“One of us mentioned TikTok and how there are so many people making cooking videos,” said General, 26. “We pretty much said we have the knowledge to share as well, and we have our own take on dishes and our own twists that we can share that (we) think people will appreciate. We pretty much made a pact together that if one of us starts making videos then the other has to do it.”
General, who grew in the Philippines and moved to Centerville in 2009, said he was scrolling through his TikTok feed one day and saw Muhammad had posted a video. Keeping to his word, he followed suit.
He recalled his first video in February 2021 featuring a recipe for Hot Garlic Honey, a sauce you can drizzle on salad, burgers, fried chicken or pizza. He recalled his dad bringing home Popeyes chicken the same evening, so toward the end of the video he drizzled the sauce on the chicken and took a bite. He said someone commented about the crunch at the end, so he decided to make a fried chicken video next.
That’s the video where it all began.
General recalled after an hour of posting it he had only one view and one like from his friend, but a couple of hours later he had 20,000 to 25,000 views.
The fried chicken recipe he shared is his go-to recipe he began making a year before creating content on TikTok. He said the recipe was inspired by YouTuber Quang Tran. He admitted a few of his next videos flopped, but he continued posting about three times a week.
In January 2022, General said he quit his job of six years at Nelly’s in Centerville, where he served as a prep cook and line cook, to become a full-time content creator.
“I believed in the potential and vision I had,” General said.
Soon after, BuzzFeed reached out to him, and he became a part-time resident producer creating content for Tasty.
“It’s definitely the coolest thing that ever happened,” General said.
He explained his passion for cooking stemmed from his parents and grandmother who are great cooks.
“I just grew up eating amazing food, so I think that’s where the passion came from — just loving good flavors and appreciating different ingredients and the process of how to make food,” General said. “During culinary school when we were learning the positions of the restaurant, I realized I was pretty much doing the head chef’s job when I was a kid. The head chef in a restaurant goes around the kitchen and tastes everything and they approve the flavors before service.”
He explained that’s what he did growing up because he was a picky eater.
In the future, General said he is planning to collaborate with area chefs. He particularly hopes to collaborate this summer with Muhammad at Slide Thru.
As a content creator, General has worked with brands such as Pepsi, NFL, Samsung, Walmart and KFC. He currently has 1.3 million followers on TikTok. To watch more of General’s Tiktok videos, click here.