Chef John Reveals His Greatest Recipe Successes And His Biggest Flops - Exclusive

Chef John Mitzewich, the man behind the popular YouTube channel "Food Wishes," doesn't know how to answer questions about his favorite recipes he has filmed for his show. Not because he minds extolling this or that dish, but because it's simply a very hard question.

"This is the one question I just can never answer," he told Mashed during an exclusive interview. "I find that just impossible because when you post twice a week for 13, 14 years, how do you pick? I just went over 4 million subscribers not too long ago and I did a live chat to celebrate, and I was supposed to do a top 10 for my most memorable recipes — it was just impossible. I just ended up just being, 'I guess those 10 will be fine.'"

After thinking it over for a while, Chef John did come up with a few of his favorite "Food Wishes" recipes. "Chicken parm is one of my favorite recipes — it's a favorite to eat at a restaurant, so I developed a chicken parm casserole," he said. "One of my other favorite things to do is take sort of iconic dishes, restaurant dishes, and make them super easy and approachable for the home cook. You make something into a casserole and people are like: 'Oh, I could do that.'"

"And then one, I'll end with this one," he went on, "because I never could figure out what to call it. It's chicken, sausage, peppers, and potatoes ... oh, and some onions ... you take those four main ingredients, olive oil, herbs, spices, you toss it in a big roasting pan and you throw it in a hot oven. Just let it go in there until everything's just brown and caramelized. One of the best dishes ever, but it never had a name."

The good, the bad, and the overcomplicated

You don't get to more than 4 million fans without making some pretty great recipes, and at present count, "Food Wishes" has 4.02 million subscribers (via YouTube). On the other hand, you don't upload two or three recipe videos to YouTube every week for more than a dozen years without a few flops. Now, many a chef out there would simply sweep their culinary blunders under the proverbial rug, but not Chef John — he owns it. That's just how this honest, laid-back chef rolls.

"If someone requests something I've never heard of, I research it, I test it out. Sometimes I'll just film my first try and if it's a total fail, I'll post that anyway. Other times you get beginner's luck," he said. So, what have been some of the biggest fails?

"Cauliflower fries," he said at once. "A horrible one. Horrible. They took all day, not crispy. Horrible. But again, I'm always completely honest in the videos. I never do any food trickery, styling. If it's sucks, I just say: 'This was horrible!'"

Other times, the food comes out tasting fine, but Chef John still gets honest. "Like the homemade ketchup," he explained. "I got to the end of the video and I'm like: 'You know what? Don't make this. This is stupid.' Why would you spend all those hours to make the ketchup that was almost as good as the stuff out of the jar from the store, which is like what? Four bucks?"

For the latest in Chef John's food tips and recipes, be sure to tune into his YouTube channel, "Food Wishes."