Hailey Bieber takes cooking seriously, and it kind of works


At some point in the early days of the pandemic, all the celebrities got the idea that we wanted to see them cook. In some cases, like Florence Pugh making marmalade on Instagram Live or Selena Gomez’s show on HBO Max Selena + Chef, we actually want to. (Extra kudos to Kylie Jenner and Stormi Webster’s mommy-daughter baking videos.)

Then they’re celebrity cooking lessons that no one asked for, like Brooklyn Beckham’s short-lived web series where he struggled to make a bagel sandwich, or that stupid Paris Hilton show.

Next up to offer her mediocre to mediocre cooking skills is Hailey Bieber in a new YouTube series called “What’s in My Kitchen?” The Rhode Skin founder describes her culinary venture as a “natural spin-off” of her first interview series “Who’s in My Bathroom?”, where she and her celebrity friends often prepared meals. Viewers have apparently had enough of this unsanitary nightmare and are “ready for [her] to stop eating in the bathroom,” according to the model. Thus the cooking show was born.

“I’ve loved cooking and sharing meals with friends on my social channels for years,” Bieber said in a statement announcing the series. “I can’t wait to bring this experience to the fans of our network with OBB and HexClad. Creating new formats and IPs for my channel was really empowering as my team and I were able to really create everything from concept to screen. And I can’t wait for everyone to see what’s next.”

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Before Bieber inevitably launches his own streaming service into the world, we have the extremely low-key premiere of “What’s In My Kitchen?” And the first dish on the menu is surprisingly not glazed donuts, which would be a perfect complement to her “glazed skin” aesthetic. Instead, we get a 10-minute tutorial on how to make air-fried “wings.” That’s right—just “wings,” since Bieber has yet to name his signature recipe. Although I’m sure TikTok will do it for her, as they have forged her nails.

The recipe consists of buttermilk marmalade with your basic spices – garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, etc. – as well as a flour coating with most of the same ingredients and Sriracha BBQ sauce. To be honest, it all looks pretty tasty. And from the way Bieber struts around Nancy Meyers’ kitchen, it looks like she’s made this recipe more than once.

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While the ease of Bieber’s cooking is commendable, this video could use a little (a lot!) more embellishment. Instructions appear at the bottom of the screen in basic white font as someone follows along with a hand-held camera. Every now and then we get slanted shots of Bieber cooking from her “chef cam,” which is just her video camera placed over a bowl of fruit. The entire recipe, after she finishes cooking, appears on the screen as a student-made PowerPoint. She ends the lesson with the “Perfect Bite” segment, which is, as you can guess, her biting into a chicken wing. Everyone behind the camera claps and gives her an unnecessary “yes chef!”

Bieber’s commentary, as with most of her YouTube videos, isn’t exactly nail-biting, though her freshness and the sterile look of her home have a strangely hypnotic effect. The most we learn about Bieber here is that she “doesn’t like to touch raw meat.” When explaining how she checks on her wings as they cook, she describes herself as “someone who’s always keeping an eye on things.” Hmm… okay.

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Suffice it to say, she could definitely use some of the energy of Alison Roman’s title character and Bon Appetit’s chaotic, collaborative production. Also, maybe a more colorful kitchen that doesn’t look like an untouched display at Home Depot.

Frankly, this new series doesn’t seem like an exercise in normal human activities. After this episode, I fully believe that Bieber actually cooks for himself and his famous husband — not that that makes the multi-millionaire any more relatable. She’s also not annoyingly self-deprecating about her amateur-level skills, which is refreshing.

Overall, it looks like this project will evolve into something more engaging over time, especially with some celebrity guests. We can only hope she’ll invite back former Who’s in My Bathroom guest Gwenyeth Paltrow to teach us how to make her sad bone broth.

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