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Bon Appétit Doesn’t Need the Test Kitchen to Keep Us Fed

In a time where everyone is now at home for all their meals, many are turning to cooking and baking. It’s a creative outlet. You can try out a new recipe or find an activity you can do with those who are home with you. And it’s also proving to be an obvious necessity for those not wanting to order take-out every night. People are turning to cooking shows and YouTube channels for help and know-how, and one show in particular stands out: the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen!

The Bon Appetit Test Kitchen on YouTube is undoubtedly one of the most popular YouTube cooking channels available right now. A spin-off of Bon Appetit Magazine, Conde Nast’s head of programming, lifestyle and style Matt Duckor told Vox, “The channel saw 76.7 million views in March, the most successful month in the channel’s history, up 5 percent over February.” This spike is clearly correlated with the worldwide stay at home orders due to the coronavirus pandemic,  but what happens when the Test Kitchen runs out of episodes? What will do?

Vox got answers to this question. Thank goodness. The Test Kitchen has anywhere from six to eight weeks worth of pre-filmed content at any one time. So, due to the state of the world, some of the programming may feel out of touch with what’s going on outside their kitchen. The next best solution? The staff turns to cooking in their homes—for an audience still, that is! The Bon Appetit Test Kitchen staffers received their own filming kits, complete with wireless microphone, tripods and a camera to help maintain the level of quality those who watch the test kitchen have become used to. Whew.

The new at home videos began on March 27. All 13 regular editor-chefs from the Test Kitchen have adopted this new model. As with everything, they had a learning curve, but Duckor states that, “It rolls pretty easily. Some of them, you can tell, are really comfortable at home. Brad [Leone] adapted right away to being in his kitchen by himself, just yelling at an iPhone. It’s a testament to how real those guys are on camera.”

The at home style Bon Appetit videos have been going so well that Duckor said he expects this type of programming will be integrated into their future slate even after the quarantine has been lifted. Read his full comments and more details about the Test Kitchen from home at Vox.

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