Inside The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen Shake-Up

Although a love of good food is something that is shared by almost everybody on the planet, the world of food culture and food media is not without its problems and prejudices. Only recently have several well-entrenched brands made changes to their branding after being called out on their long-time racism (the now-retired Land O'Lakes butter maiden; the Aunt Formerly Known as Jemima), and cooking show personalities including Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond and (of course) Paula Deen have been known to make racist remarks (some of these even on-air).

The latest food-world scandal involves three food journalists of color who have been the victims of racism and have very publicly announced their decision to leave Bon Appetit's Test Kitchen. As The New York Times reports, Sohla El-Waylly, Priya Krishna, and Rick Martinez were unhappy about the culture of racial insensitivity surrounding the program, and on Thursday all three resigned from the video series.

Why the three journalists left the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Bon Appetit has come in for its share of scandal lately, what with a 2004 photo of editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport in brownface surfacing (shades of Bobby Deen!) and causing him to step down from his position (via Variety). This was soon followed by the resignation of Matt Duckor, Condé Nast's head of programming, after a petition accused him of fostering a "discriminatory system that paid white editors at Bon Appétit for their video work, while their nonwhite editors received nothing."

Krishna and Martinez gave pay discrepancy as a reason why they were stepping down from their video work, with Martinez also noting that people of color did not appear on-air as frequently as their Caucasian counterparts and Krishna pointing out that "non-white members of the test kitchen were tokenized, carelessly framed as monolithic experts for their communities [and] used as props for white talent." El-Waylly stuck to a more non-committal "it's just not the right thing for me," although it's likely that as a woman of color she shares her colleagues' concerns. None of the three are leaving Bon Appetit, however — they just plan to stay over on the print side, where the Times says Krishna is a contributing writer, El-Waylly is an assistant food editor, and Martinez is a contributing food editor.