The Untold Truth Of YouTuber Adam Ragusea

YouTube chef Adam Ragusea is known for his quirky personality and to the point, simple recipes presented in fanfare-free videos. Ragusea rose to fame as a YouTube superstar in 2019 after posting a home video of him making a New York-style pizza, a video that quickly went viral and today has over eight million views. Soon after, he posted a video featuring his broiled chocolate chip cookie recipe, which was also a hit with 2.5 million views (via 13 WMAZ). Ragusea had found his niche, and he ran with it.

"I know that you don't let an opportunity like that go by," he said. "So, I made more [videos]."

Ragusea now has 1.65 million YouTube subscribers who tune in on Thursdays for cooking lessons and recipes and Mondays for videos with Q&As spotlighting chefs and other foodies. Even though Raguesea may be internet-famous now, many fans may wonder where he came from and how he rose to the top of YouTube's food community. Here is the untold truth of Adam Ragusea.

Adam Ragusea got his start as a musician

Perhaps surprisingly, long before his days of YouTube glory, Adam Ragusea studied music in college and holds two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree in music theory and composition (via LinkedIn). One of Ragusea's compositions of chamber music won Columbia University's Joseph H. Bearns Prize in Music (via Ragusea's website). The quintet, written during his college career, was inspired when Ragusea came across an article about ancient flutes found at an archaeological site in China and is composed of flute, guitar, cello, marimba, and percussion parts (via Daily Collegian).

Ragusea still writes and performs music, much of which can be found on Soundcloud, but he has pulled away from music as a career for a major reason. "I'm intellectually scatterbrained," he said in an interview with Slate. "I was very into music and I was decent at it, but part of the reason I washed out of that scene was just that I was so interested in other things."

Adam Ragusea had a lengthy journalism career

Adam Ragusea had an impressive run as a journalist and journalism professor. According to his LinkedIn, Adam Ragusea began his journalism career in 2006, working for WFIU Public Radio as a music host, and eventually as a news reporter. From there, he moved to WBUR in Boston where he served as a host and reporter for "Radio Boston." Eventually, Ragusea relocated to Georgia where he took on more responsibilities as a bureau chief with Georgia Public Broadcasting. He has also served as a print journalist, host of the podcast "The Pub," and as a journalism professor at Mercer University.

"I really felt like I had won the lottery," Ragusea said of obtaining his position as a professor. "Everything was going great, but it got greater," he continued, speaking of his career transition to YouTube celebrity with 13 WMAZ. Ragusea credited his experience as a journalist to his ability to keep his YouTube videos concise yet chock full of information.

"We know in journalism ... how to write a tight lede," Ragusea said. "How to get right into something."

Adam Ragusea doesn't do anything fancy when filming his videos

In an interview with Slate, Adam Ragusea discussed why he very intentionally shies away from using professional lighting and filming techniques when shooting his videos, claiming as he is making simple food, such as his infamous pizza, it should be portrayed and displayed simply.

"I'm not trying to do super sexy food. I'm trying to do really functional, almost clinical food videos that just show you honestly what the food will look like at its various stages. I'm not trying to razzle-dazzle you or make you think the food is better than it actually is," he told Slate.

Therefore, instead of extensive professional equipment, Ragusea uses a ring light that he sets up in his very own, real-life home kitchen. He said the light gives him "a look that is unique. It puts this very unnatural glow on the food that I find very quirky and fun" (via Slate).

Adam Ragusea is the "Mariah Carey Christmas Chord Guy" and he doesn't like it

Adam Ragusea probably shudders with chagrin at the mention of his reputation as the "Mariah Carey Christmas Chord Guy," saying he "hates" the title (via YouTube). It all started with a 2014 statement Ragusea made saying that Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" is one of the best recent Christmas songs. This claim was followed by a 2015 article in Slate in which he compared the chords of the Christmas hit to those of other Christmas classics, thus pointing out why we feel such a connection and familiarity with the Christmas spirit when we hear the song. In 2016, Vox hosted an interview with Ragusea, which he seems to say in his YouTube video was edited in a way that may have skewed what he truly meant and that the headline, "The secret chord that makes Christmas music sound so Christmassy," may have been a bit of an overgeneralization.

"Ain't nothing secret about the chord in general," Ragusea states as a response to the Vox piece and his reputation in the YouTube video. "...And indeed, I wasn't even saying that that one chord makes the song, or makes the genre of Christmas music. I was just offering it as one example among many."

Adam Ragusea is obsessed with Hershey's chocolate

Adam Ragusea famously loves Hershey's chocolate, so much so he made a YouTube video about his affinity for the candy, defending its taste among comments on his TikTok made by non-Americans that argued Hershey's chocolate tastes quite literally like human vomit. In the video, Ragusea explains the history behind chocolate production and how the process of making Hershey's chocolate differs from that of many international — especially European — chocolate production processes due to the methods used for milk preservation. He points out that Hershey's chocolate contains butyric acid, which is found in sour milk, as well as in our digestive systems. By now you can see the link to vomit emerging, but then why does Ragusea, like millions of other Americans, love Hershey's chocolate and even prefers it to European chocolate?

"People who didn't grow up eating this stuff think it tastes like sick. For me, who did grow up eating this stuff, it's very different because I've eaten Hershey's chocolate way more often than I've thrown up, thankfully. Therefore, to me, butyric acid tastes like chocolate, not sick," he said. Makes perfect sense.

Additionally, Ragusea says he likes Hershey's chocolate so much, he often avoids other types of chocolate when grocery shopping, including Cadbury, claiming the chocolate tastes "dull" and "flat" to him.