PDN: What’s the mission of Bon
Appétit, and who are its readers?
ELIZABETH JAIME: The mission
of the print magazine is to cater
to both the long-time reader of
BA and the new readers who have
come on since the rebrand in 2011
[when editor Adam Rapoport,
previously style editor at GQ, joined
Bon Appétit]. A lot of the readers of
the websites are people who come
through the search—that’s what
they tell us. I imagine those to be a
younger generation of people who
use the internet for everything
and are looking for recipes.
Basically ( www.bonAppé tit.com/
basically) is geared towards
millennials who want to cook but
don’t know how. The mission is to
teach them. Everything is super
instructional, there’s a video or
GIFs for each step, there aren’t a
lot of weird ingredients. We want
to approach it with minimal
propping, keeping it super
straight and to the point.
Healthyish ( www.bonAppé tit.com/
healthyish) is directed to people who
live in a very healthy way but don’t
mind indulging here and there.
We want it to be very California,
sunny and colorful and current.
PDN: There are a lot of sources
for recipes and articles on food
or entertaining. How does the
photography help distinguish
E.J.: We like to approach our
photography not in a traditional
food-photography way. We’ve
always tried to commission
photographers who wouldn’t
ordinarily shoot food and will
approach it in a way we might not
have thought of. Our longtime
creative director, Alex Grossman,
wanted to pioneer the idea that you
shoot food very simply from above
in natural light because that’s the
best way to see food. Now I feel like
everybody has started to do that.
So, in the past year and a half we’ve
had conversations among the photo
editors and creative team at the
magazine, asking: What’s the next
thing? Finding that is a challenge.
We could go the route of Gather
Journal or Lucky Peach [which
closed in 2017] and shoot food in
a more conceptual way, but our
editor reminds us that we’re a
national food magazine, and it’s
questionable if our readers would
respond to that. So it’s been about
finding a middle ground.
PDN: I should ask about the use
of photos shot on the iPhone.
E.J.: In March 2016, the theme
of the issue was Culture. Alex
Pollack, our old photo director
In October, Adweek praised 14 innovative
magazines, and named Condé Nast’s Bon
Appétit the hottest food magazine. In
commending its “minimalist covers
and youthful art direction,” Adweek noted that
Bon Appétit had managed to grow its newsstand
sales and its readership among millennials.
Elizabeth Jaime has been the senior visuals
editor at Bon Appétit since July 2017, having
previously served as senior photo editor.
She manages a department that includes two
photo editors, a photo assistant and two staff
photographers. She helps produce shoots for
Bon Appétit, bonappé tit.com and its two offspring
websites, Basically and Healthyish. We asked
her how she works with the photographers
she hires and how the photography in
Bon Appétit distinguishes it from other
sources of information on cooking and food.
CREATE SPOTLIGHT IN TERVIEW BY HOLLY STUART HUGHES
LEFT: A spread from a recent story shot by
Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott,
who are among the regular contributors
“we know and trust,” says Jaime.
ELIZABE TH JAIME
Senior Visuals Editor
1 World Trade Center
New York, NY 10007