I have a question for all of you at-home cooks and regular peeps: are all of you just secretly spending hours watching Bon Appetit and New York Times-associated chef videos? I’m asking because I’m shocked by the general public’s knowledge of people like Alison Roman and Sohla El-Waylly. To me, the people on Food Network and The Cooking Channel are super-famous, for sure, but chefs for hoity-toity food publications are famous too? Anyway, Alison Roman’s white nonsense was only the appetizer. Now we have the main course: over the course of a day, we learned that Bon Appetit’s editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport did “brownface” back in the day AND he doesn’t compensate his non-white employees for BA videos and he only pays white people properly. And then by the end of business Monday, Rapoport resigned. First, the “brownface” photo:
— chez tammie (@tammieetc) June 8, 2020
YIKES. Then on the heels of that, Sohla El-Waylly, “a chef and restaurateur who was hired last year as an assistant editor at Bon Appetit and has appeared in the BA Test Kitchen video series” called out Rapoport on her Instagram Stories, saying that only white BA employees are compensated for making BA Test Kitchen videos, and that she was hired to “assist” white people who had less experience than her:
In case you’ve missed it: Not only is Sohla one of the only front facing Bon Appetit editors to denounce EIC Adam Rapoport doing brown face, apparently only white BA editors are paid for their video appearances. Here’s her Instagram story just now pic.twitter.com/h0uPMlJYHN
— Sarah Manavis (@sarahmanavis) June 8, 2020
After that, BA senior food editor Molly Baz posted on her social media: “Please let it be known that I stand with my family @bonappetitmag and do not support the behavior of our current editor in chief. I WILL NOT APPEAR IN ANY VIDEOS ON BON APPETIT UNTIL MY BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and People of Color] COLLEAGUES RECEIVE EQUAL PAY AND ARE FAIRLY COMPENSATED FOR THEIR APPEARANCES.”
A few hours later, Rapoport resigned from the EIC position after ten years at Bon Appetit. He admitted to having a “blind spot” when it comes to inclusion. Which is utterly bizarre to me that FOOD PEOPLE – professional food writers and professional chefs – could have such blind spots, especially given that so many chefs are merely putting “their own spin” on other cultures’ food.
Photos courtesy of Getty, IG.