Shalom Life | July 01, 2014

Breakthrough Jew – Harley Morenstein

Morenstein is the co-creator and host of the popular YouTube cooking show, Epic Meal Time

By: Sarah Bauder

Published: November 28th, 2013 in Culture » Food » News

Hot, hip, and heady, the next wave of Jewish artists and influencers has already arrived. This is Breakthrough Jew, your weekly showcase of those on the verge of discovery and ready to be a regular figure in pop culture; setting trends, redefining genres, and simply getting it done-whatever ‘it’ is. These days, it’s not enough to know what’s hot now; you need to catch someone when they’re just starting to simmer.

Featuring those in film, fashion, food, and beyond, we’ll find the story before substance is obscured by style, before hype meets backlash, and before talent and purpose gets lost in a maze of Internet chatter. See an artist in the cozy bar before they hit the amphitheater, dine at a chef’s new restaurant before the line begins, and catch a young writer’s work before the demands of ratings and longevity encroach.

Follow our lead and we’ll follow yours – send us tips or suggestions via email, comment below or tweet us @ShalomLife, as we explore the Jewish landscape for pop culture pioneers.

Name: Harley Morenstein

Age: 28

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec

Breakthrough Cred: Co-creator and host of the popular YouTube cooking show, Epic Meal Time

By its original definition when used as an adjective, the word “epic” can be used to describe something that is imposing or impressive, or remarkable on a grand scale. That said, nearly everything about Harley Morenstein could be described as epic. He stands at an imposing 6’6’’, with a fighting weight that hovers around the 265 mark, not to mention, plenty of swagger to spread around. It’s fitting then, that Morenstein and friend, Sterling Toth, created the YouTube sensation of a cooking show, Epic Meal Time – Think the guys from Jackass, whipping up gut-churning, astronomically high calorie, bacon filled, over-the-top meals. With over 5.8 million subscribers to the channel, not to mention millions of views, Morenstein (who hosts the weekly episodes) and his crew are bona fide Internet stars.

“We’re catering to an Internet, ADD generation that’s into cooking shows that are fast and in your face,” Morenstein told The Montreal Gazette in 2011.

The first official video for Epic Meal Time launched in October 2010, with “Fast Food Pizza”, where ““Ronald McDonald, Wendy, A&W bear, Taco Bell Dog and Colonel Sanders have a wild orgy covered in tomato sauce on some dough under cheese.”


“When the first video launched, we thought, ‘Oh this is cool, this looks cool. I can imagine people sharing it because it has all these burgers in it. After shooting and looking at the final version, which was about eight minutes long, I edited it down to three minutes just to get to the point. Shortly after editing the film I reserved the name ‘Epic Meal Time’. I said to myself, ‘If this gets 10,000 views, I’ll make another one. It got 100,000 views, but died down after about five days, so we released the next episode,” Morenstein explained to Forbes in 2012.

Said video has now garnered over 5 million views, and spawned a new episode that is promptly uploaded to YouTube every Tuesday. Epic Meal Time has become so popular that everyone from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, to Tony Hawk, to Kevin Smith, to Deadmau5 have appeared in episodes. The show has likewise been parodied numerous times (always an indication that one has truly arrived) with such gems as Vegan Meal Time, Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time, or Epic Meal Time – Kids Edition, just to name a few.

Find out more about Harley Morenstein and Epic Meal Time on page 2!

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