Ann Reardon is a popular food YouTuber.
She has more than 4 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, ‘How To Cook That.’
Ann is also an author, a food scientist; and was a dietitian.
Ann Reardon was born in Australia, her parents hail from England.
She has an elder sister.
At a young age, Ann wasn’t allowed to eat lollipops except on birthdays, so, her mother taught her cooking, and she started making desserts herself to satisfy her sweet tooth.
She fell in love with making cookies, cakes, and desserts, and started collecting recipes from a young age.
Out of school, Ann took up bike riding, and long-distance running through the bush near her residence.
Education & career-
After completing her schooling, in 1992, Ann joined Curtin University in Perth, Australia to study for a Bachelor of Science, Nutrition and Food Science, and Dietetics.
She also did a PG Diploma in Dietetics and became a dietitian.
Ann worked as a consultant dietitian for a few food companies, then, worked as a community and public health dietitian for several years; as a part of her job, she helped people with medical reasons needing special diets.
Then, she resigned from her job and started working as a youth pastor at a church in Western Australia; she worked here until she had kids.
Inspiration to start her blog & bake intricate cakes-
While working at the church, Ann used to host many dinners and meetings at her house and used to bake and cook for guests; thanks to this, she was repeatedly asked to teach cooking.
So, she wrote out the recipes, and also invited friends to her home to teach them cooking.
After repeatedly writing out the recipes, Ann decided to start a cooking blog; but this got postponed until she had her third child.
For the first birthdays of her two sons, she used to bake simple cakes; but as they started growing older, they started requesting intricate cakes with the themes of ‘Star Wars Attack,’ ‘Minions,’ and drill cakes.
As at that time, YouTube wasn’t present, Ann learnt the basics of cake decorating from books from the library.
At that time, her husband started running ‘Youth Alive,’ a teenage charity, and as their budget was tight, they used to host the entertainment programs in the home, and she used to cater the guests; thanks to this, she got a lot of practice with baking, and making desserts.
Starting ‘How To Cook That’-
Ann along with her family moved to Sydney, and she became pregnant with her third son; at that time, she developed a rare allergy to sunlight due to which she preferred staying indoors.
In March 2011, her third son was born; as he was unwell, and a surgery was performed upon him at 4 weeks of age, which caused him to be underweight.
As he was less than the birth weight at 4 weeks, he needed to be fed 3 hourlies throughout the night and day until he was 7 months old.
At that time, Ann had a year off maternity leave, and thanks to raising her two sons, she knew that even though changing napkins and doing feeds can be physically tiresome and time-consuming, they can’t be mentally stimulating.
So, in March 2011, she started her blog, ‘How To Cook That,’ both for mental stimulation, and to keep herself awake during the nights while feeding her son.
On 5 March 2011, Ann published her first blog post, ‘Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins.’
During the nights, she used to type blog posts with only a single hand, while feeding her son, and used to publish a blog post per week.
Ann began by writing out the recipes on her blog which people frequently asked; so, she published the recipes of desserts, and also wrote about baking.
An accidental YouTuber-
After Ann’s blog took off, she filmed a few tutorials and published them onto her YouTube channel; she found that people loved watching cooking videos rather than just reading.
Ann had no intention of becoming a YouTuber; at that time, she filmed a few videos, and tried to upload them to her website but as they were too big, she uploaded them onto her YouTube channel, and embedded them on her website.
At that time, she didn’t know that her YouTube channel could be monetised; and used her YouTube channel just as a storage space for her videos.
Initially, Ann used to publish a blog post every week, and used to occasionally publish videos when she felt that she could better explain cake decorating through her videos; at that time, there weren’t any videos on cake decorating on YouTube.
Then, she started uploading videos weekly and by the end of her maternity leave, both her YouTube channel and blog were performing well.
At that time, YouTube started emailing Ann to monetize her videos, initially, she ignored the emails thinking that earning from YouTube wasn’t possible, but thanks to the repeated emails by YouTube, she signed for YouTube monetization; she did this only to stop YouTube bugging her to turn on the monetization.
Then, as she started to earn from her YouTube channel, she became a part-time YouTuber, and stayed at home until her youngest son started going to the school.
At that time, Ann’s plan B was to return to work if her YouTube channel tanked but thankfully, her YouTube channel grew beyond her expectations.
A successful YouTuber & her book-
As of May 2023, Ann has 4.93M subscribers on her YouTube channel and has 187K followers on Instagram.
She earns from a variety of sources: advertisements and ‘Super Thanks’ on her YouTube channel, merchandise, sponsorships, and affiliate marketing; she also accepts donations on Patreon.
Ann also earns from advertisements and affiliate marketing on her blog.
On 11 October 2022, she published her cookbook, ‘How to Cook That: Crazy Sweet Creations.’
Ann also developed the ‘Surprise Cakes App.’
Becoming a debunker-
On her YouTube channel, she started debunking fake cooking videos and hacks, and these videos have become very popular.
Ann started debunking because she felt that the cooking hacks could get dangerous, waste a lot of ingredients, and make people less confident of their cooking abilities as when people cook following the cooking hacks on the internet, they don’t get the specified results most of the time.
Her background in food science greatly helps her in debunking the food hacks.
In 1996, Ann married Dave Reardon; this couple has three sons, James, Matthew, and Jedd.
Dave is a writer, speaker, and journalist; he published ‘The Deep Enders: A Novel.’
Even though Ann makes a lot of cakes and desserts, she stays healthy as she only prepares them when she has people to share them with, and she regularly consumes low fat and healthy meals and exercises regularly.
She was voted the world’s best online chef in the 12th annual US Taste Awards; she got featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, and The Sydney Morning Herald.
Ann lives in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
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