Yoo my name is Elie (pronounced Eli).

I'm a writer/co-founder at Foodbeast, 27 years old, ask me whatever about this lasagna, media, my little hands... (sorry to those who asked dope questions earlier, that AMA was removed cause I'm a numnut who didn't provide the right proof.)

Foodbeast is viewed by over 70 million people monthly across YouTube, Facebook and of course Foodbeast.com.

Facebook Proof (just posted a link to this AMA on our official Facebook page): https://www.facebook.com/foodbeast/posts/10153898425654281 My Proof: http://imgur.com/8uOxsAR More Proof: http://imgur.com/GT1DtOc

Posted this Taco Bell Lasagna recipe yesterday on Foodbeast: http://www.foodbeast.com/news/taco-bell-lasagna/

Also posted the video on our Facebook and YouTube.

Now it is on these awesome websites:

February 4th, 12:30pm PST: Thank you all for the awesome questions, was a pleasure hanging out! Thank you to the kind soul who bought me some Reddit Gold, super thankful! You ever need anything, hit me up on Instagram: @bookofelie.... until the next AMA!

Comments: 674 • Responses: 79  • Date: 

darkdude141762 karma

With that Taco Bell Lasagna, what's it like to live with type 30 diabetes?

bookofelie418 karma


Fedora_Inspector375 karma

okay, so your heart no longer functions?

bookofelie200 karma

Walked right into that...or did I? <3

toofuckinglazy12 karma

Call you yung lasagna

bookofelie14 karma


kraverino17 karma

Man Lasagna is my favorite food of all time but after I saw that taco bell one... It ruined the whole experience for me... specifically those beans it made it so unappetizing. Take the beans out and i'd reconsider.

bookofelie158 karma

I guess I could take those beans out and send you a cut of the video where they don't exist.

I just don't want to.

underinformed51 karma

I feel like the noodles themselves didn't fit with everything else. If have used the tortilla shells from the tacos. Probably easier than coming noodles when at a [10].

bookofelie57 karma

This was def. a big topic of discussion on the drive over to Taco Bell before we made it. Our initial idea was to use the thicker Gordita tortillas, and keep it all 100%

TBell...but we wanted the framework of the Lasagna, and without the noodles it wouldn't have looked much different than a casserole or some shitty enchilada.

Now it's just a shitty looking lasagna.


satan_loves_us397 karma

What sets you apart from the Epic Meal Time guys?

bookofelie509 karma

Love Epic Meal Time. Big difference, from what I understand of their amazing brand, is that they are first and foremost entertainers and Epic Meal Time is their main program.

Foodbeast is a media organization first, with several different avenues of programming: news, recipes, adventure series, etc. We write about people like Epic Meal Time, and we have since day 1.

Josh_Elkin150 karma

As an ex EpicMealTime chef that co birthed the Fast Food Lasagna, I approve this Taco Bell creation.

bookofelie85 karma

Love you Josh! Excited to see you next week! OHHH WHAT? JOSH ELKIN x FOODBEAST?!

satan_loves_us82 karma

Awesome! Who doesn't love Taco Bell?

skipper14571 karma

Sober people?

kshef184 karma

Fuck...I'm sober and have taco bell in my car. Is there something wrong with me? What 800 # do I call for this?

bookofelie19 karma


bobbyscotty16 karma

Plus watching epic meal time, as entertaining as it can be, almost all the food creations look inedible (ie. Dumping a bunch of Jack Daniels on fast food and bacon). Whereas the food beast creations usually look like something I might actually eat.

bookofelie13 karma

Thanks! Yeah, we're not trying to do Epic Meal Time at all. They're comedians, storytellers, and their format is these large structural pieces of amazingness.

KimJongTrilllllllll209 karma

On average, how many Courics is your average dump?

bookofelie107 karma

LOL, not gonna lie, had to look up wtf a COURIC is. Google led me here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_Crap

hardcorelegend43140 karma

An AMA for a guy who made a lasagne? What have we come to Reddit

bookofelie95 karma

Not even an Italian one at that, amirite?!

SmoresPies118 karma

You're my age. Wtf. How did you find the motivation/capital/resources/etc to get all of this in motion?

bookofelie185 karma

No capital. To this day we've had no outside investment.

In 2008, I spent about $10 to buy a domain from MyDomain.com, under $100 a year on hosting on BlueHost.com (at the time), and me and my friends wrote for free on a Wordpress Theme I hacked away at.

Learned everything the hard way. Happy to answer specific questions if you have them.

smilingarmpits126 karma

Yo, are you looking for passionate writers? I am obese of mind

bookofelie64 karma

LOL, send some pitches over: [email protected]

yourefunny11 karma

So is this your only sauce of income?? Does it leave you living comfortably?

bookofelie20 karma

Yes, Foodbeast is my main source of income.

We have a staff of 10+ people. I'm not driving around in a Tesla, but I'm comfortable in that I have a nice roof over my head! <3

chopsticktoddler74 karma

What's something you've been wanting to make for a while?

bookofelie94 karma

I want to bake a cake. I have so many wacky ideas for cake, but I haven't even baked a normal one yet. That's next on my bucket list.

conormiller2328 karma

Should be called a cookit list

bookofelie15 karma

Damn, no you didn't!

scrott8 karma

Are you in NYC? I'd be happy to help with your cake endeavors

bookofelie11 karma

Nope. )=

We are based in Southern California. Thanks for the kindness though!

Minifig8143 karma

Would you kindly share the recipe with us over at /r/food ? :)

bookofelie49 karma

I don't know Reddit well enough, I feel like it'll get banned? Any tips?! Would be happy to share the recipe in more detail...

Ericabneri36 karma

Holy shit! love the site! best diy food youve made/eaten?

bookofelie39 karma

Really partial to the Poke Burrito we made a few weeks ago. Pretty clean eats for the most part: https://www.facebook.com/foodbeast/videos/10153853164779281/

NicCage42031 karma

Given that you're now somewhat famous for making a lasagna, I must ask, what are your thoughts on Mondays?

bookofelie15 karma

Honestly, I love coming to work so Mondays are like Fridays which are like Saturdays to me.

But, I can always support a group groan: FUCK MONDAYS.

TUNGL29 karma

Howdy tacoboy! What is your proudest achievement when it comes to cooking?

bookofelie32 karma

Honestly, I'm a pretty shit cook. I made a stir fry yesterday and for the first time it wasn't horrid. I just moved in to a new place with a decent kitchen, so I feel like I just started really cooking.

TUNGL14 karma

When it comes to stir fry the secret is lemongrass and sesame oil. Or, the secret when it comes to stir frying it comes to just testing everything once and writing down what works. My proudest moments in the kitchen always relate to stews. Preferably with beef, dill and fennel.

bookofelie22 karma

Yeah, it's so eerily satisfying when you don't fuck it up. My big problem is that I didn't judge the moisture of everything. Stir Fry is all about that high heat, but I always had ingredients in my wok that lended to too much water boiling at the bottom...instead of frying it up, I was just boiling it. Once I figured that out, I was gold.

Sesame oil is on point too...gotta try that lemongrass though, thanks for the note!

bozwizard143 karma

so you work on a food media project but you're a crappy cook? How does that work? Do you think it is a strength or a weakness?

bookofelie4 karma

Strength. I founded Foodbeast on the principle that you can love food, interact with food, and LEARN about food without having to go to culinary school or know ANYTHING about cooking.

As the website and the projects grew, it was this perspective of normalcy that helped keep our tone and content different than every other food property.

Waterfordogscalgary21 karma

Why is this video so cringey? I enjoy most of your videos...except the "mispronunciation" ones.

bookofelie12 karma


Might not be for you I guess, but thanks for enjoying the other ones!

ZombieJesus198712 karma

The other day I made this bad boy and I figured it is right up your alley. The Bacon Crusted Poutine Pie. Recipe is pretty straight forward. All you need is 1lb of bacon, fries, cheese curds (use grated cheese if cheese curds is unavailable), and gravy. I've been eating that for a couple days, it is so fucking good.

What do you think of this delicious monstrosity?

bookofelie6 karma

Is this your image? If so, can you e-mail it to [email protected] we'll share it!

tking5o8 karma

What was your biggest channel to get your content out on back when you started? What is it now?

bookofelie18 karma

It's almost hard to remember a time before Facebook. I jumped in to Google Analytics to help remember. Here's the first year back in 08:

08-09 Traffic Screenshot: http://imgur.com/UE0qklZ

Looks like it was just trying to do word of mouth, blog sharing and being first to leads to catch the Google Search trickle.

bookofelie17 karma

Realized I didn't answer you completely. After that, we established really dope relationships with our friends at The Huffington Post and some other major outlets, we became a source of food news for them.

Now Facebook and Google remain predominant traffic drivers.

tking5o2 karma

That's interesting. I love how stumble upon was up there. Ahh the good ole days.

bookofelie2 karma

Yeah man, I loved that Stumble Upon traffic. I wonder how big a source it is for folks nowadays?

ElderTokenDragon5 karma

Would you say if someone truly loved someone, they would make this for them?

bookofelie10 karma


dmiller99644 karma

Hows Brandi?

bookofelie3 karma

She's engaged and doing well!

She does a lot of co-hosting on the TODAY show outside of her gig at POPSUGAR. Go follow her: https://www.instagram.com/brandimilloy/

AreThereRocksAhead4 karma

Hi Elie!

I love watching your guys' videos. Any plans to make more "How to Eat ----- Like a Boss" videos anytime soon? (Those are my favorites, might have something to do with you winking at the camera at the end of most of them 😄).

Also, did you actually eat 7 whole burgers in one sitting for the How to Eat a Burger video!?!

bookofelie5 karma

I remember eating a shitload of burgers that day. Thanks so much for that!

We don't have any in the pipeline, but we might if we get some more good ideas for them!

Toozeezee4 karma

Is Foodbeast hiring?

bookofelie11 karma

We're always looking for quality people.

[email protected] is your best bet. Key, tell us what it is you want to do specifically. A lot of the random inquiries we get are "I like to eat, hire me." Also, if you look hard enough on the site, you will see an open positions page.

kuhanluke4 karma

I've been wondering this all day: how many people did it serve?

bookofelie3 karma

It serves 10 - 15 hungry people, less or more depending on how timid people are.

KnawzR3 karma

Do you have any crazy fast food extravaganza's coming up soon?

bookofelie4 karma

Tune in to our Facebook.com/foodbeast today, we live stream when crazy shit comes in to the office. I think something crazy is coming in to the office today...

chakaflockaflame3 karma

How does a toaster strudel, cinnabon, pop tart desert lasagna sound?

bookofelie3 karma


AnneFranc3 karma

Any plans for a different fast food chain lasagna?

bookofelie2 karma

So, we did an In-N-Out pie that people really loved/hated:

Story: http://www.foodbeast.com/news/in-n-out-pie/ Facebook Video: https://www.facebook.com/foodbeast/videos/10153813300849281/

So I probably won't do a "lasagna" next, but I love the idea of taking a memorable brand and mashing it with a memorable delivery device (pie, lasagna, burrito...etc.).

SayerApp3 karma

Elie, what is your main elevator pitch for FoodBeast? Where do you see the site and page going? You have some awesome stuff so I am curious to know where you go from here.

bookofelie4 karma

Right now, the goal is to be an alternative to Food Network. With content we care about, personalities we can relate to, and seeing this content in places that matter to us.

Food news site, original video programming, [recipes], in-person experiences.

We want to create experiences and share content laterally as opposed to strictly top down (imagine creating and learning with each other, instead of just being told how to make something). You'll see this come full circle this year as we launch our new app.

SayerApp3 karma

Awesome! Our users (we're a social polling app) actually voted that they loved Food Network. But an alternative would be nice! Do you think that online video content makes it easier to structure that kind of presence yourself? How much help do you have?

bookofelie3 karma

It definitely allows a small staff of 10 to make more noise than we could have even 5 years ago.

We stay bootstrapped, and for the most part, it's forced us to be way more crafty with our content, our exposure tactics and our growth strategy.

So how much help? Not much, but it doesn't seem to be that big a deal yet.

sarahbau3 karma

From the description, it sounds like you just bought ingredients like beef and beans from Taco bell rather than whole items. If that's the case, why didn't you just buy that stuff from the grocery store and spent less at Taco Bell? It looks similar to a Mexican lasagna that I make out of corn tortillas, spiced ground beef, cheese, and enchilada sauce, but that only costs like $8 rather than $80.

bookofelie5 karma

I didn't want a "Mexican" lasagna, I wanted a "Taco Bell" Lasagna.

You can spend less and achieve "somewhat" the same effect, but the store bought beans and ground beef just wouldn't be the same.

quick_q_throwaway3 karma

$80 and content for 2 days on 6 websites. How much money has this easy content made you?

bookofelie6 karma

It's hard to break it down revenue to just this recipe, we produce 20+ content pieces a day, some obviously performs better than others. If it wasn't for the 20 other pieces though, we don't land on something like this.

elzeus3 karma

Is Brandi from Popsugar funny in real life? I'm a big fan of all of your In and Out burger concoctions.

bookofelie3 karma

Brandi laughs a lot.

And, glad you dig the In-N-Out stuff!

thegoldenshepherd2 karma

How excited were you when you saw that Taco Bell commented on your video?

bookofelie3 karma

saw that Taco Be

That was way cool of them. When we were editing this video, no joke we got a half chub (the music really carries it), so we're glad they felt the same way.

cheapassgamersex2 karma

I never heard of your company before. So I watched the $80 Taco Bell Lasagna video and got nauseous. What do you have to say about that?

bookofelie2 karma

Hopefully you check out: http://foodbeast.com and our Facebook (/foodbeast) and Instagram (@foodbeast) and find something else you like.

ShotMarvinInTheFace2 karma

Any combinations of food that you can think of that absolutely don't go together? Or weird foods that actually go together well?

bookofelie7 karma

I always thought it weird when people were told not to mix cheese with seafood...I think that's delicious. Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwiches?

FrakkinPhoenix2 karma

Oh shit, my favorite question is relevant. What is your favorite sandwich?

bookofelie7 karma

Club Sandwich!

I have a weird tick where if I see a Club Sandwich on a menu, regardless of where I'm at, whether I'm hungry or not, I HAVE to order it.

Some weird homage to my childhood, I dunno...just love the layers of crispy bread and bacon. Dill pickle spear.

I never thought I'd get a half chub thinking about a theoretical club sandwich, but it's happening.

elizle2 karma

How do you pronounce your name, is that just a different way of spelling Eli?

bookofelie2 karma

Yup, you pronounce it: Eli


Raldyhammer1 karma

Did it actually taste good?

bookofelie2 karma

It was amazing. It's cheese, carbs, noodle carbs, tortilla carbs, cheese, sauce. Not really sure where the bad taste would come from.

LeftLegCemetary1 karma

Do you shit in the morning, afternoon, night, or random?

bookofelie15 karma

Yo, I always pop out a mediocre shit before the gym in the morning. Can't have it running around while I creep 24 Hour Fitness.

Then I have a coffee as soon as I get into the office in the morning, and usually on the 5th or 6th sip I'm back on the throne working on my Instagram (this is usually the dopest shit of the day).

I usually pop out one more late afternoon. I don't really fuck with night poops.

TheWeetodd1 karma

Dude, I just saw the vid, and you just changed my life! 2 questions:

1) When are you going to invite me over for dinner?

2) Can it be right now?

bookofelie2 karma

1) Where do you live? 2) Where do you live?

IcookbetterthanU1 karma

Hey man, I make pizza, and I'm pretty good at it but I'm throwing in the rag soon. I have been doing to long and I'm not making good money. So my question is... Are you hiring? This is only semi-serious but whatever.

bookofelie1 karma

E-mail me pictures of pizzas you've made. Tell me what you would want to do at Foodbeast.

Find my e-mail!

dood13371 karma

Have you ever had carne asada fries?

bookofelie2 karma

Of course! That's the unofficial "I'm fucked up and I want to wake up with beautiful and well-deserved ass fire tomorrow" meal of Southern California!

pjokkidudels1 karma

Do you see anything ethicly wrong about using food as entertainment?

bookofelie2 karma

No, but maybe you can enlighten me on why I might have a conscience about it?

Raldyhammer1 karma

Were the lasagna noodles necessary?

bookofelie3 karma


Beefycrunchmovement0 karma

Elie! What are your thoughts/opinion about the #BeefyCrunchMovement and their 35K+ community on Facebook? :)

bookofelie2 karma

Hahah I love it. You guys are passionate AF, and I can always get behind passionate people. Keep it up!

Also, e-mail me, it's due time we did a feature on you! Keep up the good fight <3

_kanyewesticle0 karma

Would you consider making an alternative recipe with Del Taco?

bookofelie2 karma

Honestly, me and Matt wanted to do it with Del Taco first, because, Del Taco is amazing. Their Chicken Soft tacos would have made it orgasmic...but we knew that Del Taco is a very regional brand that many may not have known about, so we went with their more recognizable brand.

ultradip0 karma

How do you not get diabetes eating all that? :-D

bookofelie3 karma

Only ate a slice (cube).

My roommate Matt ate another slice, and then we brought it in to work for everyone else to enjoy.

Bobwayne170 karma

Are you ever looking for new writers? Working with your team seems like it would be the most fun.

bookofelie1 karma

Always. It always starts with a dope pitch: [email protected]

bougey220 karma

Hey I saw you and Rudy did some videos on GQ, seemed like a pretty fun gig for you guys. Expecting to do anything more with them ?

bookofelie0 karma

Working with GQ was real cool. We did a 5-city show. Technically, that show is still in its "run season," we went to 5 cities and shot 3 videos in each city.

I'd definitely do more work with them if they wanted! Not gonna lie, I'd like to be the pudgy dude on the GQ cover eating In-N-Out Burger one day.

whitemike400 karma

love food beast

one question, what are you working on next?

bookofelie1 karma

Love you too!!

More original video programming is a big initiative in 2016. We ended 2015 with a new Drinking series on GQ (http://video.gq.com/series/where-s-the-bar), in 2016 we're launching several of our own programmed series on Foodbeast, YouTube, Facebook, and some other networks.

Also, our new App is gonna be ridiculous.

Airick_Es-1 karma

What's an average shit for you?

bookofelie14 karma

I shit multiple times a day. It's where I get most of my Instagramming in. Seriously, a good 80% of our Foodbeast Instagram content happens while I'm on the shitter. Let that sink in.

http://instagram.com/foodbeast .... if you give a shit.

dogballs8-1 karma

Were you paid by Taco Bell for this episode? If not, have they reached out to offer money for a follow up video?

bookofelie1 karma

Nope, and nope. Someone should Tweet at @TacoBell and tell them to get on it though!

Real talk though, it's very rare that a restaurant chain of any size endorses or pays for people to hack up their menu. There are plenty of reasons for it (health, quality control, branding issues, etc.).

That said, Taco Bell is cool AF. They've tweeted about this video and commented on YouTube, they said it "Brought us to tears"

fewds0r-1 karma

How much does Dude Foods pay you to get all those sweet features?

bookofelie0 karma

Nothing, he has amazing content, it practically features itself.


arzachelx-1 karma

It's called taco casserole, not taco lasagna you Philistine.

As a fellow food enthusiast who enjoys cooking, do you find it hard to balance qyour health and munchies?

bookofelie1 karma

Yeah -- our office is full of people constantly going on and off diets, but for me personally, I spend a lot of time in the gym and exercising just to stay skinny-fat.

I definitely subscribe to eating what I want, focusing on tasting things over finishing them (a skill I'm still trying to master), but it just means I gotta allot time to finding physical activities I enjoy.

Cheating yourself on food is the saddest shit ever, but cheating on your health sucks too.


What's it like being famous as fuck?

bookofelie1 karma

Haha I don't know, we'll ask that together in someone else's AMA.

I hear Ben Schwartz is on the 5th of Feb. <3

Cantcallit-2 karma

it looks fucking delicious!!! Do you think you would have saved money just buying the ingredients from the store? Or were you going for the taco bell taste as well?

bookofelie1 karma

You can absolutely make it way cheaper buying everything from the store. For the sake of the story/video, we wanted it all to be Taco Bell because we wanted every last flavor to be from Taco Bell.

rabidnz-2 karma


bookofelie1 karma

How so?

evilcounsel-3 karma

I'm not familiar with your site, but it looks awesome. Is it all original content?

bookofelie3 karma

We have a fair amount of original content, but we're a news source/aggregator as well, so we cover and talk about a lot of OTHER people's original content.

I couldn't tell you what the split is...but we publish close to 20+ pieces of content a day across Foodbeast.com, our various social channels, as well as partner sites that we develop cool shit for.

evilcounsel3 karma

Do you have algorithms that scrub the internet for news stories and trends? Only asking because I recently did business with a company that was a news aggregator and had some pretty crazy technology working behind the scenes. I was amazed at the amount of programmers they had.

bookofelie1 karma

That must have been a really awesome experience, I'd love to hear more about that technology!

Lead gen is indeed a huge part of news aggregation. Our process is a bit more crude than what I'm assuming you got to experience.

Each member of the breaking news-side of our editorial team has built their own repertoire of aggregation tools. Some follow trade magazines (drink, food, restaurant), some use Hootsuite and other scrubbing tools, and we all come together in person in the morning and over Slack for our remote team members.