Andrew Zimmern is teaming up with a Minneapolis-based online learning platform to offer basic cooking classes.
The course, “Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen,” launched earlier this month and teaches what it calls essential cooking techniques, including chopping, sautéing and basic recipes.
The programming runs on The Big Know, a North Loop startup that provides a platform for educational content offered by big-name companies
like UnitedHealthcare and Cambria as a way to improve branding. Students of the courses get to engage more closely than some other massive open online courses (MOOCs) through discussion panels, which is a key element of the model.
For Zimmern’s part, it’s a way to spread his already well-known image—the Minnesota-based food personality already has several television shows, a distinguished cooking career and a stadium concessions business
—into the digital realm, where quick recipe videos shared on Facebook are popular.
“The Big Know loves education and so do I,” Zimmern said in an email. “I think compelling long-view content for people serious about cooking is a missing component in today’s two-minute ‘snackable’ content world.”
Zimmern added that the course on The Big Know is just a start and that his organization is looking for ways to integrate more digital and video content into his brand's offerings.
The Big Know said they approached Zimmern with the opportunity to engage with new audiences. Meanwhile, the company gets to boast about a big name with deep knowledge that is using its platform.
“Andrew is a top name in food. And for good reason,” said Paul Feiner, a spokesman for The Big Know. “He’s an entertainer and an expert on all sides of food. Plus, there’s huge demand for great food content.”
Zimmern isn’t the only television star that The Big Know is luring to its platform. A course put together by Cambria, an Eden Prairie-based maker of countertops and other surfaces, with host Scott McGillivray—best known for his “Income Property” show on HGTV.
In January 2016, The Big Know got a $3 million cash infusion from LFE Capital
, a lower middle-market investor, to expand staff and capabilities. CEO Don Smithmier told TCB at the time that more than 40,000 had signed up for courses.