Bon Appétit chef Brad Leone defends ‘atrocious’ pastrami recipe

This pastrami starts an internet jam.

Celebrity chef Dicey Brad Leone – who hosts a cooking video series called “It’s Alive” with Bon Appétit – is getting serious food reviews for his latest tutorial, “Brad Makes Pastrami”. In the video, posted to YouTube on April 4, the bearded, beanie-wearing brother gets a little too creative when it comes to his food handling, critics say.

After cutting a 10-pound slice of brisket, Leone introduces “a bit of experience.”

“The next step is to prepare our brisket, to prepare our beef. Traditionally, this is done with a pink curing salt. I’m going to walk away from that,” he says in the segment. “We’re going to use celery and sauerkraut juice with traditional spices.”

Leone’s pastrami-making process has been criticized.
Bon Appetit/YouTube

YouTube commentators quickly rushed to reprimand him and the questionable technique. “I love Brad, his recipes give botulism 24/7,” one viewer commented.

“Honestly not a safe way to make pastrami,” another wrote. “It’s disappointing that BA continues to allow Brad to continue posting unsafe eating practices in videos.”

The food media quickly piled on, with the San Francisco Chronicle reporting that Leone’s approach is “extremely dangerous” and “a botulism party.” Gawker chimed in with his own spicy take: “Bon Appétit wants to give you botulism.” It’s not Leone’s first controversy – last year Bon Appétit removed its seafood canning tutorial, after experts pointed out its unconventional approach could potentially poison home cooks . Leone later apologized on Instagram.

Leone said in his video at
Leone said in his video “to use celery and sauerkraut juice with traditional spices”.

Yet, so far, he hasn’t backed down on his pastrami pointers.

On Leone’s Instagram, where he has over 850,000 followers, a user shared that she got sick from Leone’s recipe. “I made the brisket recipe as you described and now I have absolutely excruciating diarrhea – I mean mind-boggling diarrhea,” she wrote. “Did this happen to you after you ate it, thank you.”

The chef was quick to defend his wild ways, answering the loaded question: “I’ve never gotten sick from my ferments or my culinary experiments.”

“I don’t know where you live, but there’s a crazy stomach virus going around near me,” he continued. “Sorry to hear about your severe diarrhea. Stay hydrated.”

The pastramis.
The pastramis.

But experts refuse to meat Leone halfway.

Food influencer Joe Rosenthal responded to Leone’s dry answer: “It should be noted that playing Russian roulette for a few rounds does not mean the gun is not loaded: it means you are lucky and that you shouldn’t play Russian roulette, or more. it’s important to tell your massive audience to do this,” he wrote. Rosenthal posted a screenshot of this criticism on Twitter after discovering that Leone had “restricted” his account on Instagram, automatically hiding his comments. He also posted not one, but two separate Instagram highlights dissecting the dangers of Leone’s pastrami instructional video and calling out the chef directly.

The chef with a fish.
The chef with a fish.

In the San Francisco Chronicle article, culinary scientist Ali Bouzari agreed that using celery juice instead of salt to cure pastrami is very risky.

“Just as each peach varies in sugar content or each lemon in acid, each stalk of celery is subject to a different nitrate load depending on how it was grown,” Bouzari told the outlet. So while it might work in theory, he suggests, it’s not worth risking that some bacteria – especially strains that cause foodborne illnesses, including botulism, which is highly toxic – can survive.

The stern warning was reiterated by San Francisco chef Adam Rosenblum, known for his decadent pastrami dishes.

“I’ve heard horror stories about someone using the wrong nitrite and too much nitrite and people getting sick,” he told the Chronicle.

As Leone’s reviewers have pointed out, the risk of eating improperly cured meat ranges from gastrointestinal distress to the rare but serious condition of botulism, which can cause muscle paralysis — and worse.

In the San Francisco Chronicle article, culinary scientist Ali Bouzari agreed that using celery juice instead of salt to cure pastrami is very risky.

“Under certain conditions, these spores can grow and produce one of the deadliest toxins known,” the CDC reports.

“Our security practices are of the utmost importance at Bon Appétit and we have numerous processes in place to ensure that all content is accurate, verified and safe for viewers,” said Condé Nast, Bon Appétit’s parent company. Appetite, to The Post in a statement. . “Our culinary production team thoroughly reviews all of our video content to confirm that it meets safety protocols. Additionally, we have a fermentation expert overseeing our recipes for this series, including this video.

While the backlash has yet to get Leone’s pastrami video taken down, a new warning has been added on YouTube.

“While we all appreciate the discoveries that come with Brad’s unique experiences in the kitchen, if you’re inspired to create your own version at home, be sure to follow a proven recipe so your preparations meet safety standards. eating.”

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