Hey guys, today we’re in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen and we’re watching Condé Nast Entertainment make a return to YouTube. After months of allegations of racial inequality and severe pay disparities, Bon Appétit has made its first foray back into video. In case you missed it, the supremely popular YouTube cooking channel went dark earlier this year after some pretty explosive allegations by former employee Sohla El-Waylly.
Things kicked off in June after a photo of BA’s editor in chief, Adam Rapoport, surfaced of him wearing brownface. While Rapoport stepped down, as did a senior video editor it set in motion a pretty significant storm. El-Waylly went public with her incredibly low salary in the face of her decades of experience, the fact that many of the channel’s most beloved faces weren’t being compensated for their video appearances (while the white editors were), and flagged a culture of racism and inequality within the company. (Yuh, a queen went off.)
In August, a wave of our faves stood together in solidarity, walking away from the test kitchen for good after the company refused to come to an agreement about back playing and fairly compensating them moving forward. To count, that was Priya Krishna, Rick Martinez, Gaby Melian, Molly Baz, and Carla Lalli Music.
Last week, the internet’s favourite extremely anxious and stressed pastry chef, Claire Safftitz, also threw in her kitchen tea towel. Gourmet Makes ain’t gonna be making no more.
You’d think in the midst of the biggest racial justice and civil rights push we’ve seen in history—the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement—and the fact the entire Bon Appétit fanbase was begging them to, the publication would be keen to put it behind them and right wrongs. In the midst of the backlash, the BA fandom was vocal in its calls for the company to apologise, acknowledge the staff’s complaints, and compensate and back-pay staff for their work.
Instead, the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen returned to YouTube with a video that—let’s just say—hasn’t been received well by its once-loyal fanbase. In the video, three of the newly installed staff talk chat about why they joined on. There is no mention of the previous staff who left, there has been no explicit apology and you know… they didn’t actually listen to the fans who wanted the original talent to stay.
Per Variety, Condé Nast also denied claims of inequity, saying “no employees or contract workers were paid unfairly.” The tweets and comments from fans have been less than enthusiastic about the new BA world order. Some are also calling into question some of the white, cis, heterosexual male hosts’ choices to stay on: Brad Leone and Chris Morroco respectively. Big fucken yikes.
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Hi Friends! I’m excited to announce that today I’ll be launching a new column and video series with @food52 called Off-Script with Sohla! Link in bio! Each month I’ll be sharing a new recipe that’ll teach you core techniques—then I want you to go off-script and riff! Use your imagination (and whatever’s in your pantry) to create your own dish using my recipe as a guide. This first recipe is for a simple one-skillet chicken and rice. Learn the basic moves by cooking through either my paella or biryani inspired chicken and rice, then make up your own chicken rice dance! Thanks to @amandahesser @emmalaperruque & @gabriellamm for making it all happen!
Overall, the response has been lukewarm at the very best, with most viewers calling out their lack of transparency and acknowledgement.
Anyway, go watch Sohla’s new show and enjoy her getting her coin at Food52 and Binging With Babish. Keep up with your unproblematic favs on their Instagrams to support their new ventures. If you’re looking for cute Christmas presents, you can’t go wrong with a classic cookbook from Priya, Carla, Molly or Claire.
Oh, and don’t forget to smash that unsubscribe button. 🙂