It’s strange to say but it’s true, one of the main reasons I have distanced myself from Instagram is the fall out of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen. I can’t and won’t share every detail but in recently weeks it’s come to light that Conde Nast and it’s subsisary Bon Appetit has It’s strange to say but it’s true: one of the main reasons I have distanced myself from Instagram is the fall out of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen. I can’t and won’t share every detail of the train wreck, but in recent weeks it’s come to light that Conde Nast, and its subsidiary Bon Appetit, was (is?) a toxic work environment for POC. After their EIC, Adam Rapport resigned, rightfully so, what followed has been a bombshell of corporate mismanagement, witch-hunting, and cancel culture.
In the wake of this Instagram has lost 90% of its excitement for me. I took such pleasure in seeing what Molly Baz was up to with her weenie dog Tuna, I loved the rare post from Claire Saffitz offering just a sliver of her home life, and often also an actual sliver of cake. I was obsessed with the life of Alex Delany, and honestly nursed a large crush on the New Jersey native. Carla Lalli Music was my granola mother and fun aunt all rolled into one. Fellow Texan Priya Krishna, and her parents, felt like my own family. I would follow her IG stories for hours to see what her boyfriend Seth was baking.
I could tell you small details about every single character who made appearances in the test kitchen. It would be an understatement to say that The Bon Appetit Test Kitchen was my functional religion. I worshiped at the altar daily, checking the YouTube channel multiple times a day just to ensure I didn’t miss an upload. I thought of them as my friends, but also more than friends. These people were my deities, they were my pantheon.
One of my fellow BA obsessed friends said it like this
“Who would have thought all of our besties were working in such a toxic environment! Everything I thought I knew is a lie😭 So sad.”
When allegations of underpay, a toxic work environment, culturally insensitive and appropriated recipes, and racist, homophobic tweets came to light, my world, and the gods I worshiped, fell to crumbles.
Most of their social accounts dried up. No more photos of pour-over coffee perfectly caramel and shining in the morning light of their hip Bed-Stuy apartments. No more cocktails in the evening on their roofs. No videos of them cooking in their kitchens with their children. No more Spotify playlists. Videos, live chats, etc. No more content. Nothing nothing nothing. The silence was painful. Like a breakup I didn’t see coming. I felt lost without them. Untethered.
Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?
With this sudden disappearance it became obvious that I needed a break from platforms such as Instagram. If these people were my gods, then instagram was my Bible. I “read” it constantly, like an obsessed acolyte. When my oracle went silent the spell was broken. I knew it was time to make a change.
At the suggestion of @robbie I signed up for Micro.blog. I can’t say that the Church of the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen will or won’t forever lose me as a disciple, but I can say that during this sabbatical I am slowly learning to unlearn the hypnotic and addictive grasp Instagram and its conspirator, Conde Nast, held on me. I hope that the slower, kinder, simple platform of Micro.blog will create a more stable online experience for me.