"Life is short. Eat dessert first."
April 20, 2020 4:41 AM   Subscribe

Claire Saffitz is everything good in this world. She just has this warm, authentic presence and she doesn’t have to be perfect. Third day and not going well? She’s not hiding it. She’s depressed about it but that’s ok because she keeps going. I have a giant crush on her and I love that she’s letting her grey streak show up as well.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:22 AM on April 20, 2020 [37 favorites]

She’s depressed about it but that’s ok because she keeps going


One of my favorites is the Krispy Kreme episode, a classic tale of hubris, disappointment, and finally: redemption.
posted by jeremias at 5:47 AM on April 20, 2020 [3 favorites]

There's a Claire Saffitz fanvid set to Evanescence's My Immortal, and honestly, every time I remember its existence my day gets a little brighter.

(spoiler: Friends help out and make everything better!)
posted by dinty_moore at 5:54 AM on April 20, 2020 [9 favorites]

Gourmet Creme Eggs, Kit Kat, Snickers etc ?

For me changing them back to the size they used to be and restoring the chocolate to 'above dog treat' level (f.u. Mondelez) would be enough.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 6:03 AM on April 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

If mefi is going to be all-BA-test-kitchen-all-the-time, I'm 100% on board with that.

(I've also gone ahead and put in a request to add Gourmet Makes to the FanFare list. Long overdue.)
posted by mosst at 6:08 AM on April 20, 2020 [22 favorites]

Gourmet Makes is fantastic, and then it leads you to the rest of the BA Test Kitchen stuff which is *also* excellent! I've recently started in on the series where Alex Delany and another person from the staff go out to a NY restaurant and order one of everything on the menu.

Their current working from home content is also pretty great.
posted by JDHarper at 6:18 AM on April 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

Claire recently filled in for Brad on the It's Alive series, where she made crepes suzette and visibly relaxed and had fun cooking for a change. Let Claire live, BA! She needs more joy in her work life. Maybe next she can do one of Carla's back-to-back cooking lessons.
posted by Flannery Culp at 6:21 AM on April 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

I love these. My wife and I were watching them as chillout videos a few weeks back and they're awesome. Claire is the perfect expert-who's-learning-new-things.

Actually, every Bon Appetit test kitchen video I've seen has been great. Including this one. (CW: steak smoothie.)
posted by suetanvil at 6:27 AM on April 20, 2020

Brad bothers me (and not in That Way), but Claire is indeed too, too pure.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:27 AM on April 20, 2020 [6 favorites]

I immediately leaped at the Butterfinger episode, because I always wondered about those things. I was guessing initially it involved some "puffing" method of extruded product into quick, intense heat (like a Cheeto, etc) but I was wrong! Using the engineered corn-product was a little disappointing because who knows what goes into making that stuff. Still: a fun video.
posted by SoberHighland at 6:46 AM on April 20, 2020

The first one I ever watched was the Ruffles one, which called for a mandoline to slice the potatoes. There as seemingly not one in the year kitchen, so Claire dispatched Gabriela to acquire one. We needed the work of two people to get this tool.

So that is a mandoline conspiracy.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:22 AM on April 20, 2020 [8 favorites]

Ok, an all-episodes FanFare post is up.
posted by mosst at 7:34 AM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Brad bothers me

Is it the "Discount Bill Murray" thing? For me that's a plus.
posted by mikelieman at 8:12 AM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

Love Gourmet Makes. During this stay-at-home period I've plowed through what feels like nearly all of BA's video content, and I want to put in a plug for Reverse Engineering, where Chris tries to recreate some famous chef's dish without being able to see it (and usually comes eerily close). Apparently I (and the BA producers) enjoy an element of suffering in my light cooking video content.
posted by btfreek at 8:22 AM on April 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

I love these and I love Claire beyond reason. I can't count how many times I've sent people (especially parents of over-5 children) that Kit Kat video because she just. Keeps. Failing. And it's clear that it's actively killing her more with each failure, but dammit she won't give up and she actually wins in the end. So many good, (delicious!) lessons there.
posted by Mchelly at 10:58 AM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

I show these videos to my high school math classes for this exact reason - trial and failure leads to persistence and success. Plus teamwork!
(I'm always happy when I pull the channel up and a good chunk of kids already know and love Claire. I think the kids will turn out OK. )
posted by Wulfhere at 11:14 AM on April 20, 2020 [4 favorites]

If you love bagels, the bagel bite one is required watching, especially if you hate bagel bites.
posted by soelo at 3:02 PM on April 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

One of the reasons I love Claire so is that I 100% recognize my own iterating-fails-to-learn cycle. I recognize that some people get very uncomfortable seeing someone have an emotional response to failure and frustration, but I think it's really great to see someone care a lot about the outcome and get bummed and even get pissed about it without taking it out on anyone else or breaking shit or giving up. She feels the feelings and then adjusts her plan of attack, talks to a mentor or colleague, works the problem, tries again. I suspect they (rightly, too many people enjoy it in a bad way) cut out the occasional tears, but heightened emotion is a completely normal anxiety-frustration response for a chunk of the population and I appreciate seeing it in popular culture. Her satisfaction when she gets it right is also very recognizable to me.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:45 PM on April 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

I’ll come back and read comments later, but just wanted to say, there goes my afternoon! These are great!
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:02 PM on April 20, 2020

there goes my afternoon!

That's the goal!
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:20 PM on April 20, 2020

I've watched a bunch of these over the last 24 hours and they are totally charming and wholesome (and she is incredibly talented).
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:50 PM on April 20, 2020 [1 favorite]

I love Claire's persistence and approach to failure (and learning from her mistakes), and the best one I've seen that shows this off is Pop Rocks. What happens when the right way to make something is actually impossible outside laboratory conditions?
posted by wanderingmind at 7:40 PM on April 20, 2020

Related, From Matt Hunziker on Twitter: Yes, I have an empty shot of the BA Test Kitchen you can use as your Zoom background.
posted by jazon at 8:21 PM on April 20, 2020 [10 favorites]

I love Claire for so many reasons already mentioned in the thread, and I love the "Pastry Chef Attempts" series from BA for so many reasons already mentioned in this thread, but the reason the Krispy Kreme one is so good is that Claire is a professional PASTRY CHEF who finally gets to make PASTRY. All the recreation of candies and chips and cereal... just let her make some fucking pastry!

(Also, if you love this, check out BA's "Reverse Engineering" series with Chris Morocco--a super-taster who is asked to recreate dishes just from feel, smell, and taste--he is blindfolded when the dish is presented for him to sample before recreating it. He gets to sample it again the next day to finesse, and then presents it to the challenger on day three. There are only nine so far, but it rapidly jumped up to the top five of the BA series for me.

All BA YouTube series playlists.
posted by tzikeh at 9:20 PM on April 20, 2020 [2 favorites]

A TikTok user named ghosthoney (Tyler Gaca) created a truly excellent one-minute impression of Claire Saffitz trying to make gum.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 10:28 PM on April 20, 2020 [9 favorites]

Everyone loves Claire!

But hasn't anyone else noticed that Sohla (she of the previously noted WEED in the spice cabinet) put up a video of a big pan of sticky buns on April 20?
posted by St. Oops at 3:56 AM on April 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

That Claire-makes-gum video is pitch perfect, except after "I'm going to call this one done" I expected him to pan down to something entirely unlike a stick of gum.

"I don't even own an apron, this is a tote bag and a hair tie!"
posted by Flannery Culp at 6:21 AM on April 21, 2020 [5 favorites]

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