Why Chef John Started Sounding Like That

Since 2007, John Mitzewich, better known as Chef John, has been teaching the aspiring chefs of tomorrow via his YouTube channel "Food Wishes." With a warm smile and a love for cayenne pepper, Chef John tackles a wide variety of dishes, breaking down complex recipes into simple, easy-to-follow steps to help spread the joys of cooking across the internet.

Like all online chefs, Chef John has a few special tricks up his sleeve to make him stand out from the rest. While Andrew Rea of "Binging with Babish" deals with creating dishes from movies and TV shows, Chef John places the focus squarely on the food itself rather than any elaborate showmanship. You never see his face, only his hands, and also hear his voice which, with all due respect, can sound a bit jarring to those who first experience it.

Chef John's tone sounds like he's constantly asking a question — as if he's raising an eyebrow to the viewer to ask "Do you think I should put this ingredient in?" While some viewers may find this inflecting tone soothing or charming, some on Reddit have found it so annoying they can't finish the videos.

But why exactly does Chef John talk like that? Is it a speech impediment or possibly a problem with the audio equipment?

The sound is due to Chef John's editing process

John's unusual speaking voice isn't his natural voice, rather, it's how he sounds when he narrates his videos on "Food Wishes." As he explains to Tubefilter, he can only speak a few words into the microphone without stumbling over himself, so he records the same lines of dialogue over and over if need be. Once he's done, John then picks out the best-sounding takes and edits them together. It's like recording yourself giving a speech, picking out the key details, and then splicing it all together. What you get is a coherent, if not a bit choppy, sounding recording of your own voice with different tones and inflections.

The chef does note, however, that while it may be strange to hear at first, his viewers get used to the sound of his edited voice very quickly. He jokes that he probably won't change the way he edits or talks, after all, he has over 4 million subscribers (via YouTube). Chef John has a point, considering that his older videos were unedited, but had a more serious tone. While it still bothers some viewers, fans on r/foodwishes have claimed to have gotten used to it and some have even admitted to finding the tone of voice rather soothing.

"It's who he is and what he does. It's one of the main reasons I watch him," said a user. "If you listen to his early videos it's nothing like as strong, so I guess it's deliberate."