Bon Appetit has unveiled its vision for a more inclusive YouTube channel, after a total of eight hosts departed its ‘Test Kitchen’ series amid a lack of diversity onscreen and allegations of racially-charged pay disparities.
The Conde Nast-owned title introduced today the eight new chefs who will be headlining its YouTube channel moving forward, joining three returning staffers: Brad Leone, Chris Morocco, and Andy Baraghani — the hosts of the popular series It’s Alive, Reverse Engineering, and Andy Explores, respectively.
A new slate for the Bon Appetit channel is currently being developed by editor-in-chief Dawn Davis (pictured above, center), executive editor Sonia Chopra (above right), global brand advisor Marcus Samuelsson (above left), and Conde Nast Entertainment president Agnes Chu. The magazine said several popular series will resume production this month to premiere in the fall, with additional pilots airing in November. Each of the channel’s 11 hosts will also launch recipe-driven, three-episode miniseries, Bon Appetit said.
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Davis, Chopra, and Samuelsson also published a new video today on Bon Appetit‘s long-dormant YouTube channel, sharing their vision for the future of the brand.
“I want it to be a place that you can feel comfortable to ask uncomfortable questions and to have uncomfortable conversations,” Davis shared. “At the same time, I want it to be a place that’s fun and that fun is reflected in the stories, in the recipes, in the footprint of BA.”
The new YouTube team includes: first-generation Jamaican-American chef DeVonn Francis; Los Angeles chef Tiana “Tee” Gee; Melissa Miranda, the founder of the Filipinx-inspired community-driven restaurant Musang; baker, author, editor, food stylist, and recipe developer Samantha Seneviratne; plant-based chef Chrissy Trace; Filipino-born and South Bronx-raised chef Harold Villarosa; Food Sermon restaurant founder Rawlston Williams; and Top Chef alum Claudette Zepeda.
Eight former Bon Appetit YouTube hosts departed the channel after a June firestorm saw the reemergence of a photo of former editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport donning brownface, as well as allegations of racially-charged pay disparity and a lack of diversity onscreen. Former hosts include: Sohla El-Waylly, Priya Krishna, Rick Martinez, Gaby Melian, Molly Baz, Carla Lalli Music, Amiel Stanek, and Claire Saffitz. Conde Nast has denied allegations of racially-charged pay disparities.
The Bon Appetit YouTube channel — which has remained untouched since June — counts 5.9 million subscribers and has recently been nabbing 10 million monthly views.