Sunderland YouTuber, 66, who turned to vlogging after becoming housebound

A Sunderland self-taught chef turned YouTuber is close to reaching 150,000 subscribers through sharing his recipes on the platform after becoming housebound.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 3:00 pm
John is close to reaching 150,000 subscribers.
John is close to reaching 150,000 subscribers.

John Kirkwood, 66, started his own catering business in 1998 and ran Kirkwood Catering for many years.

Sadly, in 2014, John fell ill with bowel disease and he had to retire. So, he left the business, now called ‘Kirkwood Kitchens,’ to his son, Stephen Kirkwood, 40.

After he retired, Sunderland-born John was housebound for a while and to keep himself going he started watching cheese making videos on YouTube which inspired him to enter the video-making world.

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John is proud of his new full-time job.

John, of Hendon, who now lives in Ford Estate, had made a video for his friend who asked him for a recipe. He posted this video on YouTube in February 2015.

He said: “After around a year, I saw the views going up dramatically so I thought ‘wow I’ll monetise this’.

“My son thinks it’s brilliant. It’s the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to cook.

“I make all sorts from Panackelty to Sunday dinners.

John has also released his own cookbook.

“The Panackelty has put Sunderland on the map but I get worldwide support, not just from Sunderland.”

John rarely leaves the house and YouTube and his cooking website is now his full-time job.

He reached 100,000 subscribers in April 2019 and describes himself as sounding like “David Attenborough or Winnie The Pooh.”

John said: “This has kept me going. I wanted to get off my bottom and continue to do something when I used to work all the time.

“I’m busier than ever before.

“I never expected views and subscribers like this. I never thought it would ever be a job. My studio is my kitchen. I have got lights in my kitchen now and have improved over the years.”

John has also published a cookbook titled ‘Professional Food Homemade’ and he captured and edited the photos himself.

He also has an accompanying website at where he shares more of his recipes online.

To watch his videos, search ‘John Kirkwood’ on YouTube.