Publishing executive Dawn Davis will lead Bon Appétit magazine through a period of rebuilding as its editor-in-chief, amid ongoing claims of racism and toxicity that led former editor Adam Rapoport to resign. The New York Times first reported the news, including that Davis will be the first Black woman to lead Bon Appétit, along with just the third ever (and only current) Black editor-in-chief of a Condé Nast print publication. (However, websites Teen Vogue and Them. currently have Black top editors.) Her hiring comes after Bon Appétit’s two Black editorial staff members resigned earlier in August. Meanwhile, six Test Kitchen stars have quit the video channel — spurred by staffers of color, including Sohla El-Waylly, Rick Martinez, and Priya Krishna — which faced separate allegations of unequal pay for people of color. Shortly after Rapoport resigned in June, due in part to a resurfaced photo of him in brownface, Condé Nast Entertainment’s head of video Matt Duckor also left. The departing Test Kitchen stars, most of whom will still contribute to the magazine, claimed little changed on the video side after Duckor’s departure.
Davis comes to Bon Appétit after founding Simon & Schuster’s successful 37 Ink imprint, focused on work by authors of color. And she’s no stranger to food writing, as the author of If You Can Stand the Heat: Tales From Chefs and Restaurateurs and editor of the cookbook Recipe of Memory: Five Generations of Mexican Cuisine. “It’s connected to issues of equity, issues of the environment, issues of family,” she told the Times of her perspective on food. Talking about her plans for the magazine, she added, “I will lead by example and treat people the way I’ve always been treated, which is with respect, and give everyone an opportunity to shine.”
Correction, 3:50 p.m.: This story has been updated to clarify that Davis is the only current Black leader of a print publication at Condé Nast.