Nighttime view of the New York Times Building

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The New York Times’ Cooking product is ramping up its investment in video and borrowing from rival Bon Appétit’s playbook as it seeks to win over the coveted home chef audience.

NYT Cooking has invested in a new kitchen studio and is expanding the team to produce more videos and grow its library of more than 20,000 recipes. Backing the project is a new advertising campaign, which debuts on TV, digital and social media channels on Wednesday.

Viewers got a glimpse of the new studio in a “Gingerbread Showdown” video posted to the NYT Cooking channel on December 23. The banter and camaraderie between the chefs in the video, set in the relaxed atmosphere of the kitchen, resembled the style made famous by Bon Appétit. The Condé Nast-owned title has soared in popularity over the past few years and gained a cult-like following on social media channels like YouTube and Instagram where viewers connected with the chefs’ distinctive personalities. The Times’ “Gingerbread” video even features two former Bon Appétit stars, Sohla El-Waylly and Priya Krishna, going head to head in the cooking challenge.

While the Times’ latest moves will better position the cooking product to make a landgrab for Bon Appétit’s audience, the heads of NYT Cooking told Insider that the 2021 expansion was part of a broader, multiyear plan. NYT Cooking intends to grow the standalone section, which went behind a paywall in 2017, into the leading destination for cooking enthusiasts.

“Our goal for the next five years [is that] we’d like to be more of a household name,” said Emily Fleischaker, NYT Cooking’s enterprise strategy editor (and Bon Appétit alum of 2006 to 2012).

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A kitchen revolt

NYT Cooking’s expansion — which will see it doubling its number of food reporters, judging by its current job openings — comes months after a chaotic period for Bon Appétit’s “Test Kitchen,” which had grown into the dominant video brand among legacy-media food publishers.

Back in June, former and current employees of Bon Appétit told Insider that the company paid employees of color less than their white colleagues — though Condé Nast has repeatedly denied this — and that nonwhite employees were socially slighted and unable to access the same professional networks as their white peers. Bon Appétit’s Adam Rapoport resigned as editor-in-chief amid the backlash. Then 10 of the 13 members from the series said they would no longer appear in the magazine’s videos, including El-Waylly and Krishna, who appeared in the recent NYT Cooking video.

In August, Bon Appétit hired publishing executive Dawn Davis to replace Rapoport and a diverse lineup of chefs to appear in its videos. Having put the show on pause, “From The Test Kitchen” is set to relaunch later this year, according to Variety. However, the Bon Appétit channel started uploading content from new and existing chefs in October 2020.

Read more: Bon Appétit insiders reveal details of upcoming Test Kitchen comeback video after 3 …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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