The Unexpected Place Where Sohla El-Waylly Got Her Start

Many of us were first introduced to Sohla El-Waylly back when she signed on as an assistant food editor at Bon Appétit and began making frequent appearances on the publication's eponymous YouTube channel, per Vox. As Eater reported in 2020, El-Waylly and several of her former colleagues left the magazine following a widely publicized string of controversies that revealed a culture of discrimination fostered by BA's erstwhile editor-in-chief, Adam Rapoport (who was succeeded by Dawn Davis following his resignation, per The New York Times), and other Condé Nast higher-ups.

In the years since her departure from BA, El-Waylly has only gotten more well-known in the wild and wonderful world of food YouTube. Beloved for her effortless wit and penchant for experimentation (not to mention her adorable dogs), the culinary creator is constantly proving herself as a veritable encyclopedia of cooking knowledge and intuition. Whether you're watching her whip up an authentic Viking feast for the History Channel or make a multi-course meal out of Halloween candy alongside her husband, Ham, for NYT Cooking, one has to wonder: Where did El-Waylly get her start?

Serving frozen yogurt at Baskin-Robbins

Ahead of her role as a judge on the upcoming HBO series "The Big Brunch," Sohla El-Waylly appeared on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" this week to make a classic French omelet. After a high-stakes couple of minutes that amounted to a blur of double-spatula stirring and folding, two omelets were born, giving El-Waylly and Meyers a chance to chat. She revealed that, like so many of her contemporaries, she didn't get her start at a fancy restaurant. Instead, she cut her teeth behind the frozen yogurt machine at her local Baskin-Robbins. According to The National News, El-Waylly's parents were franchisees at a Los Angeles outpost of the multinational ice cream chain.

After her time as a bearer of frozen treats, El-Waylly studied at the Culinary Institute of America, spent time as a pastry chef, and worked at restaurants like Pok Pok, Momofuku, and Atera before carving out a place in the food media scene, per Vulture. El-Waylly recently took to Instagram to announce that she's the guest editor of the 2022 edition of the prestigious annual anthology "The Best American Food Writing." In a way, she's back to serving up scoops.