Why Bon Appétit’s Latest Cooking Video Is ‘Extremely Dangerous’

In 2020, it felt like Bon Appétit’s test kitchen was everywhere. The video series, populated by a group of quirky chefs preparing beautifully photographed recipes in the food magazine’s office, caught the attention of the food-loving public like a Friday night series.

They were a blockbuster for the magazine until revelations about Bon Appétit’s working conditions – marred by wage inequality and racism – led to several layoffs and the very unspectacular departure of the editor-in-chief in the summer of that year.

Since then, the magazine’s video arm has brought more diverse personalities to create food content, but a relic from the past has continued to cause problems for the brand. In his Bon appetit series It’s Alive, chef Brad Leone shows off his rugged, down-to-earth personality as he demonstrates methods of food preservation and fermentation. Leone and her former colleague Claire Saffitz were the stars of the magazine’s earlier era, attracting millions of viewers and followers with their impromptu instructional videos.

His fast and easy style is fun to watch, but the negative reception to his latest work, an April 4 demo of home-made pastrami, speaks to the sometimes conflicting relationship between popularity and food media credibility. In the video, Leone walks through the process of making pastrami at home, with results that have many speculating if the recipe could make her sick.

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