Ebbin Jose: The Malayali food and travel vlogger with a global appeal

Ebbin Jose: The Malayali food and travel vlogger with a global appeal
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Enjoying the taste of food is an art. And food vlogger Ebbin Jose derives his energy doing what he likes the most, relishing food.

That’s perhaps the reason why you will always find Ebbin Jose doing videos only with a smiling face. Neither in content nor in presentation of his blogs, Ebbin Jose will never do anything that hurts anyone and that's a guarantee.

Here Ebbin, who has been bringing rustic tastes and beauty of the countryside to you for the past two and half years, is speaking to Manorama Online.

The beginning

When I came to YouTube, the initial plan was to start a travel vlog. But to know about a new place you need to know the local taste and this very thought led me to food vlogging. Currently I am doing food vlogging along with my digital marketing job.

After completing my studies I worked in Bengaluru for a short span and then in Nepal. Thereafter I headed to Africa where I worked for almost 17 years. In 2016, I packed my bags and returned to Kerala.

The box experiment

To begin with I launched an experiment box business for kids but it didn't succeed. Perhaps the time when I started off the business was not right. People were not aware of it. Had it been now, it would have been a sure success.

Now I am going ahead happily with my food and travel channel. I am not keen on returning to experiment box business. But if someone wants to try his hand on an experiment box, I will extend full support. At present I am residing in Ernakulam though my native place is Vakathanam in Changanassery.

Ebbin Jose: The Malayali food and travel vlogger with a global appeal
Ebbin Jose in Beijing, China.

Right from the beginning I have tried my best to do only positive videos because I am well aware of the difficulties in starting a venture. It takes a lot of hard work for a person to start a business be it a small tea shop or a five star restaurant.

The publishing policy

If I do not like something, it is best to tell the person directly. Isn't it good if he improves? But If I see something good I would be happier to tell that to a 1,000 people. I don't publish videos of even a single food that I do not like. I publish only what I like. Many vloggers do it differently. But this is my way. Just because I didn't like the food, I had to return from a dozen odd places without doing the video. I would tell them the reason for my dislike and also promise to return.

It is right that after reading a positive review in Google reviews you may try a particular food and end up finding it not up to the mark. But it does not mean that all those who wrote positive reviews about the food were fools. If you find a fault with someone, tell him privately and if you see goodness shout out loud to the world.

Ebbin Jose: The Malayali food and travel vlogger with a global appeal
Ebbin Jose

Care for kids

Even kids watch food and travel. They closely follow our each movement. With kids also being our viewers, I try maximum to use civilised language. My endeavour is to ensure that I don't transmit anything wrong to the children. Our audience also comprises families.

I don't do food reviews. I don't have the aptitude to do food reviews. I just enjoy the taste of food and tell that to others.

I have been enjoying travel and various tastes since the age of 17. I loved watching TV programmes that featured travel and food. I started watching Mark Weins' programme while in Ethiopia. I was able to bring the world famous food and travel vlogger to Kerala's world of tastes later.

Meeting Mark Weins

While working in Ethiopia I came across a vlog by Weins in which he evinced interest in visiting Kerala. At that time I was a regular viewer of his shows. I sent him an email right then asking him to come over to Kerala and also offered to accompany him throughout the trip to explore the scenic beauty and tastes of the state. But I didn't get any reply. At that time I had not started the food vlog.

Ebbin Jose: The Malayali food and travel vlogger with a global appeal
Ebbin Jose with Mark Weins (2nd from right) and other friends.

Later I came back from Africa, settled down in Kerala and started my own vlog. In November 2019 while having food with my friends in a restaurant, I got a mail on my mobile phone. It was from Weins. He was interested in visiting Kerala for a week and accompanying me on a food tour.

While searching food vlogs of Kerala he came across my vlog and got interested. That's the reason for the mail. Initially I thought someone was pulling a fast one on me but when the same message came on my Instagram, I was convinced that it was him.

I stopped eating food in excitement, headed straight home to send a mail inquiring as to how many days he would be in Kerala. There was no reply for two days. I was a bit disappointed because by then I was thinking about doing a vlog with such a famous personality.

The reply came on the third day. He was on a tour that's why he couldn't respond.

Weins, his wife and friend decided to visit Kerala for a week. He wanted me to plan his programmes for seven days. He would bear the cost of the journey, no sponsorship required, just a traveller van for moving around. No luxurious arrangements.

Ebbin Jose: The Malayali food and travel vlogger with a global appeal
Mark Weins with Ebbin Jose during his Kerala visit.

Then everything happened too soon. Food trips through Kannur, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram districts were a different experience.

Taste of Malabar, countryside toddy shop delicacies, tribal recipes of Ponmudi all happened with precision planning. Just a day before arriving in Kerala, Weins expressed the desire to cover a marriage, just like the one I had done earlier in my vlog. While all other things could be arranged the big question that remained was where we will get the couple for the marriage. Weins was staying at SeaShell, Kannur. I informed Harris of SeaShell about Wein's demand. But our efforts did not succeed. Later we came across a house warming ceremony and as luck would have it, the family there helped us shoot a marriage as well.

Thereafter it was a whirlwind tour covering Amma Hotel in Kozhikode, Bharat hotel in Thrissur and from Malabar straight to the delicacies of Alappuzha and then Thiruvananthapuram. We returned to Kottayam for tapioca biriyani and traditional fish curry.

While seeing off Weins and his wife at the Kochi airport, the couple thanked us profusely from the bottom of their heart. It was much more than they expected. They asked me how I managed to take them to so many places despite the tight schedule. I just had one reply "I am a Malayali".

Weins is so fascinated with Kerala that he still sends pictures of their attempts at making Kerala's kudampuli fish curry in Bangkok. Many people call me from abroad after seeing the video with him. Kerala tourism also received a lot of recognition through these videos.

Income through YouTube

These days many people are coming to the world of food vlogging. The competition is getting intense there. That's why I believe that if people do YouTube videos related to their respective businesses it could be highly beneficial in the present times. The income from YouTube should be considered only as supplementary earning. Do not try to live by it. There is no point in doing things on other's platform thinking it's our own.

Ebbin Jose: The Malayali food and travel vlogger with a global appeal
Ebbin with wife Kalpita Chakraborty and daughters Keya and Keyara.

Travel and food book

The work on a book containing my experiences in Ethiopia along with some fiction, is going on at the moment. I am thinking of devoting more time to writing in 2021. I want to focus on interesting videos and there are plans for some foreign trips as well.

Ebbin Jose at Manoramaonline Techspectations

Food and Travel vlogger Ebbin Jose is participating in the First Shows Manorama online Techspectations 2020. Manorama Online which gave the digital face to Malayali's reading habits is organizing the third edition of the National Digital Summit on November 27 and 28.

The third edition of the First Shows Manorama Online Techspectations digital meet is taking place in the backdrop of the global economic struggle to recover from the crisis triggered by COVID-19 pandemic and to explore new opportunities for returning to the path of growth.

The virtual Digital Summit "Techspectations 2020" is being held on the theme "Digital-led 2021: Define the New Normal" based on the idea "march forward overcoming the challenges. The third edition of Techspectations is also an assembly of people who have made a mark in the technology sector, heads of prominent brands and people from business fields who will share their experiences and startups.

First Shows, the soon to be launched OTT platform, is the title sponsor of the summit. "Amrita Ahead" the Amrita University's online degree programme, is the knowledge partner.

For more information, visit www.techspectations.com

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