Dish Works 2023 Year-End Review

Well, 2023 was a big year for our food content studio — we’re talking Taylor Swift big (okay, maybe not exactly, but definitely epic!). So much happened for Dish Works in the past calendar year, that we wanted to take a look back and share some of our exciting growth and accomplishments.

Our New Studio

In February of 2023, we packed up our old studio space on the outskirts of Lancaster, PA, and moved to a huge, beautiful new space right in the city. We were able to execute packing, moving and setting up over the course of one weekend, with no interruption to our production schedule. This was a serious organizational triumph, and a true testament to the dedication and focus of our team.

The new Dish Works studio is a renovated warehouse, over 15,000 square feet, allowing plenty of space to cook, style and shoot culinary content for our clients. There is ample room for our massive props collection, a spacious commercial kitchen for recipe development and testing, multiple sets equipped with video and photography equipment, small studios for ASMR and UGC shoots, meeting rooms, lounges and more. It’s an incredible space that we’ve already settled into, and will allow for even more future growth.  

New Services

At Dish Works, we’re very aware of the ever-shifting content marketing landscape, and continually innovate and adapt to help our clients meet the current moment. In 2023, we launched and/or expanded a number of services, including:

Studio Days: These are production days or blocks of time that clients can book ahead in the Dish Works studio; the time is reserved on our calendar, and clients can decide closer to the shoot how they’d like to utilize that time.

User-Generated Food Content: The breakout social media star of 2023 was definitely User-Generated Content (UGC), a lo-fi, “real”-feeling style of content with a refreshingly uncomplicated, straightforward aesthetic. This style of video performs well across all social channels, and particularly Instagram and TikTok; Dish Works takes all the headache and risks away from coordinating with individual creators by leveraging our team of in-house creators to knock our clients’ projects out of the park. For more on what UGC content is, head here.

Cookbook Services: Publishing a cookbook? Dish Works is ready to be your in-house team, with customizable services, ranging from recipe development to creative direction to traditional or behind-the-scenes photo/video shoots.

Dish Wear Apparel: We launched a clothing brand: Dish Wear! This line of cozy, comfy sweatshirts lets the food-obsessed among us show pride for our favorite foods the way most people do for sports teams. Each classic-fit, athletic-styled sweatshirt is emblazoned with a food word or phrase, like BUTTER or SOURDOUGH or FLAKY SALT (and so many others), and can be customized in terms of color and font. These make super-fun gifts for friends, family or co-workers! 

Team Retreats and Outings

We’re a tight-knit team who work side-by-side every day, combining our culinary expertise, creative talents and technical know-how to create stunning work for our clients. Cultivating the collaborative environment that we thrive in is only possible through lots of open communication and trust, which we foster through off-site team building, leadership training and merry-making. 

This year, we enjoyed celebrating staff birthdays, baby showers and other life milestones, and gathered for a studio open house, as well as movie nights, pool tournaments and other just-for-fun outings.

Nearly all Dish Works employees participated in leadership and anti-harassment training throughout the year, as well as interdepartmental workshops and tutorials. 

@dishworks Each year, we leave the studio for two days in September and head into the woods for Camp Dish. We do lots of important work stuff at our annual retreat but also have fun! Here’s an inside look at Camp Dish. This year after work stuff we hiked, played games, had hot dogs, smores, a talent show, yoga, made friendship bracelets and tie dyed shirts! #team #camp #retreat #campdish ♬ Off the Beaten Path (Full Mix) – David Das

In September, we met for an all-team off-site retreat, which we call Camp Dish, at a campground in Central Pennsylvania. We played games, made s’mores, met in breakout groups, ate lots of snacks and even held a talent show!    

And in November, on the day before Thanksgiving, we set aside the entire morning to cook holiday meals with all the trimmings for food-insecure families in the Lancaster area. Working together, we were able to prepare five beautiful dinners, which were delivered to the families later that evening. 

Dish Works Kitchen Cam

In 2023, we launched Kitchen Cam, mini-episodes on our TikTok and Instagram feeds, where we take you inside the Dish Works test kitchen to learn a trending recipe from one of our awesome culinary teammates. 

We produced a bunch of Kitchen Cam segments, but a few of our favorites include:

Viral Upside Down Pastries

@dishworks

Introducing the latest from our test kitchen and food studio – viral upside down savory pastries! We used cottage cheese as the secret ingredient to give this recipe an extra on-trend twist because cottage cheese is having a serious moment right now. We added some fresh tomatoes and arugula to make it even more delicious. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on this one! 😋 Watch as Tara shows us how to make these mouthwatering pastries step by step. And don’t forget to tag us in your own creations if you give this recipe a try! #upsidepastries #cottagecheese #testkitchen #foodtrends #delicious #foodie #yum

♬ Come Over – Kowloon

Cottage Cheese No-Bake Cookie Dough (cottage cheese had a moment in 2023!)

@dishworks

Get a peek into our test kitchen on the latest episode of Kitchen Cam! Join our talented chef Tara as she whips up the most incredible edible cookie dough made with cottage cheese. 🍪🥛✨ This trending ingredient is all the rage, thanks to its protein-packed goodness and versatility. Tara’s recipe combines creamy cottage cheese with a touch of maple syrup, fragrant vanilla, and wholesome oat flour. 🌾🍁 Brace yourself for a double treat, as she creates not one, but two irresistible flavors! 🤩 Don’t miss out on this delectable delight – watch the full episode now and let your taste buds thank you later. 😋🎬 #KitchenCamEpisode #EdibleCookieDough #CottageCheese #Protein #testkitchen #foodie #chef #foodcontent #foodcontentcreators

♬ Cobrastyle by Teddybears – fifa.songs | FIFA Song Account

Casarecce alla Vodka

@dishworks Our talented chef Ian whipped up this scrumptious #CasarecceAllaVodka recipe using the hottest ingredient of the year – cottage cheese!🔥🧀✨ Packed with protein and bursting with flavor, this creamy delight is a game-changer.👌✨ Get ready to savor a simple yet sensational dish that’ll leave you wanting more! As part of our cutting-edge food content studio, our team of culinary creators closely follows food trends, developing delicious recipes for our clients. We used @Wegmans products and finished with @Graza . 👌 #cottagecheese #healthyfood #testkitchen #pasta #foodcontentcreator #chef ♬ original sound – darcy stokes

New Work/Clients

In 2023, Dish Works gained so many awesome new clients and partners, and are so grateful for all the brands, both big and small, who trusted us to create content for them this year. Also, thanks to our new HQ, we were able to welcome numerous clients to the studio for in-person visits, some coming from nearby, and others flying in from across the country! 

Thank you to the entire Dish Works teams and every single one of our clients for a truly amazing year. We can’t wait to see what is ahead in 2024!