Claire Saffitz

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Claire Saffitz
Saffitz in 2023
Born (1986-09-16) September 16, 1986 (age 37)[1]
Harris Mayer-Selinger
(m. 2020)
YouTube information
Years active2020-present
Subscribers1.19 million[4]
Total views84.7 million[4]
100,000 subscribers2020
1,000,000 subscribers2022

Last updated: April 2, 2024

Claire Saffitz (born 16 September 1986) is an American food writer, chef, and YouTube personality. Until mid-2020, she was a contributing editor at Bon Appétit magazine and starred in several series on the Bon Appétit YouTube channel, including Gourmet Makes, in which she created gourmet versions of popular snack foods by reverse engineering them. Since leaving the company, she has published two cookbooks, Dessert Person and What's for Dessert, which both became New York Times Best Sellers. She has continued work as a video host on her own YouTube channel and as a freelance recipe developer, including for New York Times Cooking.

Early life and education[edit]

Saffitz was born in St. Louis, Missouri to an Ashkenazi Jewish family.[1][5][6] In the early 1900s, her great-grandfather emigrated to the United States from what was then Russia but is now Ukraine; before emigrating, he worked as a baker.[7][8]

She attended Captain Elementary and graduated from Clayton High School in 2005.[9][10] She went on to attend Harvard University, graduating in 2009 with an AB in U.S. history and literature, then studied French cuisine and pastry at École Grégoire-Ferrandi in Paris, France. After a four-month externship at Spring Restaurant, Saffitz moved to Montreal, Québec, where she received a master's degree in history at McGill University in 2013, with a focus on French culinary history in the early modern era.[11][12][13]


At Bon Appétit (2013–2020)[edit]

Saffitz joined Bon Appétit in 2013, starting as a recipe tester and working her way up to being a senior food editor, where she remained until August 2018, when she left her full-time position at the magazine.[9][14] She returned in November 2018 as a freelance recipe developer and video host.[15]

In July 2017, Gourmet Makes debuted, in which Saffitz attempted to recreate or elevate popular snack foods such as Doritos, Twinkies, and Gushers.[16][1] Gourmet Makes consistently trended on YouTube and developed a cult following on social media.[17] Saffitz's work has been described as taking "junk food staples and...elevating them from their humble processed beginnings into wonders of gastronomy."[18]

In February 2019, Bon Appétit launched two new series that featured Saffitz: Bon Appétit’s Baking School and Making Perfect.[19][20][21]

On January 22, 2020, Saffitz appeared on a cooking segment on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[22]

Departure and continued career (2020–present)[edit]

On June 8, 2020, Adam Rapoport resigned as editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit after a photo of him in brownface resurfaced online and sparked widespread criticism.[23] The company as a whole also received criticism after food editor Sohla El-Waylly accused the magazine and Condé Nast Entertainment, which produces the videos on the Bon Appétit YouTube channel, of discriminating against employees of color, claiming they were subject to lesser pay than their non-minority counterparts.[24][25] Amidst these circumstances, Saffitz announced she had not been under contract with the company since May 2020 and that she would be reevaluating her relationship with Bon Appétit. In October 2020, she formally announced she would not be renewing her contract.[26][27]

Saffitz's debut cookbook, Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence, was published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, on October 20, 2020.[28][29][30] The book became a New York Times Best Seller, debuting at No. 2 on the "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous" list for the week of November 8, 2020.[31] In June 2021, the Dessert Person cookbook was nominated by the International Association of Culinary Professionals as a finalist in the annual IACP Cookbook Awards in the "Baking Sweet & Savory, Confections & Desserts" category and a nominee for the IACP Julia Child First Book Award, winning the latter in October 2021.[32][33]

In December 2020, Saffitz launched her own YouTube channel, beginning with a focus on demonstrating recipes from her book, Dessert Person. The channel is produced by Vincent Cross, formerly of Bon Appétit, who also worked on the Binging with Babish YouTube channel.[34]

In January 2021, Saffitz started contributing to NYT Cooking, including being featured on their YouTube channel.[35] In May 2021, Saffitz made another appearance on The Tonight Show.[36]

Claire's second cookbook, titled What's for Dessert: Simple Recipes for Dessert People was released on November 8, 2022. It also became a New York Times Best Seller.[37][38]

In April 2024, Claire launched a new series on her YouTube channel titled Claire Recreates, which serves as a conceptual successor to Gourmet Makes.[39][better source needed]

Personal life[edit]

As of March 2020, Saffitz lived with her husband, Cornell Hotel School alum and fellow chef Harris Mayer-Selinger, in the Upper West Side neighborhood of New York City.[14][40] The couple also own a cabin in upstate New York, which they purchased in late 2020.[41][42]


  1. ^ a b c Sung, Morgan (July 13, 2019). "Pastry chef Claire Saffitz attempts to explain what it's like to be the internet's crush". Mashable. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "About Claire". Claire Saffitz. Archived from the original on 3 June 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  3. ^ Saffitz, Claire (2013). "Constructing the Politics of Cookery: Authorial Strategy and Domestic Politics in English Cookery Books, 1655-1670". Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures. 4 (2). doi:10.7202/1019318ar. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b "About Claire Saffitz x Dessert Person". YouTube.
  5. ^ "You Can Thank The Election For Claire Saffitz's Trademark Hair". Into The Gloss. 2019-06-17. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  6. ^ Saffitz, Claire (14 April 2016). "Gefilte Fish: The Myth, the Challenge, and the Recipe You Can Actually Make". Bon Appetit. Retrieved 2019-10-10.
  7. ^ "Claire Saffitz Makes Aunt Rose's Mondel Bread - Dessert Person". YouTube. 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-02-25.
  8. ^ "Claire Saffitz's Four Generation Mondel Bread". Jewish Food Society. 16 December 2020. Retrieved 2022-02-25.
  9. ^ a b Melinger, Michael. "Clayton Graduate Claire Saffitz talks High School, Harvard, Gourmet Treats and more". The Globe. Retrieved 2021-03-30.
  10. ^ "10 Questions with Claire Saffitz ('05)".
  11. ^ Saffitz, Claire (2013). "Constructing the Politics of Cookery: Authorial Strategy and Domestic Politics in English Cookery Books, 1655-1670". Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures. 4 (2). doi:10.7202/1019318ar. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  12. ^ "Meet Senior Associate Food Editor Claire Saffitz". Bon Appetit. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Behind-the-Scenes Conversation with the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen - 92Y, New York". 92Y. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  14. ^ a b Crowley, Chris (8 February 2019). "Pastry Chef Claire Saffitz Is 'Always in the Mood to Eat'". Grub Street. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Pastry Chef Attempts to Make Gourmet Sno Balls". Youtube. Bon Appetit. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Gourmet Makes". Bon Appétit Videos.
  17. ^ Preston, Hannah (June 20, 2019). "Bon Appétit 'Gourmet Makes' Series: 40-Minute Videos Viewers Rarely Skip Through is Creating a Cult Following". Newsweek. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  18. ^ Baxter, Hannah. "In the Kitchen with Claire Saffitz". Coveteur. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  19. ^ "Bon Appétit, Now on Your TV". Bon Appétit. 21 February 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  20. ^ "'Bon Appétit' YouTube Series Expands Into a Streaming Service—But Will Its Audience Follow?". Observer. 25 February 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2019.
  21. ^ "What Makes the Perfect Thanksgiving Meal? | Making Perfect: Thanksgiving - Prologue | Bon Appétit". YouTube. Conde Nast. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  22. ^ "Bon Appétit's Claire Saffitz Challenges Jimmy to a Layer Cake-Decorating Contest". YouTube. Retrieved 6 February 2020.
  23. ^ Staff Writer (2020-06-09). "Adam Rapoport: Bon Appetit editor resigns over 'racist culture'". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  24. ^ Alexandra Steigrad (2020-06-08). "Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport called to resign over brownface photo". New York Post. Retrieved 2020-06-08.
  25. ^ Severson, Kim (8 June 2020). "Bon Appétit Editor Adam Rapoport Resigns". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  26. ^ Alter, Rebecca (6 October 2020). "Claire Saffitz Gourmet Makes Her Exit From the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen". Vulture. Retrieved 7 October 2020.
  27. ^ Jackson, Sharyn. "Claire Saffitz talks about her Minnesota influence and her post-Bon Appetit plans". Star Tribune. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  28. ^ "Dessert Person by Claire Saffitz". Penguin Random House. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  29. ^ Gayla, Marella. "Meet Claire Saffitz, the Internet's favorite pastry chef - The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  30. ^ Saffitz, Claire. "Claire Saffitz on Instagram: "I am beyond proud and excited to share the cover of my first book Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence, and to…"". Instagram. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  31. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Books - Best Sellers - Books - Nov. 8, 2020 - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  32. ^ "2021 IACP Award Finalists". IACP. Retrieved 2 July 2021.
  33. ^ "IACP Tweet". Twitter. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  34. ^ Saffitz, Claire. "Instagram". Retrieved 2 December 2020.
  35. ^ "NYT Cooking". NYT Cooking. Archived from the original on 2021-01-24.
  36. ^ "First Annual Tonight Show BBQ Off With Claire Saffitz | The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon". YouTube. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  37. ^ "What's for Dessert by Claire Saffitz: 9781984826985 | Books". Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  38. ^ Mitchell, Amanda (8 November 2022). "How Claire Saffitz Eats Dessert Every Night & Still Has Great Skin". Refinery29. Retrieved 21 November 2022.
  39. ^ I Tried Making Homemade Drumsticks - Claire Recreates (video). 30 April 2024. Retrieved 2024-05-01 – via
  40. ^ Beggs, Alex. "Sing Alongs and Tagalongs: What Goes Down on the Set of Gourmet Makes". Bon Appétit. Retrieved 17 March 2020. She's been [...] planning a wedding.
  41. ^ "How To Make Crème Caramel (Flan) with Claire Saffitz | Dessert Person". YouTube. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  42. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Books - Best Sellers 27". The New York Times. 27 November 2022. Retrieved 21 November 2022.

External links[edit]