How has your long career at America’s Test Kitchen prepared you for this new opportunity as co-host of the TV show?
Bridget: I started as a test cook in 1998, and back then, there were three of us working in the test kitchen, developing recipes, washing dishes, and shopping for all the ingredients ourselves. Over the years I’ve seen the evolution of the test kitchen: the physical space, the increase in the number of test cooks, the testing process. During this time I’ve worn many hats at ATK including running the kitchen for Cook’s Country magazine in its early days, developing content for the online cooking school, and co-hosting America’s Test Kitchen Radio. Of course I’ve been on the TV show since its inception. I have a sense of pride for what we do, and after being on the show for all 17 seasons, it’s easy for me to be a cheerleader.
Julia: I joined the Cook’s Illustrated team in 1999 developing recipes for the magazine. When we shot our first half season of the TV show in 2000, I was one of the initial on-screen test cooks; in fact, pretty much everyone who worked in the kitchen was on the show. Seventeen seasons later, I’ve witnessed the incredible growth of the company, including the start of Cook’s Country magazine and both TV shows, our cookbook department (where I oversee the recipe development), the radio show, the online cooking school . . . I could go on. In a sense, I grew up here at ATK. And at every turn, I’ve learned more about food and about what our viewers and readers really want from us: unbiased and well-vetted information about cooking and shopping that will help everyone become a better cook at home. Not only do I have all of the recipes ATK has developed over the past 15 to 20 years logged in my head, but I also have a clear vision for how we should continue to do this work in the years to come.