Sohla El-Waylly is a Bengali-American chef, restaurateur, and YouTube personality. She’s appeared on Serious Eats, NYT Cooking, and Food 52, but most people may know her by her video appearances on Bon Appetit. She no longer makes video appearances for Bon Appetit but continues to write for the magazine. She has recently partnered with Andrew Rea to produce a show called Stump Sohla on the Babish Culinary Universe (formerly know as Binging with Babish).
“My brand is to make things harder for myself.”
Sohla is best known for her technical expertise and her creative problem-solving skills. She learns from a diverse range of cultures about food and techniques, and this shows in her own cooking and food writing.
“My abu’s philosophy is that if you try hard enough, you can make cheat out of anything.”
In June 2020, pictures of Bon Appetit’s Editor-in-Chief in brownface started circulating on the internet, and he was asked to step down. During the crisis, Sohla accused the company of racial discrimination because it had not been fairly compensating BIPOC staff members for their work. Many BIPOC staff resigned or stopped appearing on video until their work environment became a genuinely inclusive space.
“I think when it comes to learning about flavors and what food tastes good, I think that foundation actually comes from my mother and the food I ate while growing up.”
Sohla is a great representation of Creatively Asian’s values because she strives to learn from others and works towards inclusivity. She takes pride in her Asian heritage through food and celebrates culture through her Instagram, @sohlae, which is filled with many pictures of Asian/Asian-inspired dishes.
Written by Roshni S. Patel. Edited by Aditi Patel.