Creators on the Rise: Farnum just wants to impress his wife

By 09/13/2023
Creators on the Rise: Farnum just wants to impress his wife

Welcome to Creators on the Rise, where we find and profile breakout creators who are in the midst of extraordinary growth. Today’s installment is brought to you by VidSummit.

Farnum just wanted to impress his wife.

Before dating her, he figured he had a “pretty good palate,” but he didn’t employ it much. When she–fellow content creator Jaclyn Hill–came into his life, though, he realized food “was going to be a love language that we both felt in a real way.”


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“Honestly,” he says, “I got my real start just by cooking meals to make her happy. Just out of love.”

Once his repetoire of home-cooking dishes had been built up, it was Hill who encouraged him to get on YouTube. For Farnum (aka Jordan Torrey), it was an expansion of his wheelhouse: he already owned a videography company and was making commercials for major brands, as well as shooting some videos for brands Hill worked with, like Morphe. “I was behind the camera for many years,” he says, but it was the first time he was considering stepping in front of it himself.

He wasn’t sure he wanted to. As Hill’s right-hand man and someone who has, you know, simply experienced the internet a time or two, he’d seen what anonymous commenters can be like, and he didn’t think he wanted to open himself up to the negativity creators often face.

But Hill convinced him the pros could outweigh the cons, and he agreed to do one video. Just one.

Then that video did, Torrey says, “Extremely well.”

We’ll let him tell you the rest below.

@farnumgrindtime She asked for Big Mac Tacos, but healthier! Low Cal tortillas, fresh veg, and fresh ground beef! 🔥🔥 @bloomnu #fyp #fypシ #food #foodie #recipe #dinnerideas #dinner #lunch #bigmac #bigmactacos #healthy #tacos #farnumgrindtime #moreseasoning #bloompartner ♬ Rich Minion – Yeat

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Tubefilter: Let’s start with where you’re from and how you ended up on YouTube!

Jordan Torrey: You got it. Absolutely. My name is Jordan Torrey. I go by Farnum online. I am born and raised in Tampa, Florida. I have been in the culinary universe for the last four years on social media. I actually got my start on social media with it just wanting to prepare great meals for my now wife.

Tubefilter: What  sparked your interest in culinary?

Jordan Torrey: I always dabbled with it growing up. I remember as a kid watching Eddie’s Million Dollar Cook-off on Disney Channel. I ran to the freezer and I was like, “I’m going to try this.” I put potato chips on ice cream and then threw up afterwards. It was awful. [laughs] There’s always been an interest there. I feel like I’ve always had a pretty good palate. I really actually dove into wanting to cook when I started dating Jaclyn. I knew that was going to be a love language that we both definitely felt in a real way. Honestly, I got my real start just by cooking meals to make her happy. Just out of love.

Tubefilter: What’s her favorite thing you’ve made?

Jordan Torrey: That’s a tough question. I would say her favorite thing is probably the lobster pasta I make her. It’s on my YouTube channel. I think it was our engagement announcement when we got engaged that I made a lobster linguini, and it was to die for.

Tubefilter: Clearly she has excellent taste.

Jordan Torrey: She’s got a great palate, for sure.

Tubefilter: It sounds like you really started from zero.

Jordan Torrey: Oh, absolutely.

Tubefilter: That went very quickly, then. You’ve grown very quickly.

Jordan Torrey: 100%. Backtracking a little bit, I owned a videography company, and I was filming really big commercials for brands. I was actually filming a lot of stuff for Jaclyn when we would do a lot of her campaigns for Morphe and Jaclyn Cosmetics. I was behind the camera for many years. When we moved to LA–we did a short stint in LA–my main contractor, the person that was contracting me out back here in Tampa, was like, “Hey, if you’re going to be out of state, we’re going to have to find somebody else, respectfully.” I was like, “Absolutely.” We facilitated that.

I was just talking to Jaclyn. “I feel like it’s time for me to make my next move. I want to figure out what my next avenue is.” She’s like, “You’re such a good cook. Why don’t you just film yourself cooking and put it on YouTube?” I was totally turned off to the idea just because there’s so much backlash online with a lot of creators and stuff like that, a lot of negativity. I was like, “I don’t really want to dabble in that,” especially because I had watched her deal with it.

She convinced me. I was like, “I’ll do one.” I filmed the very first one, and it did extremely well, so I just kept it rolling. At the time when I filmed that first video, yes, I didn’t even know what a broccoli florette was. [laughs]

Tubefilter: Okay, it makes a lot of sense that you come from a videography background. Your production quality is really up there.

Jordan Torrey: Yes, absolutely. If you watch my videos, there’s definitely an aesthetic to them that a lot of other channels don’t have. I get everything. I get the lighting. I get how everything works on the cameras and just how to manipulate things and make them look really good. It definitely goes hand in hand. Absolutely.

Tubefilter: Was there a point where you formally decided to commit to continuing to do this?

Jordan Torrey: Yes. I did a winter vacation in Aspen, I think it was 2021. When I was there, I just was talking to Jaclyn about it. I had still been contracting out with other companies and stuff doing the video work, and I wasn’t able to do two uploads a week on YouTube at that time because I was so busy with the other stuff. I was just like, “I think it’s time that I just give myself a year and see what I can do.”

I reached out to my guys and I was like, “Hey, listen, man. I’m going to take the next year off. You might see me again, but if not, it’s a good thing. It means that More Seasoning has done really well for itself, and it’s fully financially sustainable.” I made that decision back in 2021 and I’ve just been doing this full-time ever since.

Tubefilter: What does the average day look like for you?

Jordan Torrey: The average day, I usually wake up. I’ll make Jaclyn and I breakfast. Then I’ll come into the office. Depending on what I have to do, normally, I’ll go through emails, deal with any brands that are reaching out for potential sponsorships, go through my DMs, just see if there’s anybody doing any outreach, stuff like that. Then I basically figure out what I want to film for the day.

I’ll have a couple of ideas going into that, but I’ll narrow everything down. For example, I did a dish I just filmed. I’m going to get killed for the pronunciation on that. I just filmed a dish the other day. I basically just sit down, write down all the components that make a good dish, the techniques. Do some research if needed if I don’t have a full grasp on how to execute the dish.

Then what I’ll do from there is, just knowing flavors in my head and textures and consistencies and stuff like that, I’ll go in and manipulate it and twist it and make it my own if it’s not a traditional dish. Then after that, I usually just run to the store, grab my ingredients, set my camera, my lighting up, and then we rock out. After that, if I have time, I’ll edit and upload. Then it’s dinner time.

Tubefilter: Do you have anybody working with you or do you do all your own stuff?

Jordan Torrey: When I filmed my YouTube videos, I hired my friend. I taught him how to film and edit for me. When I do my YouTube stuff, I do have somebody that films and edits, but everything else, that short-form, I do that all myself.

Tubefilter: Do you have a set amount of stuff that you’re looking to put out per week, like a set amount of videos?

Jordan Torrey: I definitely have a goal. I have a goal. I would love one long-form, one YouTube video, and then three short-forms. The weekends tend not to perform very well on any platform. It gives me Monday through Friday. I give myself three shorts and a long-form. That’s normally what I aim for.

Tubefilter: Got you. How much time goes into the average short-form video for you?

Jordan Torrey: It’s so annoying. When I’m not filming, I can knock out a dish in 30 minutes. When I’m filming, just setting the camera up, moving it around, getting the shot, doing different takes, filming on average, I would say, is 90 minutes to two hours. I’m pretty quick at the edit, so I can knock the edit out in about 30 to 45 minutes. Then you got to go through the process of captions, hashtags, thumbnails, and all that. Full circle, I would say a short form video takes about three and a half hours for me.

When you’re just filming yourself or somebody else, it’s a lot easier. Let’s be real. TikTok favors the algorithm. If you edit in-app, they’re going to push your stuff harder. I just know that based off experience. It’s like, not only am I going from using an $80,000 camera to an iPhone selfie camera, it’s like I have to figure out how to make these dishes and this food look appetizing on this very average camera. In order to manipulate that and get those angles and stuff, it takes time.

Tubefilter: I wanted to talk a little more about you and Jaclyn. You’re one half of a creator couple, but you guys don’t necessarily make content together. I’m really curious about how your household works in terms of you guys being in very different content niches.

Jordan Torrey: We always confide in each other for advice and ideas and stuff like that. I have no problem saying that a ton of the incredible recipes that I’ve come up with have absolutely been Jaclyn’s idea. Like I said, she’s got an amazing palate. I get a lot of suggestions and ideas from her as well as her content. We bounce ideas off of each other. I would say in that aspect, off camera, we definitely do work together a lot in that aspect.

She’s also got a huge business with tons of employees and stuff like that, so it’s like people see me doing my thing on my side, but I’m also helping on her side behind the scenes with everything that goes on over there like any partner would.

As far as us collabing, she’s beauty and lifestyle and I’m more culinary. When it makes sense to have her in a video– when I make her something, those videos where I’m like, “Baby, what do you want to eat?” it absolutely makes sense. Outside of that, those fields and those audiences don’t really cross over. Off camera, we collaborate a lot, on camera, not so much.

Tubefilter: Having that kind of support, I think there’s nothing else like, it especially when you’re both creators.

Jordan Torrey: Absolutely. Jaclyn, she’s got so many followers. She’s created such an incredible career. It truly is helpful to have her by my side. I remember when I had my first sponsorship, I didn’t really know how to navigate that. I have all the advice from her. When it came to the first interviews, or getting management, and expanding on different platforms, I had her to confide in versus just shooting in the dark. She is definitely a huge asset and a huge help to everything and every decision I’ve made as far as my content goes.

@farnumgrindtime Wifey is feeling sick again and asked for another pot roast woth mashed potatoes. Coming right up! 👨🏻‍⚕️🩺 @bloomnu #fyp #fypシ #food #foodie #recipe #trend #dinnerideas #dinner #potroast #potroasttok #sick #moreseasoning #farnumgrindtime ♬ Feel No Ways – Drake

Tubefilter: That’s fantastic. Very cool. Speaking of, you mentioned crossover between your audiences. You’re doing really well on both TikTok and YouTube. I was curious if you’ve noticed any audience differences between the two platforms.

Jordan Torrey: Yes. I would say up until about the end of last year, because on YouTube, in the analytics section, it’ll show you who your followers also watch, and then it’ll give you 10 creators. It was always Manny MUA, Jeffrey Star, Laura Lee. It was all the makeup gurus. I’m like, “Okay. My audience is predominantly Jaclyn’s fans.”

Towards the end of last year, I just started seeing all those names come off and food creators start creeping up. I was like, “Oh, that’s really exciting.” At that point, I had plateaued as far as growth goes. Although I feel like it was helpful having her audience give me that initial jumpstart, I feel like it plateaued me because it wasn’t pushing me towards the audiences that liked food. It was pushing me towards audiences that liked makeup. When I burnt my fingers on the frying pan, that video went super viral and it completely changed the landscape of who was watching my content. Now, it’s just all food creators. My growth just started. It just started booming out of nowhere and I was like, “Awesome.” That was definitely the kick that my channels needed.

Tubefilter: I know you said you wanted to get into more long-form. Do you have any other plans or goals? Any projects you’re working on?

Jordan Torrey: Yes. It’s difficult right now with long-form because YouTube is just not pushing it. Aside from a very select few creators, I feel YouTube is just pushing those shorts super hard. I see more success with my shorts than I do my long-form content. The long-form stuff is great. Every creator that I’ve seen across the board besides Mr. Beast, views are down on long-form and views are up on short-form. It’s really hard to find a balance there.

I would absolutely love to see the long-form stuff take off because that’s when I really get to have my personality in it. I get to connect with my subscribers, have conversations, do fun Q&As and stuff like that in the middle of my videos versus short form, you’re just trying to get somebody’s attention and keep it for 60 seconds.

I would love to absolutely see that long-form go but just continue growing my channels. I definitely have set a goal that in the next year I would like to get on one of these competition shows like Master Chef or Next Level Chef, something along the lines of that, and compete. I feel like I’m really growing in the technical side of everything, so I feel like I could do really well on one of those. Aside from that, yes, just continue to grow my platform. Maybe put out a cookbook in the future. I know people have been asking for that forever, but I don’t want to do it too prematurely. I want to wait until I’ve hit that next plateau. Hopefully, there isn’t one, but if there is one, on a bigger level. Yes, just grinding honestly. Just the continual grind.

Tubefilter: I feel like you’d be a great fit for a cooking competition.

Jordan Torrey: Oh, I do too. I feel like it would be so fun, especially because–Not for nothing, but I feel like I have a pretty fun personality. Hopefully it shines through.

Tubefilter: It does! Last question: Do you have any advice for people–aspiring creators or established creators–who want to get into the culinary side of things?

Jordan Torrey: Yes, absolutely. Listen. Okay, so there’s two things. One, you’ve either got a lot of personality or you’ve got really incredible-looking food, or you’ve got both. If you are struggling on camera on the personality side, just make sure that those shots and that food looks incredible. Invest in some lighting, invest in a decent camera, and just make sure it looks beautiful. I see food content go viral every single day that has no talking in it.

If you’ve got the talent, you could absolutely just invest in some stuff and you can make it. If you’ve got the personality side of it, let that shine through. That’s the biggest thing as far as I’m concerned with mine, is just trying to figure out how to squeeze my personality into the short-form content, because it’s what’s exploding right now. That’s what I have to say. If you’ve got a good personality, let it shine. If you don’t, let the food shine.

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