If you can't quite nail Molly Baz's recipe for brown-butter Dutch baby or Claire Saffitz's gourmet pizza rolls, now you've got a chance for some Q&A time with Bon Appétit's beloved Test Kitchen staff—and for a great cause.
For the next 48 hours, the food mag's quirky cabal of chefs and editors are on Cameo—that online service where you can pay for personalized messages—and they're doing it to raise funds for children affected by coronavirus shutdowns.
"Can't wait to give shoutouts to your friends, family, loved ones, whoever you want," chef Chris Morocco says on his page, "all to support No Kid Hungry as the coronavirus shuts down lots of schools, which tons of kids rely on for several meals a day. Let's do this, thank you so much."
One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit that estimates children have missed more than 202 million meals since coronavirus-related school closures, and that number is climbing. Starting today, the Test Kitchen staff hopes to offset at least some of that damage with short, personalized videos they'll record for you or for someone of your choosing. So far they've raised over $10,000 within the first 30 minutes of launch and surpassed their $25,000 goal in just two hours.
Simply scan the staff's Cameo page and select your favorite Test Kitchen personality, then let them know to whom they should address the video and what you'd like them to share or answer. Some (ahem, Brad Leone) have been so popular they've needed to pause their requests, so if you don't see your chef of choice, just check back later on.
They're sending "happy birthday" greetings, they're answering questions about their hopes and dreams, they're encouraging you to keep baking bread in this crisis, they're congratulating you on major life achievements, they're telling us what they ate for breakfast this morning.
Alex Delany alone has been asked for hoagie preferences, song recommendations and even song requests for him to sing on camera. "Really, whatever people want to ask, we want to answer," he tells Time Out. "The more donations we can bring in the better. We're so stoked that people have been so into it so far."
Currently, each Cameo video runs $40 to $350, depending on your Test Kitchen personality of choice, and videos have run anywhere from 11 seconds to a minute and a half.
"I hope you keep on cooking," Baz recorded, "and keep yourself and your family well fed in this weird, bizarro time"—words of encouragement I think we can all use right now.