>Chef Brad Leone, a fermentation specialist and regular on Bon Appétit’s beleaguered YouTube channel, hosts a series called “It’s Alive with Brad.” The magazine describes it as “a wild, roundabout and marginally scientific adventure exploring fermented foods and more.” And Leone has leaned into the “marginally scientific” aspect of his show, framing himself as an affable doofus with an amateur understanding of culinary terminology and protocols. For a time, the magazine marketed a shirt on social media as the “It’s Alive-Endorsed, not FDA endorsed long-sleeve” (the shirt’s official name is “Brad’s Fermentation Station long-sleeve”).
>This has occasionally gotten Leone in trouble. Last year, Bon Appétit had to remove one of his videos, a demonstration on seafood canning that failed to follow FDA guidelines. And recently, Leone had another run-in with health standards. This one concerned an episode of “It’s Alive,” published on April 4, in which he explains how to make pastrami. Peppered among the usual hype from enthusiastic followers — Leone has a vocal fan base — are several comments from foodies and viewers alleging that Leone’s curing methods are unsafe. “Anyone who knows anything about cooking should know the video that Brad posted is extremely dangerous,” reads one example. “He did not follow safety procedures and this ‘pastrami’ could kill you if you attempt [to] make it yourself.”