Los Angeles-based celebrity private chef and self-proclaimed “Mayor of Erewhon” Brooke Baevsky (aka Chef Bae, @itschefbae) has gone viral after sharing how much she spent to “restock a pantry.”
In a video with over 3.2 million views, Baevsky stands at the Erewhon checkout.
“How much did I just spend at Erewhon today for my clients?” she asks. She then reveals the total: $3,515.09.
@itschefbae ☝🏼BUT this included the last-minute granola & sea moss gel adds, so it’s a #bargain (this is also my application to #extremecouponer) . . . #privatechef #laprivatechef #privatechefla #cheflife #chefs #chef #chefsofinstagram #wholefoodchef #chefplating #funny #oops #funnyvideo #instachef #chefbae #funny #funnyvideos #funnychef #chef #cheflife #funnyvideos #funnyvideo #chefsofinstagram #chefsofinsta #chefsreact #chefreactions #mealprep #privatechefla #cheflife #chef #chefs #lacheefs #laprivatechefs #heslthyfood #funny #celebritychef #celebrityprivatechef #chefs #lacheefs #laprivatechefs #heslthyfood #celebritychef #celebrityprivatechef ♬ original sound – Chef Bae
For context, Erewhon Market is a California-based supermarket known for catering to a luxury clientele.
The video sparked furious debate in comments, with many noting that Baevsky could have likely bought the same ingredients for a significantly reduced price elsewhere.
“PLEASE convince them that even Whole Foods is a better alternative than Erewhon,” one user wrote.
“Can someone explain why it’s so expensive,” another asked.
Other users stated that videos like these were a sign of the incredible wealth disparity present in the United States.
According to the U.S. Census, the state of California has a poverty rate of 12.3%, and a median household income of $78,672 as of 2020. This means that the median household in California makes around $6556 per month — just under double the cost of this ‘pantry restock’ trip.
Furthermore, “the gap between high- and low-income families in California is among the largest in the nation—exceeding all but four other states in 2020,” writes the Public Policy Institute of California. The report also notes that this gap has increased over time.
“I don’t even make that much money in a month and this is their casual pantry restock??? Bruh,” a commenter said.
“I know it’s not about me but the fact that I’m pregnant and struggling literally seeing this makes me want to cry…” a second shared.
“That’s almost my 3 years grocery bill and I cook everyday,” a third said.
The Daily Dot reached out to Brooke via email and Erewhon via website contact form.
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*First Published: Nov 20, 2022, 9:43 am CST
Braden Bjella is a culture writer. His work can be found in Mixmag, Electronic Beats, Schön! magazine, and more.