Sohla El-Waylly is back, bay bee!! Well, technically she guested on a Food52 video back in July, but her new cooking video with The New York Times, which hit YouTube on Friday, feels like a real return to form following the chef’s decision to no longer make video content for Bon Appetit after speaking out against the brand’s racist, discriminatory treatment of Black and brown talent.
“Today, I’m going to cook you through my life,” El-Waylly says at the top of the clip. “I’m going to show you three recipes that kind of define three important moments from my life.”
Here’s what the three final dishes look like once prepared, paired with some quotes from the Times’ video:
“When I first got out of culinary school, I had this attitude that I knew more than everybody else. Turns out that’s totally false. When I would make my mom’s food, I would always try to, like, you know, make it more ‘updated,’ ‘refine’ it, do things like add chicken broth instead of water, but it actually just makes it terrible. So, now I just trust my mom and make things the traditional way. They’re tradition for a reason, yeah?”
“This kind of food is ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad—it’s just a little stupid. [Ed. note: me] Sure, I learned some cool cooking techniques [at culinary school], but I think the biggest thing [I learned] is discipline. We would start at 10am and work until 2am, so now every job feels relatively easy. I think when it comes to learning about flavors and what tastes good, I think that foundation actually comes from my mother and the food I ate growing up.”
“The warm spices in here kind of echo the warm spices in the korma, which I didn’t even think about, but it’s totally happening here. Old school, new school—we’re all just frying in a skillet, with just a couple of twists thrown in, you know?”
So, who’s making one of these recipes tonight? I definitely am, lied the beautiful author of this here blog. How about you? Either way, enjoy your night! And watch the full clip below if you so please.