Bon Appétit is a monthly American food and entertaining magazine, that typically contains recipes, entertaining ideas, restaurant recommendations, and wine reviews. Owned by Condé Nast, it is headquartered at the One World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York City and has been in publication since 1956. Bon Appétit has been recognized for increasing its online presence in recent years through the use of social media, publishing recipes on their website, and maintaining an increasingly popular YouTube channel.
April 2019 cover
|Editor||Amanda Shapiro (Interim)|
|Categories||Food and Entertaining|
|Frequency||10 issues per year|
|Company||Condé Nast Publications|
|Based in||New York City|
Bon Appétit was started in 1956 as a liquor store giveaway and was first published as a bimonthly magazine in December of that year in Chicago. It was acquired by M. Frank Jones of Kansas City, Missouri in 1965. Jones was owner, editor, and publisher until 1970, when he sold the magazine to the Pillsbury Company, who in turn sold it to Knapp Communications in 1975. Jones remained the editor of the magazine through both of these transfers. Knapp Communications also owned and published Architectural Digest, which was edited by Paige Rense. Jones recruited Rense to restructure Bon Appétit. She converted the magazine from a giveaway into a subscription-based, monthly magazine, as it remains today. Rense becoming the editor-in-chief in 1976. Condé Nast Publications, the current owners, purchased Knapp Communications in 1993. Bon Appétit's sister publication was Gourmet, before the latter was discontinued in October 2009.
The magazine's headquarters was moved from Los Angeles to New York City in early 2011. Concurrent with the move, Barbara Fairchild, the editor since 2000, was succeeded by editor Adam Rapoport, who was previously the Style Editor at Condé Nast's GQ magazine. Prior to joining GQ, Rapoport edited the restaurant section at Time Out New York and worked as an editor and writer for the James Beard Foundation's publications office.
In 2011, Bon Appétit launched the "Bite me" advertising campaign, which had an estimated $500,000 budget that included print and online ads, billboards, posters, and sweepstakes. The ad campaign came after a period of "sluggish performance" following its sibling magazine Gourmet's cancellation in 2009, during which a limited number of readers and advertisers shifted to Bon Appétit. During the same period, other food magazines, such as Every Day With Rachael Ray and Food Network Magazine thrived. Bon Appétit sold 632 ad pages in 2012, which was a one percent increase from 625 ad pages sold in 2009 but a decline of 27 percent from the 867 ad pages sold in 2008. Condé Nast reported 1,452,953 paid subscriptions and 88,516 single copies in 2012 for the period ending November 2012. The median age of its audience was 48.4, of which 74% were female.
In August 2014, Condé Nast combined Bon Appétit and Epicurious into a single digital food platform led by Pamela Drucker Mann, Bon Appétit Senior Vice President and Publisher. Adam Rapoport was named Editorial Director of Epicurious.
Bon Appétit has been noted for increasing their web presence through the use of social media, their website, and their YouTube channel. From 2018 to 2019, Bon Appétit saw a 40 percent increase in video revenue and a 64 percent increase in subscriptions generated from digital channels such as social media plugs, podcasts, and newsletters. The company has worked to leverage the popularity of Bon Appétit's YouTube and streaming channels towards increasing magazine readership. This included the November 2019 edition of the magazine, which had eight separate covers featuring the staff of the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen seen on the channels. As well, advertiser interest has increased, with many companies being drawn to the connections the shows’ hosts have with their audience. These companies have included Goose Island Beer, The Mushroom Council, Mitsubishi, Kerrygold and Glossier.
On June 8, 2020, Adam Rapoport resigned as editor-in-chief after a photo of him in brownface resurfaced online and sparked widespread criticism. Rapoport also received criticism after food editor Sohla El-Waylly accused the magazine of discriminating towards employees of color, claiming they were subject to lesser pay than their non-minority counterparts. Amanda Shapiro took on the role of interim editor-in-chief soon after. In an interview with Business Insider, Rapoport's former assistant Ryan Walker-Hartshorn, who is black, revealed that she had not been given a pay raise in almost 3 years with the company and was subject to numerous racist remarks and microaggressions, with a number of other employees of color agreeing that there was a "'toxic' culture of microaggression and exclusion" at the company. Vice President and Head of Programming and Lifestyle at Condé Nast Matt Duckor was forced to apologize and later resigned after past tweets seen as racist and homophobic were revealed, as well as accusations of being complicit or directly responsible for the pay disparities at the company. In response to accusations, Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch suggested in regards to concerns about pay disparities, equity, and lack of diversity that "if people had used the internal channels and raised concerns about this earlier on, we would've been able to address them". Multiple former employees took to Twitter after hearing the response from the media conglomerate and said concerns were raised on many occasions with HR, but no changes were ever implemented, forcing them to leave the company. On June 25, Matt Hunziker, video editor for It's Alive, was suspended. Condé Nast stated that the suspension was due to unspecified concerns that required investigation, with many of the employees at Bon Appétit countering that they believed it was due to his outspoken criticisms of Condé Nast.
|Total views||1.3+ billion|
|Network||Condé Nast Entertainment|
|Updated 18 June 2020|
On October 21, 2016, the first episode of It's Alive with Brad debuted. The series began with videos of Brad Leone, the Test Kitchen Manager at the time, in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen demonstrating recipes for foods with microbial food cultures, but later moved on to more general recipes as well as outdoor segments at agricultural and food processing sites, including a cocoa farm, a sea salt harvesting facility, and a sausage factory. The series features a casual, unproduced style and comedic editing. The series was edited by Matt Hunziker and filmed and produced by Vincent Cross until Cross's departure in early 2019 to fellow cooking YouTube channel, Binging with Babish. It is now filmed, produced, and edited by Hunziker, whose style has been credited with shaping the aesthetic of the entire Bon Appétit YouTube channel, including shaky cam-style filming, frequent cameos by non-featured chefs, and a focus on kitchen mistakes.
In July 2017, Gourmet Makes with Claire Saffitz debuted, in which Saffitz attempts to recreate or elevate popular snack foods such as Doritos, Twinkies, and Gushers. Gourmet Makes consistently trends on YouTube and has developed a cult following on social media. Saffitz' work has been described as taking "junk food staples and...elevating them from their humble processed beginnings into wonders of gastronomy."
The loose and personality-driven style of It's Alive, along with Gourmet Makes, are noted as contrasting the "curated [and] posh" brand of Bon Appétit and were described by Forbes as having "changed the way Condé Nast approaches online video." As a result, in February 2019, Bon Appétit launched three new series on a streaming channel which took a more personality driven approach to their content: Bon Appétit’s Baking School, a spin-off of It’s Alive titled It’s Alive: Going Places, and Making Perfect. Bon Appétit’s Baking School was presented by Saffitz and taught the basics of baking a cake in a five-part series. The first season of It’s Alive: Going Places followed Leone as he traveled Central Texas, and was followed by a second season in June 2019 which followed Leone in Hawaii. The first season of Making Perfect starred Andy Baraghani, Molly Baz, Brad Leone, Chris Morocco, Carla Lalli Music, and Claire Saffitz, and focused on making the perfect pizza. It was followed by a second season in October 2019, with the additions of Christina Chaey and Rick Martinez. The second season focused on making the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.
The entire lineup of on-camera staff and contributors at Bon Appétit appear in the series From The Test Kitchen, which features more traditionally structured instructional recipe videos, as well as Test Kitchen Talks, with videos of the chefs competing in cooking challenges and answering common cooking questions. Several other series feature the individual chefs. Chris Morocco stars in Reverse Engineering, in which he attempts to reverse engineer a recipe by a celebrity chef from taste, touch, and smell alone. Carla Lalli Music stars in Back-to-Back Chef, in which she cooks along with and instructs a celebrity in preparing a dish while facing away from each other and using only verbal instructions. The series' guests have included Natalie Portman, Antoni Porowski, Ninja, Miz Cracker, Braun Strowman and more. Additionally, chefs Bobby Flay, Daniel Boulud, and Gordon Ramsay have guest hosted the series.
Bon Appétit films regular collaborations with other notable YouTube channels, including First We Feast and Binging with Babish, with Sean Evans of Hot Ones and Andrew Rea of Binging with Babish appearing on multiple Bon Appétit series, and Bon Appétit personalities appearing on First We Feast and Binging with Babish's respective series. Several other guests have appeared on It's Alive, including Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions, chef Matty Matheson, chef Samin Nosrat, and musician Orville Peck.
Videos are primarily filmed in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen on the 35th floor of the One World Trade Center in Manhattan, where it is part of Condé Nast's headquarters. Bon Appétit won the 2020 Webby Award for Food & Drink in the category Social and 2020 Webby Award and Webby People’s Voice Award for Food & Drink in the category Web.
Bon Appétit staff and contributors on YouTube channelEdit
|Member||Title||Show(s)||At Bon Appétit|
|Andy Baraghani||Senior Food Editor||Andy Explores
|October 2015 – Present|
|Molly Baz||Senior Food Editor||Molly Tries
|March 2018 – Present|
|Christina Chaey||Associate Editor||Making Perfect||December 2014 – August 2016|
|Alex Delany||Drinks Editor||Alex Eats It All
One of Everything
|August 2014 – Present|
|Sohla El-Waylly||Assistant Food Editor||August 2019 – Present|
|Matt Hunziker||Editor and Video Director||It's Alive||August 2016 – Present|
|Priya Krishna||Contributing Writer||Present|
|Brad Leone||Former Test Kitchen Manager
Test Kitchen Video Host
It's Alive: Going Places
|September 2011 – Present|
|Rick Martinez||Contributing Food Editor||Making Perfect||July 2015 – November 2016|
|Gaby Melian||Test Kitchen Manager||June 2016 – Present|
|Chris Morocco||Test Kitchen Director||Reverse Engineering
|February 2011 – July 2013|
|Carla Lalli Music||Former Food Director
Food Editor at Large
|August 2011 – Present|
|Claire Saffitz||Contributing Food Editor||Gourmet Makes
BA's Baking School
|2013 – August 2018
November 2018 – Present (as contributor)
|Dan Siegel||Video Director||Gourmet Makes
BA's Baking School
|December 2018 – Present|
|Amiel Stanek||Editor at Large||Almost Every
|Hosted by||Adam Rapoport|
|Genre||Food & Drink|
Ep. 13 onward
|No. of episodes||275|
|Original release||November 24, 2014 – June 17, 2020|
|Website||Bon Appétit Foodcast|
In 2014, Bon Appétit launched a podcast titled the Bon Appétit Foodcast. The series was hosted by former editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport, and featured notable guests such as Ina Garten, Gordon Ramsay, and Mark Bittman. A number of the staff at Bon Appétit regularly appeared on the podcast to discuss their recently published recipes. On June 17, 2020 a final podcast was released, announcing that in light of the departure of Rapoport and the ensuing fall out, the podcast would have a new host and a new name, as well as feature a greater range of contributors and developers.
Best New Restaurants in AmericaEdit
Since 2009, Bon Appétit's Deputy and Restaurant Editor Andrew Knowlton, later joined by Senior Editor Julia Kramer, has put together a list of the "Best New Restaurants in America". The list is released annually at the end of August for the September issue, and begins with a 50-restaurant shortlist that is then narrowed down to "The Hot 10" list. The first two years, the list was not in a specific order.
- James A. Shanahan (1956–1961)
- Alan Shearer (1961–1962)
- Charles Walters (1962–1963)
- Betty Paige (1963–1964)
- W. C. Carreras (1964)
- Floyd Sageser (1964–1965)
- M. Frank Jones (1965–1976)
- Paige Rense (1976–1983)
- Marilou Vaughan (1983–1985)
- William J. Garry (1985–2000)
- Barbara Fairchild (2000–2010)
- Adam Rapoport (2010–2020)
- Amanda Shapiro (2020–present) (Interim Editor)
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