Bon Appétit chef Brad Leone slammed for 'atrocious' pastrami recipe that 'could kill you'

Brad Leone may have neglected food safety to the point where anyone who tries his methods at home risks contracting botulism, according to one expert

                            Bon Appétit chef Brad Leone slammed for 'atrocious' pastrami recipe that 'could kill you'
Brad's pastrami recipe is heavily slammed for his unconventional cooking method (Photo: @brad_leone/Instagram)

Chef Brad Leone, a fermentation expert and a regular on Bon Appétit's YouTube channel, hosts "It's Alive with Brad," a series. But, Brad Leone is a man known for a lot of problems! Bon Appétit had to withdraw one of his films last year because it did not fulfill FDA requirements, a demonstration on seafood canning. Moreover, Leone recently had another run-in with health regulations on an episode of "It's Alive" that aired on April 4, 2022, in which he shared an 'atrocious' pastrami recipe

In the video, where Leone trimmed a 10-pound beef said, “The next step is corning our brisket, corning our beef. Traditionally it’s done with a pink curing salt. I’m gonna go away from that,” adding, “We’re gonna use some celery and some sauerkraut juice along with some traditional spices.” After this “experiment”,  YouTube commenters were eager to criticize him and his questionable tactics. One user said, "I love Brad, his recipes are giving straight up botulism 24/7."


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“Anyone who knows anything about cooking should know the video that Brad posted is extremely dangerous,” reads one comment. “He did not follow safety procedures and this ‘pastrami’ could kill you if you attempt [to] make it yourself.” Another wrote, “This is honestly not a safe way to do pastrami,” while another said, “Disappointing that BA keeps allowing Brad to keep putting out unsafe food practices in videos.”



One person on Leone's Instagram, where he has over 850,000 followers, said Leone's dish made her sick. She said, "I made the brisket recipe exactly as you described, and now I have absolutely atrocious diarrhoea — mind boggling diarrhoea." She asked Leone, "Did this happen after you ate it, please?" to which Leone defended saying,  "I've never gotten sick from any of my ferments or cooking experiments." He added, "I'm not sure where you live, but there's a crazy stomach virus going around near me."



According to writer and "food antagonist" Joe Rosenthal, who uses Instagram to track the alleged blunders of Leone and other food media figures, the Bon Appétit chef may have neglected food safety to the point where anyone who tries his methods at home risks contracting botulism. In two lengthy Instagram stories last year, Rosenthal ripped into the seafood canning video. In a fresh series of posts dedicated to the pastrami issue, he highlighted the ‘diarrhea’ comment. 



"It's worth noting that playing Russian roulette for a few rounds doesn't mean the gun isn't loaded: it means you're lucky and shouldn't be playing Russian roulette, or, more importantly, telling your massive audience to do it," Joe Rosenthal tweeted in response to Leone's dry comment. After discovering that Leone had "restricted" his account on Instagram, Rosenthal took a screenshot of the criticism and shared it on Twitter.


After this news broke out, an official message was released by the parent company of ‘Bon Appetit’. “Our safety practices are of utmost importance at Bon Appétit and we have many processes in place to ensure all content is accurate, fact-checked and safe for viewers,” they added, “Our culinary production team extensively reviews all of our video content to confirm they adhere to safety protocols. In addition, we have a fermentation expert who oversees our recipes for this series, including this video.”

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