Words by Valeriya Safronova, New York Times News Service
Until now, most of Condé Nast’s food videos were made in its test kitchen in the company’s headquarters at One World Trade Center or in Airbnb rentals.
At the Kitchen Studio, Condé Nast’s new 7,000-square-foot space in Industry City in Brooklyn, four to six of these “hands and pans” videos are shot daily. It is the type of video on which Tasty, BuzzFeed’s famous recipe offshoot, has built a very large audience. Condé Nast’s food brands, Bon Appétit and Epicurious, have heartily embraced the format too.
During the last two years, Bon Appétit’s YouTube subscriber base increased from 34,000 to more than 1 million. In the same period, the number of monthly unique viewers for the videos on its website grew by nearly 2.5 million, according to comScore.
Bon Appétit has attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers with human-first series like one in which children react to various foods, or another where the magazine’s deputy editor swaps out his office for 24 hours of hands-on labour at fast-paced casual restaurants like Katz’s deli in New York.
To optimise the new test kitchens for filming, they have been outfitted with overhead lights, blackout curtains and acoustic paneling to muffle outside sound.
All the stovetops are gas. “People want to see the flame,” said Eric Gillin, the digital general manager of The Lifestyle Collection. The kitchen studio features countertops from Caesarstone., small appliances from Braun, furniture from Crate & Barrel and smart fridges from Samsung.
And though the test kitchen at Condé Nast’s headquarters has served well as a shooting location, it will now go back to being primarily a workspace for editors who are trying out recipes.
Featured Image: Ryan Lowry, The New York Times