Will Bon Appétit ever stop playing with my emotions? Who knows! Last week, I settled into the reality that we would, for the foreseeable future, be watching ‘______ @ Home’ videos, which is not a bad thing, it’s just different! I don’t do well with change, and adjustment takes time, so I was preparing to do my best to settle in to this new reality when, lo and behold, only one BA video this week was filmed at home. And not only that, we got the first episode of an entirely new series. A win!
Also a win, a friend of mine surprised me by having not one, but two different tiramisus delivered to my apartment yesterday. I ate both of them while watching the new series, so needless to say my serotonin levels were through the roof. The crash was, unsurprisingly, equally dramatic, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the ride. If you have the opportunity to do so and you can do so safely, I highly, highly recommend eating two tiramisus as soon as possible. Also maybe while watching some of these videos, which were lovely.
“It’s Alive @ Home”—Brad (and Sohla!) makes garlic ginger paste: 5/5 Would Bon
Firstly, I am glad to know that Hunzi, undisputably the backbone of this entire series, is with us for the duration. And also that, regardless of being filmed at home, production quality will not suffer! The same kind of bizarre, endearingly antiquated editing that has come to be a hallmark of the series remains intact. For that I am grateful.
I am also grateful to know about this garlic ginger paste, which seems incredibly easy, a little bit like making a magic potion, and also endlessly versatile. All things that I am very into! Anytime I eat something with a lot of fresh ginger I feel like I am doing magic to my body and consuming a potion that is making me stronger and healthier, and considering this concoction bubbles a little as it ferments it only enhances this feeling!
Overall, this is premier quarantine content, as Brad and Sohla are essentially a personification in two parts of what my experience at home alone has been like. Standing on counters, talking to myself, hearing sounds, and throwing random ingredients together in the hope that they become something useful.
Also, Brad provided me with a new sign off for any email I send in the future, “My big ass is gonna blow out one day,” which is just true!
“One of Everything”—Alex and Christina try one of everything at Court Street Grocers: 5/5 Would Bon
Sandwiches are the greatest food of all time. Whenever I visit a new city, my singular goal is to find the absolute best sandwich there that I can find. Having recently moved to San Francisco, it was my greatest joy to discover a little sandwich shop blocks away from where I lived, after being truly nervous that the city wouldn’t be able to sate my need for expertly assembled meats, cheeses, and bread.
Thusly, this episode of “One of Everything” was almost painful to watch because I was hungry and I haven’t had a proper deli sandwich in far, far too long. However, it was all the inspiration I needed to attempt a recreation of one of the many gorgeous sandwiches consumed by Alex and Christina.
And truly, there were so many sandwiches consumed. It appears Christina and I have the same strategy with eating-clothes when it comes to knowing we’re going to be shoveling a lot in, that being to always wear overalls.
This show always makes a big deal about informing us that none of the food is going to waste, because the crew is going to eat it, and it just makes me wonder how big this crew is, and how many of them want to eat two bowls of oatmeal and thirty-four sandwiches that have all had two bites taken out of them.
By the end, these are always kind of painful to watch because you can just tell the hosts, Christina in particular, are literally on the verge of bursting, but I applaud their determination for making it through. I also applaud their applause of potato chips in sandwiches, which should be a more normal occurrence than it is!
“Molly Tries” —Molly tries butchering a whole pig for the first time: 3/5 Would Bon
I love that they clarify for us in the title of this video that this is the first time Molly is butchering a whole pig because, honestly, I wouldn’t have put it past her to have tried it before. I can’t explain exactly what it is but Molly just gives off big I’ve Butchered A Whole Big Before energy.
Anyway, I knew before pushing play there was going to be some caveat at the beginning where someone told us, if we eat meat, that we should be totally fine watching a video of Molly sawing through bones because this is part of the ecosystem of how our food gets made, and, naturally, that is exactly how this video started out. I understand the sentiment, but that doesn’t mean listening to someone saw through bones is exactly an ASM experience.
I also don’t love how at some point in every video Molly is in, she manages to talk shit about foods most people are eating as if home cooks are all idiots as opposed to people doing their best to put food on the table for their families. Sure, I acquiesced when she said penne is a bullshit pasta shape because, well, it kind of is. But enough already with bemoaning pork chops. They are an accessible cut of meat! Just teach us how to make them better instead of being rude!
“3 Chefs 3 Ways” —Carla, Chris, and Sohla make traditional, modern, and experimental pasta carbonara: 5/5 Would Bon
A new show! Co-starring Sohla! There’s a lot about this episode that we don’t know, like whether or not it’s going to be a regular reoccurrence and whether or not Carla, Chris, and Sohla are the three chefs who will always be featured. After watching it, I do hope the answer to both is yes and also yes.
The premise of the show is fairly simple. Each chef creates a version of pasta carbonara, one traditional, one modern, and one experimental, and at the end, we see what they’ve come up with. What the show actually is, is a peek behind the curtain at a very abbreviated version of the recipe testing and creation that goes on at Bon Appétit, and I love it.
At one point in the episode, Sohla pulls out the ice cream machine, which really brought me back to Iron Chef and pretty much every competition cooking show I’ve watched, where the ice cream machine is brought out to really showcase some innovation. Typically, it rarely worked, but in Sohla’s case it absolutely did. Also great, this show is not a competition, it’s just about the joy of cooking, and for that, I am very grateful. More of this, please!