On a Saturday morning, Bill Ulrich, ’18, can be found hunched over a red “Joy of Cooking” book sprawled across his kitchen table, as the smell of his creations fill the air. In the room adjacent, hungry housemates wait anxiously for him to finish his latest treat.
UIrich, or “Hungry Bill” as many around campus have come to know him, spent his winter break learning the craft of cooking alongside his family.
“It was just so much fun and it was an experience we would really enjoy,” Ulrich said. “That was my whole winter break. Cooking, eating, having lots of fun.”
When he came back to campus, he wanted to continue cooking food and sharing it. So, he started his YouTube channel and Facebook page, “Hungry Bill.”
“It’s cool having the name recognition,” he said. “People enjoy the channel, so that’s why I keep it going — because they are genuinely excited.”
More than 200 people have liked the “Hungry Bill” Facebook account in the few months it’s been active, and that number is growing by the day. He constantly uploads content with new recipes, and features some of his classmates, the “Hungry Helpers.”
The “Hungry Helpers” vary from episode to episode and assist Ulrich in his various steps of making a recipe. One frequent helper is Andrew Brown, ’18, who has his own nickname, “Angry Andy.”
The first time Brown appeared in a video, he was wrapped in his robe and taken by surprise when he saw Ulrich filming his very first “Hungry Bill” episode. Since then, Brown has been featured in each episode.
“It’s about consistency at this point,” Brown said. “I kind of need to be in it. If I wasn’t in the first three of four, I probably wouldn’t be in them.”
Brown’s irritation when waiting for Ulrich’s creations to be cooked to perfection inspired the nickname.
“I was very impatient — I was hungry,” he said. “Nothing is done without excruciating detail or effort.”
Ulrich is not the only Lehigh student whose claim to fame revolves around delicious treats.
Katrina Holceker, ’21, is the creator of an Instagram account that has over 17,700 followers. Chitown Foodies & Beyond started off as a hobby for Holceker, her twin sister, Elena, and childhood best friend, Isabel. The three Chicago natives shared a passion for food and photography.
Holceker made the first post on the account in 2015.
“It started off (where) we would post anything we ate,” Holceker said. “They were good quality, but not amazing, and it was just our friends following.”
After the pictures began to get recognition and reposts from other accounts, Chitown Foodies’ following skyrocketed.
The trio is proud of the success the account has garnered over the years. Holceker said pasta, pizza and desserts are typically featured because they get more likes.
One of their keys to success is that they take all of the pictures themselves. Unlike many popular Instagram accounts that post hundreds of mouthwatering treats, Chitown foodies features Holceker, her sister and her friend’s own postings.
Holceker enjoys posting on the account even outside of Chicago. Though she said it is sometimes hard to all agree on the same picture to post, the three enjoy all of the benefits the account has to offer.
The Instagram account has also featured local restaurants like Tapas on Main and Vegan Treats. Holceker said her favorite part is when people comment and say, “OMG we need to go try this place, this looks so good!”
Both Holceker and Ulrich said they are excited about the future of their food accounts and look forward to continuing them during their time at Lehigh.