Toronto young professional Dorian Burns-Coyne left the advertising world to solve a dilemma we young professionals face on the regular: what to make for dinner.
Enter Blade & Skillet.
With easy to follow three-minute videos – hosted by Burns-Coyne – you can learn to make some of your favourite dishes simply, quickly, and in serving sizes that make sense for your lifestyle.
We caught up with Burns-Coyne to hear a little more about it.
What makes Blade & Skillet any different than anything else out there?
Blade & Skillet is the first video based cooking site that was created for young professionals. It started from my own day-to-day problem. I’d come home from work after a long day and want to make something nice, but there was nothing that appealed to me. Everything was targeting the 35-55 year old mom who would be cooking 4-6 servings, over the course of 1-2 hours, with a long list of ingredients, and some hardware that I didn’t even own. So I started to improvise and refine the recipes and realized there was nothing like this out there. It’s quick and easy, it’s simple yet stylish, the recipes are delicious, and it’s all in a beautiful video that’s three minutes or less.
Where does your culinary knowledge come from?
I don’t actually have any formal culinary training, but I’ve always had a knack for cooking. When we were coming up with the concept for Blade & Skillet we intentionally used someone who didn’t have a formal cooking background (myself) because most young professionals don’t either. A lot of people think cooking is a huge, daunting task, so in order to make it feel more accessible, we thought, “Why not use a regular young professional?”
Why will it appeal to young professionals?
I know it sounds cliché, but this was created by young professionals, for young professionals. The recipes are simple, the serving size is 1-2, the ingredient list is short, the cook time is short, it’s in video format, it was shot beautifully and edited into short videos that are three minutes or less. Most importantly, everything is delicious.
Why did you decide to leave the corporate world?
I was in the ad industry, and although I’d been cooking these dishes for myself and friends, making a business out of it was an entirely different endeavour. I would work all day, come home, cook something quick (if I had time – typical,) then work on the business for a couple hours each night. Then we started to get into video production and I was taking vacation days so we could shoot videos. It came down to a decision of whether or not I wanted this to be my hobby, or if I wanted it to be something big. I chose the latter, and here we are.
What was the biggest challenge in launching the company?
I think the biggest thing was working within the schedules of some of the top photographers and directors in the industry. We had high standards for the video content, and finding people who were willing to work on a smaller project with a lot of potential versus a large, established client was tough.
What was the biggest surprise?
The biggest surprise would have to be the reaction and support I’ve received from fellow young professionals. I knew this was something that we all needed, but from the moment we launched we’ve seen a massive amount of support. From long lost friends on Facebook messaging me telling me it’s exactly what they need, to complete strangers tweeting @BladeandSkillet asking where we’ve been all their life, it’s been incredible how well it’s been received.
What’s the best part of leading an entrepreneurial lifestyle as opposed to a 9-5?
Well I think most would agree that the typical 9-5 is now more like an 8-6 or maybe even a 7-7, and when you’re starting out there can be some pretty gruelling work as well. As an entrepreneur you still have those hours, (in a lot of cases you work even longer,) but you get to work on something where you see a direct impact on people’s lives. Don’t get me wrong, I had a blast working in the ad industry, but sometimes it’s hard to see what the impact of all your hard work is. With Blade & Skillet, we’re making the lives of a generation easier, and it couldn’t feel any better.
What makes the recipes no-fail? Can anyone confidently make them?
Absolutely. If you can hold a knife and grip a pan, there’s something for you on Blade & Skillet. We spent countless hours refining each recipe down to its essentials, and they’re all made by someone just like you, so absolutely anyone can cook them. We have three free recipes on the site to check out before you sign up (Seared Strip Loin Steak, White Wine Dijon Chicken, and Portobello Burgers) and if you watch any of those you’ll see how easy it really is.
Photos by: Sebastien Dubois