London-based Australian couple Warren Murray and Leanne White, known on their site as Waz and Lenny, brought Crash Test Kitchen to the web with their first episode on April 8, 2005. The idea behind the site was to show what happens when non-professional chefs attempt their own cooking show where the mistakes and successes are presented with equal billing. As they say, there’s no “’here’s one we prepared earlier’ fakery,” meaning viewers see all the epicurean exploits in real time.
The exquisitely titled premiere episode “We Did It All for the Gnocchi!” captures the spirit of this vlog. As the hosts prepare their potato pasta, they get drowned out by the blender, display less than Oscar-worthy camerawork, refer to recipes that they found on a gourmet website, attempt Vanna White-style presentation with varying degrees of success, and complain about the cost of certain ingredients. From Tarte Tatin to beefstock from scratch, this is certainly no Emeril Lagasse cooking show, and that’s exactly why the audience tunes in.
Like any good cooking show, Waz and Lenny occasionally invite in some “expert” chefs to show off some specialties. When friend Dave makes a cheesecake, Laz is inspired enough to comment, “I’m starting to believe you know what you’re doing.” This is probably one of the most professional-looking recipes in the mix – except for the part where they all attack the mixing bowl with sticky fingers.