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Chef Claire Saffitz’s Media Diet

The pastry chef shares the articles, podcasts, music, and more that sparked inspiration and kept her sane while working on her new book, Dessert Person.

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Being “internet famous” is no small feat, but pastry chef Claire Saffitz —formerly of Bon Appetit’s Gourmet Makes series—spent much of 2020 translating her magnetism and talent into a decidedly lower-tech platform: her first cookbook, Dessert Person. The book packs Saffitz’s unique spin on classics like confetti cake, as well as mouthwatering, palate-expanding wonders like cranberry-pomegranate mousse pie—and for those lacking a sweet tooth, pigs-in-a-brioche-blanket.

While divining and recipe testing dozens of sweets might sound like a dream job, Saffitz was eager to unplug and refuel outside of the kitchen:

“The process of working on the book was so intense, and I needed to exercise different mental muscles. Stepping outside of the mindset of recipes and dipping into a different arena or discipline where I was exposed to new ideas helped clear and relax my thinking so the creative synapses could keep firing. I find it inspiring, even soothing, to listen to smart people talking about interesting things.”

We asked Saffitz to share the stories that inspired her—and she came back with everything from pop culture to diet culture, science fiction to Schitt’s Creek:

“I like to focus mostly on news and things that feel ‘nutritious’ during the day. I read news in the morning, listen to a lot of podcasts and NPR when I am ‘at work,’ which is either in my kitchen at home or in front of my laptop. By evening, my brain is a little fried, so I like to relax in front of a show or a movie. And before bed, I will dive into long-form articles or a book.”

Fleetwood Mac Radio [LISTEN]


CS: “Fleetwood Mac Radio is my playlist of choice when I’m in the kitchen. It’s just pure, feel-good music and I like channeling Stevie Nicks vibes.”

Mindhunter [WATCH]


CS: “I tend to like dark, moody series, and Mindhunter totally captivated me. It’s a terrific period show with outstanding writing and performances, plus a masterful narrative arc.”

BONUS READ: “Star Jonathan Groff opens up about compartmentalizing—and engaging in a little “Mindhunter emotional eating” via Vanity Fair.”

Schitt's Creek [WATCH]


CS: “To balance out the seriousness of Mindhunter, I need Schitt’s Creek. It is genuinely funny, heartfelt, and endearing. Long live Moira Rose!”

We Talk BeyChella [LISTEN]

Wesley MorrisJenna Wortham
Still Processing

CS: “I love the way that Jenna and Wesley challenge one another (and the listener) to think; they constantly expand and shift my views on all aspects of culture. They’re so smart and funny and cool, and in this episode, their analysis of and reverence for Beyonce is inspiring.”

Annihilation: A Novel [BUY]

Jeff VanderMeer
FSG Originals

CS: “I don’t usually read science fiction but a friend recommended this and it was one of the most brilliantly creative, thought-provoking, and transporting books I’ve ever read. It’s fast and intense.”

BONUS READ: “VanderMeer agreed to publish three novels in one year—and then things got weird, via The Atlantic.”

Claire Saffitz

Claire Saffitz is the former host of Bon Appetit’s “Gourmet Makes” and is a contributor to the magazine. She studied French cuisine and pastry in Paris after graduating from Harvard. Originally from St. Louis, Claire lives in New York City.