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Web Video / Gourmet Makes

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Hey everyone, I'm Claire. I'm in the BA test kitchen and today we are making gourmet...

Gourmet Makes is a Cooking Show on Bon Appétit Magazine's YouTube channel in which host Claire "Half-Sour" Saffitz attempts to recreate and elevate foods, particularly junk foods, to the point where they could be considered gourmet. Airing since July 2017, the series has accumulated over 135 million views.

Watch the show here.

As May 2020, Claire has decided to not continue her relationship with Condé Nast and has a new You Tube Channel, which you can watch here.


The show contains examples of:

  • April Fools' Day: On April 1, 2020, the channel uploaded a Gourmet Makes where Chris and Brad, who have always hosted and always will host the show, make Andes Mints. Oddly the video description mentions an editor having the misconception that Claire had been host of the show. Weird.
  • Canada, Eh?: Everyone in the test kitchen goes bananas for the All Dressed Ruffles. Claire declares they're the best thing she's ever eaten (while expressing surprise she never encountered them during the year she spent in Montreal getting her master's at McGill), and decides to include them among the flavors (flavours?) to recreate. Canada jokes ensue.
  • Caption Humor: It's not as absurd as It's Alive, but the editors sneak humorous captions every time they can. For example:
    Do exactly what Chris says
    Brad explains "Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosy"
    Claire Saffitz: Pocky Fairy
  • Crossover:
    • The Starbursts episode was filmed at the same time as the sourdough doughnuts episodes of It's Alive! with Brad. Most of Brad's disruptions are saved for the It's Alive videos, but him failing to fold the dough does make it into Gourmet Makes.
    • During the Sour Patch Kids episode, Claire declared she needed a break, so she replaced Amiel by pretending to be him for the Deep Fried section of Every Way to Cook a Steak
  • Damning With Faint Praise: During the Doritos episode, Adam tells Claire that he'll be impressed if she can come even close to something like a Dorito, since they were invented from scratch in an industrial food lab by a team of scientists and she's one lone professional chef. It's true, but still kind of hurtful.
  • Dudley Do-Right Stops to Help: During the Ruffles and Warheads episodes, Claire stops the make to help Gaby with something she is craving. It has nothing to do with the make, but it's included as a Test
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The first two episodes, Twinkies and Gushers, are filmed from one of the benches in the back of the kitchen as seen in later episodes. Every episode from then on are filmed further down the kitchen, as are most videos posted on the BA YouTube channel. Earlier episodes also didn't have the massive pile of the food Claire was making in front of her.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Discussed during the Pringles Episode
    Delany: You know, Q, in James Bond, the one who has all the technology? You, you need a Q!
    Claire: It's is kind of Brad, but first of all he's not here now and second of all is usually not that helpful
    • That said, Brad has cobbled together at least two custom kitchen tools for Claire out of odds and ends found around the kitchen, so he has definitely earned his status.
  • Heroic Fatigue: Each Make usually starts out with Claire being very optimistic and excited about the Make. As time goes on Claire becomes...less so. Claire does, however, maintain perspective on the whole matter:
    Claire: I have enough perspective where I'm like, "it's just a snack food".
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Pastry Chef attempts to make gourmet ____
  • In-Series Nickname: Claire "Half-Sour" Saffitz. So dubbed by Brad Leone of It's Alive! with Brad in the half-sour pickle episode, not realizing Claire was in the room and could hear him, in reference to Claire's Deadpan Snarker tendencies.
  • Mama Bear: During Gourmet Remakes: Pop Tart, Claire made clear nobody goes and fat-shame her cat Maya.
    Claire: She's robust, she's plump and we love her
  • Medium Awareness: Claire obviously knows she’s in a YouTube video, but in the M&Ms episode she refuses to say it’s not going to be that hard just for negate the possibility of that line been call back when she’s having a meltdown. In other words, she negated the possibility of using a Running Gag
  • No Indoor Voice: Brad
    Brad: SNOBALLS!
  • Not So Stoic: Not Claire herself, but the usually level-headed Team Dad Chris (jokingly) loses it and throws his pen on the ground when Claire incorrectly guesses the best ice cream flavour ("No! Mint chip!") during the Ben and Jerry's episode.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation:
    • The Choco Tacos episode became 2 parts long, thanks to the 2020 Global Pandemic.
    • Also thanks to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the show shifted to be about making Home Kitchen Friendly versions of some of the original Makes. They call it Gourmet Remakes.
  • Punny Name: During the Ben & Jerry episode, they decided every single flavor Claire was going to do needed to have a punny name, like the actual Ben & Jerry flavors. They decided to name them after Bon Appetit's editors, started with "Brewed Leone" and snowballed from there.
  • Overly Long Gag:
    • Near the start of every Make, Claire will read out the, often very long, list of ingredients present in each food.
      • Subverted in the Ruffles episode: the plain Ruffles are just potatoes, oil, and salt. Double Subverted when she reads the ingredients for the All Dressed chips.
    • During the M&Ms episode, Claire discovers she has to temper chocolate during the investigation process. Then the editors cut to a long montage of all Claire failings with chocolate tempering during the show, with sad music.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Whenever he shows up, Brad is usually the Red to Claire's Blue.
  • Running Gag:
    • The Day Three Curse. While many episodes have their ups and downs, more often than not, anything that can go wrong does go wrong on day three. A supplement to this is Claire's denials that the curse is really a thing.
    • Tempering chocolate. Despite how accomplished and skilled she is, Claire has trouble with tempering chocolate to the point that anyone who even insinuates that she needs to temper chocolate gets a Death Glare.
    • Claire says “cut this shot”, then the editors put it in twice.
    • Claire stating near the end of the day that she'll "go home and think about" the Make and then straight up forgetting to do it.
    • The footage turning black-and-white and running at half speed and sad piano music playing every time Claire is unhappy.
  • Sadist Show: As the series progresses, it's hard not to think that the producers are just looking for new and creative ways to crush Claire's spirit.
    • Subverted with the Krispy Kreme episode, which was chosen as the easy one, since Claire knows a lot about doughnuts and she deserved a break.
  • Self-Deprecation: Brad comments on his own accent in the "Twix" episode.
    Claire: How do you say "caramel"? Because everyone says it differently...
    Brad: I don't know if you've noticed, but I don't say anything correctly...
  • Skunk Stripe: The raven-haired Claire has a thick grey streak in the front of her hair. According to her, her roots started to turn grey in her twenties as a result of overworking herself for an extended period of time. Saffitz used to dye it before deciding to embrace it.
  • Supreme Chef: Claire is trained in classic French cuisine and pastry, and it shows. Not only does she manage to recreate the foods each episode focuses on but she improves them.
  • Tempting Fate: Claire has since learned never to say, "Oh, this part should be easy."
    • Averted in the Ruffles video. Turns out that straight-up potato chips are exactly as easy to make as she thought they'd be—especially once she found a sharp enough mandoline with fine enough ridges on its crinkle cutter.
  • Too Clever by Half: Claire has a tendency to overthink things now and then. While attempting to replicate Ferrero Rocher chocolate, she begins the process to make her own hazelnut filling...before realizing that the filling is just Nutella (the "Ferrero" in "Ferrero Rocher" is the company that makes the stuff in the jars).
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: While Claire values the feedback of all of her co-workers, it's the advice and validation of Chris Morocco that she looks for more than anyone else's, and really it's not because he's a super taster.
    Claire: Why Chris? Because he's my favorite.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Discussed during the Krispy Kreme episode, thanks to the "Test Kitchen Zombie Apocalypse Game". The idea is to answer what you take as a weapon from the Test Kitchen to use in a Zombie Apocalypse. Amiel's final answer?
    Amiel: Brad!

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