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How BA Test Kitchen Makes Watching Videos on Fermentation Fun

Bon Appètit started out as a cooking magazine which had recipes and advice for making the best dish, or common mistakes home-cooks may make.  In 2013, Bon Appètit started its Youtube channel which consisted of cooking tips, i.e. “How to Perfectly Carve a Turkey”. In the last two years however, the Bon Appètit channel started to gain more recognition on Youtube as it started to incorporate different types of videos, i.e. ‘Gourmet Makes’ and the different personalities that the Test Kitchen consists of.  Really what makes these videos so interesting to watch are the personalities of the chefs and their humour which really shines through in the videos.

The BA test kitchen is not like a normal kitchen that just uses cooking recipes from their magazine, but it’s where chefs try new things and create recipes of their own.  There are videos of tips to avoid certain things happening in the kitchen, but there are also fun experiments, such as making an omelette with an ostrich egg. There are six main chefs in the BA test kitchen who appear in the majority of the videos: Claire Saffitz, Chris Morocco, Carla Lalli Music, Andi Baraghani, Molly Baz and Brad Leone.  Each chef has their own “show” on Youtube that allows their personalities to shine through. For example, Claire does “Gourmet Makes” where she makes candy such as Skittles and tries to recreate them by elevating them into gourmet cooking. Carla’s show is called “Back to Back”, where celebrities go to the test kitchen and have to follow a recipe with Carla through verbal instructions only, and at the end, they get to eat their dishes.  This is actually what got me onto this channel – because of the big names that they had on the show and from there, I fell into the dark hole that is BA test kitchen.

There’s one chef, though, that I adore the most.  And that is Brad Leone. Brad Leone is a tall, strangely handsome guy from New Jersey with a heavy accent.  He is so silly and ridiculous that you can’t help but love him and laugh with him. The only problem is, his “show” on Youtube is on fermentation.  Never in a million years would I think that I would be spending hours watching a grown man make food ferment, but here I am. If you don’t know what fermentation is, it’s pretty much a chemical reaction where food breaks down in a liquid and makes it carbonated.  It doesn’t sound appealing to eat nor does it look appealing to make but Brad’s personality makes it impossible for me not to continue watching.

By watching these videos, in no way am I getting better at cooking, but they are really entertaining to watch.  Cooking videos have become a big trend with Tasty and Rosanna Pansino, but this channel is less about cooking and more about making it entertaining and fun, which I think is an important way of portraying it.  You might not want to be like me and waste hours watching food ferment, which is probably a smart idea, but I promise it will not disappoint you, so check it out!



Karina is a third year student at Queen's University. She is doing her major in politics and minor in French with the goal of going to law school. She enjoys travelling and learning about new cultures along with gymnastics and writing.
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