The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen Crew Is Cooking at Home, & It's Giving Me Life

“You’re never gonna have, like, every single ingredient you’d like to have these days,” Test Kitchen director Chris Morocco quips, as he instructs viewers on how to prepare a hearty kalbijjim for the Bon Appétit YouTube channel

He’s out of mirin, subbing in two tablespoons of sugar for the sweet rice wine instead.

"The important thing is to just keep goin'," he sighs. He's filming the video from an iPhone on his counter, while Christina Chaey, associate editor, stands by in a Zoom window on his laptop. Just like most of us, Chris and the rest of the Bon Appétit chefs are adapting to empty grocery shelves, staying isolated and working at home. The set up is a far cry from the glitzy Test Kitchen environment everyone's used to, but it's functional nonetheless.

Armed with iPhone tripod clamps and clip-on lavalier mics, the internet’s favorite group of chefs have managed to churn out hilarious cooking game shows, recipe how-to's for the home chef and more, all from the comfort of their own kitchens. Everyone has their own unique situation: some chefs are quarantined in New York with their parents, and others are stuck in extended Airbnb's on the other side of the nation. It's different from the usual Test Kitchen content, sure, but this intimate glimpse into the chefs' varied quarantined lifestyles and routines is proving to be satisfying fans just as much.

“At the end of the day, they’re really compelling even in front of an iPhone in their home kitchen,” Matt Duckor (Condé Nast’s head of programming, lifestyle, and style) told Vox. “What’s making the content really work is that [the personality] is still intact. Nothing’s changed there,” he explained.

And, I'm all for it! I mean, who doesn’t want to see a tour of Claire Saffitz’s kitchen led by the acclaimed pastry chef herself? In these uncertain times where content creators often feel like they're scrambling to uphold their posting schedules, Bon Appétit serves as a interesting example of how creators can adapt and gear their content towards this unprecedented situation without losing viewer appeal. And, of course, Bon Appetit's content couldn't be more relevant nowadays with baking quickly morphing into the world's favorite quarantine activity.

Here are some of the top highlights from the BA Test Kitchen: Quarantine Edition so far:

Carla and Troye's soufflé pancake adventures

In a Zoom-ified version of Back-To-Back Chef, Carla teaches Troye Sivan how to make delicious, fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes at home (Troye may or may not know the difference between egg yolks and egg whites. It happens.).

A chaotic kitchen scavenger hunt showdown

To be honest, I probably don't have half of the things in this video sitting around my apartment kitchen (I'm looking at you, serrated bread knife), but it sure is entertaining watching the chefs race to find them. Spoiler alert: Andy and Molly's face-off is one of the best battles in cinematic history.

BA's charitable and charming variety show

In this zany livestream hosted by BA's editor-in-chief, Adam Rapoport, the BA chefs compete against each other over Zoom in various entertaining relays in efforts to raise funds for World Central Kitchen. From competitions revolving around who can whip cream the fastest, to a segment purely devoted to showing off the chefs' pets, this livestream was an absolute delight. In a mere two hours, the chefs raised a impressive sum of $200,000!

An adorable dad-daughter scone making session 

Nothing says family bonding like baking! In this feel-good episode of From the Home Kitchen, Molly teaches her dad how to make delicious scones from scratch over Zoom. Although the connection is shaky at times, the wholesomeness is strong with this one.

Mac n' cheese gets a new makeover

Who knew KD could be so versatile? In this video, the BA chefs are putting a spin on the ordinary, and reinventing this college student staple for a new era. From cheesy mac pancakes to mac n' cheese arancini, the chefs' creativity is definitely shining through!

Check out more Bon Appétit here!