Welcome to this week’s installment of the Bon App Recap. There was not one last week and, if I’m being honest, I’m not sad about it! Last week was April Fools, and Bon Appétit appeared to be the only brand that didn’t get the memo about not pulling any stupid pranks this year. For the most part, their whole bit about having different BA Test Kitchen chefs host other BA Test Kitchen chef’s shows wasn’t super egregious, but if you’re giving me “Gourment Makes” it better be Claire Saffitz, goddammit.
Mercifully, this week they did give us a “Gourmet Makes” episode starring Claire Saffitz, so all is right with the world. And, it came just in time for Easter. Which is today! We’re also into week two of these “Test Kitchen Talks @ Home” videos and, well, we’ve got some things to talk about. From what I can surmise, they’ve still got a bit of a backlog of videos, because out of the four we got this week two were still filmed in the Test Kitchen, and two were from the BA team’s homes. With any luck, they’ve still got some Test Kitchen episodes left because there are definitely some kinks to be worked out on the homefront. Here we go!
“From the Test Kitchen”—Andy makes Neapolitan chicken: 4/5 Would Bon
Watching Andy Baraghani and his arms crush a bunch of olives with the bottom of a small bowl for one and a half minutes is probably the most satisfying and relaxing thing I’ve experienced in the last two weeks. If I could, I would just play it on a silent loop for an hour and use it as a guided meditation. In fact, I just might do that.
I also just might cook this chicken tonight, for which I have everything but the chicken in my pantry right now. My only confusion is why Andy spends time getting the chicken skin nice and crispy and then goes and dumps the sauce right over the top of it, all but ruining one of life’s greatest pleasures, which is crispy chicken skin! I feel like every other week they’re telling us to put the sauce on the bottom and yet, here’s Andy, throwing it on the top. What am I to believe? I guess I’ll have to find out for myself!
“Test Kitchen Talks @ Home”—Pro chefs take you on a tour of their kitchens: 2/5 Would Bon
This video gets two points as opposed to zero for one reason and one reason only: Sohla El-Waylly. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
Mainly, in the very smallest of ways, this video made me appreciate the absolute gall influencers must have to give us tours of their homes and dare to try and convince us that it’s exciting because truly, it just isn’t. Mayhaps it worked for MTV Cribs back in the day but we are here now, not back there, and none of these people have a swimming pool-sized bed and as such, I really just do not care. It also reinforces the fact that even the most influencer-forward of the BA team are not, at their core, influencers, which is a great thing! They are chefs, and very good ones at that, and so I dislike that they have to do this dance for us! I appreciate that they are giving us content, but at what cost?
Alex Delany just straight up doesn’t do it and gives us a tour of his record collection instead, which I actually appreciated because it led me to his Spotify curated playlists, one of which I’m listening to right now.
This brings us to the main point of this episode for me, which is Sohla El-Waylly’s spice cabinet, and the container labled WEED she has there. In my heart of hearts, I would like to believe it is actual weed, because Sohla is a relatable queen and this would only further solidify her as such, but I’m afraid it’s just like, dill weed or something, and she labeled it WEED to be funny. Either way, it was the one bright spot in an episode that was otherwise really fucking dumb. Thank you Sohla, for all you do.
“Gourmet Makes”—Claire attempts to make gourmet Cadbury Creme Eggs: 5/5 Would Bon
Jezebel dot com has already commented on the worthiness of the Cadbury Creme Egg being dubbed the premier Easter candy and reached a very simple conclusion: meh. What I feel was missing from the original discourse was the optionality to just simply replace the Cadbury Creme Egg with a Russel Stover chocolate marshmallow egg, as they are actually the best Easter candy, and call it a day.
In this episode of “Gourmet Makes,” it would appear that Carla agrees with me, as she suggests that marshmallow is what Claire fills the eggs with in the gourmet version, as opposed to the, to borrow an expression for Jezebel’s earlier piece on the topic, jizzy filling that is already in there.
Never one to stray too far from the assignment at hand, Claire goes about making her own jizzy filling and, well, it’s a huge success. In the Saffitz edition, the filling is more custard than jizz, which is a huge improvement, and as is always most important to me, she seems to have a great time doing it. She even says as much. If Claire is happy, I’m happy.
“Test Kitchen Talks @ Home”—Pro chefs make 13 kinds of pantry pasta: 3/5 Would Bon
Okay, here is my main gripe with these “@ Home” videos so far, we don’t need to see all thirteen chefs in every single episode! Especially when the videos have been, ‘here’s a tour of my kitchen’ and ‘here are all the things you can dump into pasta that you may or may not already have.’ If anything, there’s more stuff on the internet than there ever has been before and sometimes less is, in fact, more.
I appreciate the sentiment of what they’re doing, and if nothing else it definitely made me feel better about what I’ve been eating because I counted and I’ve made relatively the same versions of at least nine of the pantry pastas they whip up. But thirty minutes of varying combinations of butter, salt, oil, cheese, beans, oil, salt, maybe a vegetable, cheese, butter, beans, was way way way more than enough.
The two things worth noting here are that Gabby is an absolute mood because she just straight up puts butter and cheese on pasta and calls it a day and that I would very much like to banish the phrase adult mac and cheese, which is what Molly says she’s making. There is no such thing as adult mac and cheese, adult mac and cheese does not exist. Adults exist and mac and cheese exists, and sometimes adults eat mac and cheese, but in the same way that making a pizza with “good” sauce and “fancy” cheese doesn’t mean there’s suddenly a categorically age-specific difference between that and a frozen pizza from a box, mac and cheese is mac and cheese whether it’s Kraft or made with fresh parmesan. And that’s that on that!