video to have more content.
- Similarly, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.-inspired sandwich is quite simple, so a significant portion of the episode is devoted to making homemade ciabatta bread for the sandwich.
- "Eggs in a Nest" once again sees Andrew go through the extra mile to make bread from scratch, except here he decides to make a loaf by weight of ingredients following five "dud loafs" made by volume of ingredients. It's worth mentioning he's doing this while on vacation in Vermont.
- Before McDonalds came out and rereleased it, Andrew decided to make "Szechuan Sauce" from scratch based on what he thought it would taste like. When it was re-released, he got his hands on a sample and the recipe and attempted to make an exact replica.
- Since, based on appearance, the Big Kahuna burger looks like just a regular cheeseburger, Andrew decided to go the extra mile and (after making that burger) make what he thinks a Hawaiian-style burger would be like.
- In a similar vein, he improves on the Krabby Patty by adding more ingredients to increase its savoriness and assembles it in what he considers the proper order.
- After making the Ultimeatum, Andrew decides to improve upon it with more flavor variety (meaning more meats and no buns soaked in burger juice).
- While making an actually palatable version of the Every-Meat Burrito was out of the question, Andrew made an Every-Pork Burrito based on several Mexican pork dishes/products (plus bacon) that was actually tasty.
- Andrew improved on Rachel's trifle with the result being not awful, though still not great.
- Similarly, improving on Beet and Acorn Cookies resulted in cookies which were not disgusting but still inferior to pretty much any other kind of cookie.
- The Cheesy Blaster was simple enough that he made it twice, with the second attempt using a better pepperoni pizza. He then made a third one in the form of a calzone from scratch.
- Averted with the Car Panini; after making it more structured with the second attempt, Andrew suddenly felt stumped over how to make the sandwich somewhat palatable, so he has turned the challenge over to the viewers, with the winner's recipe being featured in the three-million subscriber special.
- The three-day potato salad was easy enough on the first go, as Babish noted that the potato salad shown appeared to be the standard form of potato salad (with the only real difference being Babish pickling his potatoes in order to achieve the "three day" prep caveat). But then Andrew noticed that pickling the potatoes didn't really make a difference taste-wise, so he kept trying alternative variations of potato salad until he achieved a noticeable difference. However, what he ultimately did to accomplish that was to just make french fries instead.
- Since the "World's Greatest Sandwich" is just a BLT with cheese and a fried egg, Andrew decided go through the time and effort to make homemade bread in order for the video to have more content.
- Serious Business: Andrew considers the "garbage plate" to be this, due to it being the signature dish of his hometown of Rochester, NY.
- Shout-Out: The title is a reference to Oliver Babish from The West Wing, which is Rea's Reddit handle.
- Andrew is also fond of quoting the "you are the [x] of your [food-that-rhymes-withor-otherwise-puns-on-x]" joke favored by Chef John of Food Wishes.
- Simple, yet Awesome: The Lover's Delight Sundae episode ends with Andrew comparing the expensive, decadent, and time-consuming Lover's Delight Sundae with Liz's idea of decadent sweetness: a chocolate covered doughnut microwaved for fifteen seconds. Andrew clearly enjoys the doughnut very much.
- Slow Motion: Occasionally used for neat effects, like showing an alcohol-based fireball in the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Special".
- Something Completely Different: The Car Panini is given a Doug Score rating, beating out the Yugo GV on the weekend score. Doug summed it up in the comment below.
- Squick: Invoked. Some recipes, such as the chocolate cake from Matilda, involve the use of human bodily fluids (sweat and blood in this case), which Andrew does include for accuracy.
- Supreme Chef: Andrew is a skilled chef who has been cooking since he was a kid. When the dish comes out good, he and the occasional guest love it.
- The Stinger: Some episodes end with a short, usually amusing clip from the cooking process with the raw audio left in.
- The Stoic: Andrew's narration, while having a dose of humor, is rather even-keeled.
- Tempting Fate: In using the mandolin without using a handguard in the "South Park" special:
- Take That!:
- Andrew bluntly states that putting lettuce between the patty and the cheese is a terrible idea.
- Not only does Andrew flat out state that the "Car Panini" was a horrible sandwich, but during the Doug Score section of the video, Andrew gives it a Weekend Score of 15 out of 50, and a Doug Score of 28 out of 100.
- The Cool Factor is given a 3, not only because of Family Guy not being as funny as it was in its first four seasons, but because Andrew states that the episode in particular where the sandwich comes from is only noteworthy "for its lack of 'manatee jokes'".
- Not only that, but as Doug DeMuro himself stated in the comments, the sandwich barely managed to beat out the Yugo GV in the Weekend Score.
- Downplayed: when citing the beer breakfast from The Wire, he labels it as coming from "the kind-of inferior Season 2".
- Take That, Audience!: As Andrew declares in "The Wire Special", if the viewer were to cook their pit beef any more well done than how Andrew did it, they would be "incorrect".
- The Tell: How to tell when Andrew likes a dish: his hand starts shaking up and down.
- Throw It In!:
- Invoked. Many examples of flubs (dropped food, injuries) or unrehearsed reactions to the food (whether good or bad) appear in the series, and Andrew occasionally comments on them. Expect any dropping or fumbling to be narrated with a "whoops" as if it was in real time even though the narration is recorded separately from filming.
- Implied in "Rum French Toast": it appeared that Andrew stumbled over his intro due to Don Draper's delayed response in the clip he was using.Sally: Is it bad?Andrew: Hey, what's up, g-Don: Not really.Andrew: Hey, what's up, guys?
- Unfazed Everyman: Invoked by Andrew in the Two Million Subscriber Special. One butcher shop employee helps him find two dozen unusual types of meat, then rings up the sale (a total bill of slightly under six hundred dollars) without blinking.That guy was a stone cold pro. He didn't even bat an eye.