Trini Cooking with Natasha crosses one million on Facebook
Natasha Laggan is the founder of Trini Cooking with Natasha.
With COVID-19 forcing more people to spend more time at home, some have been showing off their cooking skills, trying their hands with popular street food or restaurant faves.
With many searching for recipes for their favourite dishes, websites, social media pages and YouTube channels with Caribbean recipes have seen an uptick in traffic.
Trini Cooking with Natasha is one of those platforms that have definitely benefited from the cooking craze thanks to COVID.
The platform’s Facebook page recently crossed the one million follower mark while her YouTube channel has over 188,000 subscribers.
Trini Cooking with Natasha is run by Natasha Laggan, a Trinidadian woman who has been living in Ft Lauderdale, USA for the past 10 years.
She said her Facebook page has grown since a lot of people prefer to ask her for recipes there rather than watch the videos. Since COVID-19, she has seen an increase in international followers.
“I honestly think it is because of COVID that my numbers went sky high. I was posting three, four, five recipes a day, and every time people asked for a recipe I would post it on Facebook for them,” she said.
A post shared by Trini Cooking with Natasha🇹🇹🇺🇸 (@trinicookingwithnatasha) on
Her videos are simple and easy to follow as she aims to differentiate herself by being quick, easy and to the point.
“I try to keep my videos between three to five minutes,” she told Loop via phone.
While she has videos showcasing Indian cuisine from T&T —doubles, paratha, saheena, barfi, pholourie — she also shows how to make a range of delicious food such as pepper shrimp, Trini fried rice, fruit cake, puffs, croissants, jollof rice and accra.
Hailing from Couva, Laggan grew up helping her parents in their roti shop.
“My mum would get up at three o’clock in the morning and I would get up and help her. There was always something about cooking that I was in love with. I was the head of my group in the Home Economics class in Junior Sec. When I went to UCB (Union Claxton Bay), my after-school duty was to prepare dinner every evening and I would pretend I was cooking on the Food Network and put on a show for my sister,” she said.
In addition to helping her parents, Laggan made cheesecake, pone and drops on the side to make some extra money.
Despite her love for cooking, her dream was to become the country’s first female meteorologist.
However, after secondary school, she began studies in business but was forced to drop out when her mum’s most dependable employee left and there was no one to assist her in the shop.
“So I dropped out because there was no way I could go to school and help out. I did not get to go back to school. I did small courses just to keep myself occupied,” she recalled.
She met her husband a few years after and when he migrated she joined him and they got married in 2009.
She started working on a cookbook but friends would often call or Skype so she could show them how to make things.
“My cousin told me I should start a YouTube channel and my husband bought a camcorder. I say let me record one episode and see if people could follow the instructions. I did it for my friends but I fell in love with doing it,” she said.
She said she realised it was a serious venture two years in when she gained 1000 followers and received messages from subscribers telling her how much they loved her recipes and how easy it was to follow her instructions.
“The constant feedback drove me to do more and more. I really, really like what I do.”
Laggan said while she makes less than she spends on her ingredients from her YouTube channel, her popularity has enabled her to make a living from corporate entities like Angostura who recently hired her to do a video. An Ambassador for Karibbean Flavours, she also monetises her Facebook page through ads.
The mother of one, who was featured on the blog and Instagram page of Eater, an American food publication, said her aim is to get a job on the Food Network and to go international with her brand. She also wants to travel to other countries and showcase their food.
Laggan said she visits T&T annually and when she is here, her favourite food is Chinese pepper pork which she gets from City Wok in South Trinidad.