Hannah Hart was goofing off one night in her kitchen after a few drinks. She decided to film herself cooking so she could send the video to her friend, and when she uploaded it to YouTube, a star was born. Hart's show, "My Drunk Kitchen," became a hit, and Hart continued to add episodes. Four years later, Hart's channel has 1.9 million subscribers, making her the most popular drunk cook in the world. Hart shared her journey to YouTube fame with us and why she thinks viewers can't get enough.
I was just watching some of your old videos: You look different, but you also sound different now.
Yeah, you know – puberty. I started the channel when I was 24 and now I’m 28 and I think there’s a second adolescent because there’s a pretty distinct difference between 24 and 28.
Let’s talk about how you got started.
I was on GChat with a friend of mine because my sister had just gotten me a webcam when I moved from San Francisco to New York, and we were talking and she said how much she missed when I was drunk and pretending to cook.
Drunk cooking was something you were known for?
It wasn’t anything of note. She just said, “I miss getting drunk and cooking with you.”
What were your specialties dishes?
No specialties. Zero.
Why did you post your video to YouTube?
The only way I knew how to send a video was to upload it to YouTube and send it to a friend. I had no idea there were people with shows and I just sent it to her – there was nothing in the description. It was just called “My Drunk Kitchen” and I e-mailed her the link.
Have you ever solved the mystery as to why it went viral?
I think I was lucky and blessed with the right moment and the right time with the right title and people liked the idea. People like to get drunk and cook.
What were you doing before you became a full-time YouTube personality?
I was a proofreader at a translation firm. I was working in New York proofreading documents for a translation company.
Is it surreal to you that now this is your full-time job?
Oh my God – it was amazing. I’m a worrywart, though, and I was like what more? What next? What’s my plan? What am I trying to do with this. It was super surreal and super fun. It’s the best job in the world if you like to worry. You’re your own boss; it’s everybody’s dream. Or my dream at least, which was super, super cool.
You’ve had some special guests on your show. Who were your favorites?
Jamie Oliver is always a lot of fun to shoot with. Lance Bass is so nice and so funny and Mary Louise Parker was a total delight.
What’s your favorite drink when you’re cooking?
Hard to say – usually wine. I really enjoy cooking with a glass of wine. Wine gives you a way worse hangover than vodka, though.
Have you become a better cook?
I have! I can kind of eyeball measure and see what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. Except when I made carrot cake using olive oil. What was I thinking? With that exception and a couple others, I think I’ve become a better cook.
Your show is very different from any other cooking show out there.
It’s not really snobby. It’s not pretentious; it’s not pretending cooking is the most fun, easy thing in the world. I think food kind of transcends everything. It’s the most human form of community. It’s like we’re at a big party and we’re just hanging out in the kitchen.
I’ve seen your face all over the subway station.
That’s crazy. It’s so crazy! I think it’s going to be really surreal to see that, honestly.
What’s been the coolest moment of your YouTube career?
I think the coolest moment of this career is that we run a volunteer day called Have a Hart Day. It got started when I went on tour on 2013 and I went to food banks in 22 cities and we shot episodes with people who watched the show and we all volunteered together. We sat and shot the s-- for like four hours while getting stuff done. The most amazing thing is some people kept doing it after I left and it was their enthusiasm to keep the momentum going and become what it is today, called Have a Hart Day for 25 cities in 6 countries, participating all throughout the year. That’s the most amazing thing that’s happened.
Also, I published a book last year, “My Drunk Kitchen,” and that book was on the bestseller list for six to eight weeks and that was really, really cool.