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Meet Jay Chang of BehindTheKnife in Downtown Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jay Chang.

Jay is the founder and Chief Storyteller of @BehindTheKnife, a chef-driven media brand sharing stories of chefs around the world behind the knife. His passion has always extended beyond the plate into the kitchen, a key driver in why he started on this journey just 3 years ago. Jay’s day to day career is focused in the emerging technology industry working for tech companies since the start of his career in Product Management roles. Immersing himself in the food scene and getting to know the workings of the industry became a way for him to “unplug” from his daily life. As an avid home chef and hopeful restauranteur, he always was interested in the restaurant industry and fascinated by the operations of the kitchen. Starting @BehindTheKnife on Instagram allowed him to get more involved with the industry and create a platform to share stories of chefs and restaurants he admired. Growing a following on Instagram was not something he had any prior experience in, but finding a niche and building a community of people really interested in food culture just started work organically. When @BehindTheKnife started chefs as personalities started becoming a big deal with the popularity of shows like Chef’s Table on Netflix and all of the different cooking competition shows. Behind the Knife was a way to channel that type of content through a new medium like Instagram to tell chef’s stories in visual short form content.

Has it been a smooth road?
Growing a community is never easy. Especially somewhere like Instagram, where users are inundated with content and you have to do something different to get noticed. I struggled at first with generic food content as there are so many different profiles that focus on pictures of food. Finding the niche and creating a unique post format for chef interviews in my posts made the content seem more unique and stand out. One of the constant challenges in building your community on a social platform is that you are reliant on the rules and algorithms that manage how content is displayed in the platform. Instagram’s algorithms are constantly changing and it makes it more difficult to reach your own audience. Recently I’ve begun testing out other mediums through which to tell the @BehindTheKnife story of chefs and will be releasing a new pilot show about Chef Life soon!

Please tell us about BehindTheKnife.
What’s most unique about @BehindTheKnife is the focus on storytelling. Instagram is a very visual first platform where your audience is used to scrolling through pictures and tapping like on things that catch their eye. What’s unique about what we offer is more than just the pictures, there’s a short form story about each chef’s background and bio that tells the user more about their personality, how they got started cooking, and the concept of their restaurant. In order to catch user’s attention, we have a unique post format with a picture in picture frame concept where each chef’s headshot is displayed along with a dish.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
LA has been one of the best places to start @BehindTheKnife. We have a very rich and diverse food culture here and it’s, of course, the storytelling capital of the world with Hollywood and the media/entertainment industry. Bringing those both together was the genesis of what we do. There are so many different ethnicities represented across all levels of dining experiences from street food to fine dining that there will always be a wealth of content to share from right in our backyard. The most important thing I could recommend to anyone just starting out is to find your niche. Do something different and unique that captivates an audience so that once they come across your idea or learn about your business, they will keep coming back and share it with their friends too!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

David Christopher Lee

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