Where Are the Stars of Bon Appetit’s Test Kitchen Now?

In June 2020, ten of 13 Bon Appétit Test Kitchen contributors left the channel in solidarity with BIPOC colleagues. Among them were Claire Saffitz, Christina Chaey, Alex Delany, Rick Martinez, Sohla El-Waylly, Priya Krishna, Gaby Melian, Molly Baz, Carla Lalli Music and Amiel Stanek. According to Business Insider, June’s public reckoning began after associate editor Sohla El-Waylly called out instances of racism and pay inequity at Bon Appétit. In a series of Instagram stories, she claimed the video appearances of white editors were compensated while hers were not. A representative from Condé Nast immediately denied this, however, the media conglomerate later admitted to “patronizing the contributions of marginalized people” and, more generally, remaining “complicit with a culture [they] don’t agree with” in an official statement released June 10.

After a four and a half month hiatus, The Test Kitchen channel returned in October with a new lineup of charismatic chefs—and a vow to do better:

“We are listening, learning, and building something together that showcases our best. We’re building a team that is empathetic, respectful, and open to being challenged; that is paid fairly for their contributions; and that represents the audience we hope to serve. You’re going to see new shows, new and familiar faces, and a whole lot of new recipes.”

Almost a year has passed since the first generation of Test Kitchen chefs stepped out of the spotlight. Let’s take a look at what they’ve been up to.

Priya Krishna

Priya told Business Insider, “Hope diminished with every week and every meeting and every email that I got. It was a lot of lofty promises for change and then seeing very little in action.” So, she left the Test Kitchen on August 6 but remained an associate editor, writing and developing new recipes for the magazine.

Now, Priya contributes to The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other food publications. She recently published her own cookbook, “Indian-ish: Recipes and Antics from a Modern American Family.”

Sohla El-Waylly

Sohla told Vulture in October, “The Test Kitchen is really fun as long as you play your role, and I didn’t like the role I was put in. It became increasingly frustrating to become a sidekick to people with significantly less experience than me.” She says she kept her head down at first because the cameos in her colleagues’ videos were seemingly opportunities of a lifetime: “Working in a place like that, you can’t say no. You never know if another opportunity will come your way,” she told the reporter.

But, when BIPOC employees across the country began sharing their stories of institutionalized racism and companies like her own performatively pledged to support them, Sohla felt it was time to hold Bon Appétit accountable. That’s when she took to Instagram in June.

She’s now writing a cookbook as well as a column with Food 52 called “Off-Script With Sohla,” guest-judging on cooking shows and filming a web series she now stars in, Stump Sohla.

Molly Baz

Disheartened by the inequity at Bon Appétit, Molly shared her contract and salary with her BIPOC colleagues who had not been compensated for their video appearances. On June 12, she reiterated her commitment to remaining off-camera until her colleagues were compensated fairly. Molly’s next post came on August 7 in which she announced her decision to stay at the magazine (a separate entity from Condé Nast Entertainment) but leave the Test Kitchen.

Since then, Molly’s published her first cookbook, Cook This Book, which came out April 20, 2021. She’s now headed on a virtual book tour—check out her Instagram for dates and special guests!

Carla Lalli Music

Carla announced her official departure from Bon Appétit on August 12. In a lengthy Instagram post, she thanked Sohla for being the first to speak out and cited Condé Nast Entertainment’s inability to “articulate specific measurable goals about diversity and inclusion” as her reason for leaving.

Since then, she’s begun a video series on Patreon called Carla’s Cooking Show “that’s as much about cooking at home as it is about the tools and equipment that will help you feel awesome at the stove,” she wrote on Instagram. Her second cookbook comes out October 5, 2021.

Alex Delany

After a racist Tumblr post resurfaced amid the Bon Appétit drama, Alex uploaded an apology on August 10. In the same post, he announced his return to the company as an associate editor. However, he did not return to the Test Kitchen. Five months later, on February 5, he announced his departure from the magazine as a whole. He wrote on Instagram:

“Today is my last day working at Bon Appétit. (I put my notice in 2 weeks ago.) I’m hitting the bricks to pursue some solo projects. Will I have a website soon? Yup! Will a newsletter appear? Possibly. Will there be a bar opening in 2022? 😏😏😏 But right now, I’m going to be ramping up my work as a freelance consultant for brands and businesses in and around the food and beverage space.”

Claire Saffitz

Claire’s Test Kitchen series, Gourmet Makes, was one of Bon Appétit’s most popular. After leaving it behind last June, she published her first cookbook, Dessert Person, in October. And, to the delight of her fans, she returned to the YouTube scene on her own terms, showcasing the recipes from her new book.

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