Harley Morenstein on Celebrating American Thanksgiving

/ Nov 24, 2014

Epic Meal Empire

Recently, “Epic Meal Empire” returned to A&E’s FYI Network with new episodes. Produced by Collective Digital Studio, the TV series comes from the Epic Meal Time YouTube channel, created by Harley Morenstein and his bacon-loving companions.

The “Epic Meal Empire” episode to kick off the new crop of episodes paid homage to Thanksgiving with a meal deemed the “Pig Boat.” Envision two roast pigs sandwiching an “ocean of gravy” upon which sits an entire holiday feast. It’s not too hard to picture if you’re already familiar with the Epic Meal team’s work.

We caught up with Morenstein to talk about the logistics of creating the boat, celebrating Thanksgiving as a Canadian, and what kind of epic meals we can expect this season.

What’s better, Canadian Thanksgiving or US Thanksgiving?

I would say American Thanksgiving. But it’s more complicated than that.

I’m saying American Thanksgiving as a Canadian. The reason is because this way, you get to experience both. They are pretty much the same, except Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving and it’s a little under the radar compared to the American Thanksgiving. I just like celebrating both, really. As a Canadian, you can’t help but get pulled into the tidal wave of piousness that is American Thanksgiving. But as an American, you would never prematurely celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. So as a Canadian, I like that I get to celebrate both.

I love eating until I’m comatose is what I’m saying. So doing that twice a year is awesome.

When you started making epic meals, did you think more about who might want to watch you doing it, or was it all about eating bacon for the sake of eating bacon?

When I started the show, I just casually used bacon on everything. I didn’t aim to make it the star, it was just a no-brainer.

The first episode was a fun afternoon that I decided to film and edit with my new camera. It was only when I watched it did I decide it had potential to be enjoyed by many. It was only after that did I make bacon a staple of all episodes.

How do you manage making content for both your YouTube channel and for TV?

We passionately work beyond the regular hours of a regular job because we know we are fortunate to have such an opportunity. TV is a full-time job. The internet show is beyond a full-time job. But we know that so many people out there would love to be doing what we’re doing so we never clock out. We’re always grinding and trying to make the most of this fortunate opportunity.

How do you get young guys to watch “Epic Meal Time” on YouTube and “Epic Meal Empire”? Any key “secret ingredients”?

For “Epic Meal Time,” it came naturally as the show exploded. The only secret ingredients are luck and hard work.

As for “Epic Meal Empire,” I really hope more people get to watch it as it’s so entertaining. I know it’s weird to say about your own show, but “Epic Meal Empire” is incredible. We’re so proud of it and we think it’s something that anyone can enjoy. Some people might not get it, but there’s still plenty for them to enjoy and appreciate in the show.

What were some of the important logistics involved in creating the Pig Boat? What else can we expect from the upcoming season of “Epic Meal Empire”?

One of the most important things when making a boat is can it float. As for a Pig Boat, that doesn’t matter at all. So the most important logistic was taste. We succeeded.

You can expect a completely vegan epic meal this season. A cream cheese frosting churro cannon. A 8-foot long Cinnabattleship made of Cinnabons.

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