We anticipated character growth in And Just Like That... Charlotte has loosened up, Miranda became an accidental alcoholic, and Samantha is a British ghost now. But the latest paparazzi photos from the film set of season two suggest something we truly never thought we’d witness. No, it’s not the return of Aidan (that development was announced earlier this month). It’s the fact that Carrie Bradshaw is shopping for kitchenware. Is Manhattan’s most notorious takeout monster finally learning how to use her oven for more than sweater storage?
The photos find Sarah Jessica Parker and John Corbett in character, shopping at a high-end cooking supply store—Smeg, Cuisinart, and Le Creuset logos all around them. Carrie’s wire basket is full of tongs, pans, and who knows what else. It’s all enough to make your forget the outfit she’s wearing (while comfy-looking, it’s a bit more English Lit professor than “It” girl).
Throughout the original run of Sex and the City, Bradshaw was unapologetic about her lack of cooking abilities. “The only thing I’ve ever successfully made in the kitchen is a mess and several little fires,” she quipped at one point. Not even taking into account her frequent restaurant bills, her delivery budget may have rivaled her budget for Manolos.
The premiere episode of And Just Like That... showed some kitchen growth. In quarantine, Carrie and Big had developed a dinner preparation routine, and while it seemed that Carrie was apt at handling the shopping (her natural forté), it was Big who did most of the cooking while Carrie was only trusted to salt the fish.
Later on that season, we witness Carrie attempting to cook the same meal of fish and asparagus that Big was preparing in the first episode (a touching little detail we actually missed the first go-around), but she’s ultimately distracted by an unexplained beeping in the kitchen of her new ultra-modern apartment. Not only is that the last we see of her meal preparation, but it’s the last we see of that apartment altogether—she sold it immediately.
Aside from that, the most notable thing to happen in any of Bradshaw’s various kitchens that season—well, it would be Miranda getting the ol’ sous chef one-two from Che.
So the development of Carrie shopping for Le Creuset and not Christian Dior is an unexpected detail.
And yet, culturally speaking, it make sense. There was a time when we could never imagine Gwyneth Paltrow as a chef, either—now she runs her own meal delivery service in the form of Goop Kitchen. Culinary skills have become something of a status symbol, and celebrities and people of means love to show them off. It wasn’t that long ago that one single Alison Roman recipe caused both a shallot and a bucatini shortage across the shelves of New York City groceries. Proudly being ignorant of culinary skills may have once been a sign of empowerment, but knowing your way around the kitchen is now all the rage. While cooking might be completely out of character for Carrie, hopping on a trend isn’t.
Of course, the fact that her only previous experience near a stove was with Big while she’s seen shopping here with Aiden could add some dramatic tension (perhaps Bradshaw’s journey to a mini Martha Stewart in the making has been planned since that cooking scene in episode one). We’ll just have to tune in to AJLT season two to find out. With Gossip Girl over, we need at least one guilty pleasure to keep our HBO Max subscription active.