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The cook behind the camera: Andrews chef launches YouTube channel

Chef Younes Haimoura discusses videos, culinary journey, work at Andrews

<p>“Sometimes you work long, long days and then you work another long day on your day off. It&#x27;s challenging. But if I love it, it will make me happy. And that&#x27;s exactly what&#x27;s happening. So I&#x27;m happy,” Chef Younes Haimoura said.</p><p></p>

“Sometimes you work long, long days and then you work another long day on your day off. It's challenging. But if I love it, it will make me happy. And that's exactly what's happening. So I'm happy,” Chef Younes Haimoura said.

If you’ve ever eaten a meal at Andrews Commons, then chances are you’ve encountered Chef Younes Haimoura. Charismatic and upbeat, Haimoura always chats with students as they make their way through the meal stations. But beyond his work as a culinary supervisor at Andrews, Haimoura is also the creator behind a nascent YouTube cooking channel.

Haimoura’s YouTube channel features a compilation of YouTube Shorts and long-format videos showcasing the dishes that Haimoura cooks in his free time, from Moroccan tagine to chocolate brownies. Haimoura narrates each step of his cooking process, sharing the ingredients he uses and tips for producing the best dish. Viewers watch in real time as he prepares and cooks each ingredient before finally plating the meal and signing off by saying, “Until next time.”

Haimoura is originally from Morocco, and he first discovered his passion for cooking while studying at a three-year culinary program in his hometown of Fez. “I found myself in love with cuisine and cooking in the kitchen,” Haimoura said. “I started cooking for my friends and family … and they were like, ‘Oh, this is awesome. This is good. You're doing good. We love it.’ And that's how it started.”

After completing the culinary program, Haimoura worked in Morocco’s capital Rabat at the country’s first TGI Friday’s, climbing the ranks to become an assistant kitchen manager. Haimoura came to the United States while participating in Walt Disney World’s cultural representative program at Epcot, an “amazing experience” where he learned customer service skills and improved his English, he recalled.

Haimoura eventually left Florida to pursue an associate’s degree at Quincy College in Massachusetts. Afterwards, he stayed in the area and applied for jobs, including a cook’s helper position at the University, which he described as a “dream place to work.”

Arriving on campus in 2014, Haimoura has worked at the University ever since. “I love every day” working at Brown, he said. “Every minute of it, actually. This is my home. This is my family here.”

But his YouTube career only began this summer, when Haimoura got in touch with old friends from Morocco who were eager to hear about his new career. Haimoura recalled them saying, “‘You need to show us something. When you cook something, do a video and show us what you are doing.’”

Haimoura then began filming cooking videos with a simple setup of shoeboxes and a coat hanger, he said. He sent the videos to his friends, who loved them and encouraged him to post them on YouTube.

Haimoura said his friends love the channel, and he enjoys filming the videos for them. He films the videos on his days off, buying groceries in the morning and spending nearly the entire day cooking three different dishes so he can post the videos throughout the week.

“I'm so happy in my heart that I have three videos that I will post to my friends and (the) people who follow me,” Haimoura said. “Sometimes you work long, long days and then you work another long day on your day off. It's challenging. But if I love it, it will make me happy. And that's exactly what's happening. So I'm happy.

Haimoura’s friends are not the only fans of his YouTube channel. Many students have approached Haimoura in Andrews asking about the filming and preparation of different dishes, he said. Some students have even mentioned plans to use his recipes, Haimoura added.

Haimoura’s family and coworkers also subscribe to the channel. Bryan Chavez, a cook at Andrews, said he watches Haimoura’s videos and recently tried making the recipe for a ribeye steak. Haimoura also mentioned that his sister, who lives in France, made his fettuccine alfredo chicken pasta and told him it came out very well.

Commenters on Haimoura’s channel are similarly enthusiastic, offering their praises in English, French and Arabic. 

“Looks great; keep up the amazing work, chef!” one commenter wrote. 

“So delicious, I'm proud of you,” another wrote. 

“I tried the recipe; it’s really, really great — thank you very much, brother,”️ wrote a third.

Haimoura also brings his passion for cooking to his work at Andrews. His fellow chefs often come up with new specials to serve, and all staff members are encouraged to propose ideas for new dishes, he said.

Chavez, for example, said he and another cook came up with the Cinco de Mayo celebration that Andrews put on last May. When they thought of the idea, they brought it to their supervisors, who are always “very open about trying new things,” Chavez explained.

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Haimoura himself has introduced many specials inspired by traditional Moroccan dishes, from chicken and couscous to kefta and lamb tagine pizza. The challenge, Haimoura said, is figuring out how to scale the dishes to serve thousands of students.

Currently, Haimoura is focused on recording videos that feature fall dishes and desserts so people can use his recipes for the holiday season, he said.

Haimoura emphasized that his YouTube channel is all about sharing his love for cooking and helping others create delicious food. “That's the happiest moment ever for me, when somebody tries my food and they enjoy it,” he said. “I feel like my mission is accomplished at that time. I feel so happy.”


Sam Levine

Sam Levine is a University News editor from Brooklyn, New York overseeing the staff and student labor and on-campus activism beats. He is a sophomore concentrating in International and Public Affairs.



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