#WTF: The Babish Culinary Universe

Image of Babish

Photograph courtesy of https://www.inverse.com/

Image of Babish

Popular YouTube cooking channel Binging with Babish has officially rebranded as The Babish Culinary Universe. This rebranding was publicly announced the day before one of the channel’s weekly episodes. Instead of a usual Babish episode, host Andrew Rea premiered the debut episode of a new segment called “Stump Sohla.” Hosted by professional chef Sohla El-Waylly, the segment features her creating specific dishes within the constraints of a randomly chosen theme. Sample challenges and dishes include cooking a 7-course tasting menu using foods purchased at a convenience store. Deadline reports that the show currently has a 10-episode order, with new episodes airing on Saturday.

The new show has garnered support from longtime fans for its creativity as well as the choice to hire El-Waylly. Prior to joining the Babish brand, El-Waylly worked as an assistant food editor for Bon Appétit magazine. While there, El-Waylly made numerous appearances on the publications successful YouTube channel as a test cook. El-Waylly recently made the choice to leave the publication staff after allegations of racism in the company began to surface. These allegations included the publication’s editor appearing in a racist costume and non-white editors not receiving equitable pay. These controversies later led other contributors to step down from the publication’s staff and a boycott of the Bon Appétit YouTube channel.

Officially starting in 2016, Babish’s channel has garnered a massive fanbase of over 7 million subscribers. The channel currently hosts three other segments. “Binging with Babish,” the main channel attraction, features Rea recreating dishes from TV shows, movies and video games. “Basics with Babish,” a 2017 addition, features classic recipes and cooking techniques. “Being with Babish” features vlogs of Rea and more personal content. As of now Rea has not announced further plans for The Babish Culinary Universe. However, during his announcement of “Stump Sohla,” he said that he was happy to welcome her as “the first new addition to the BCU.”