Food Influencer Brad Leone Hopes to ‘Teach Viewers to Eat Better’ With New YouTube Shows (Exclusive)

The former Bon Appétit ‘Test Kitchen’ chef returns in June with “Local Legends” and “Makin’ It”

Brad Leone (Photo credit: Ian Deveau)
Brad Leone (Photo credit: Ian Deveau)

Brad Leone, best known for his work at Bon Appétit on “Test Kitchen” and “It’s Alive,” announced on Monday that he’s launching two new shows, “Local Legends” and “Makin’ It,” both of which debut Monday, June 5 on his YouTube channel.

Speaking to TheWrap ahead of the launch announcement, the New York Times-bestselling author said, “The series are about the behind-the-scenes: where food comes from, the importance of people. Maybe I just want to teach viewers to eat better, to cook better, to try cooking. I always tell people they are better at cooking than they probably think they are. The first pancake is never the best, and so you keep trying and have fun. It’s all part of the adventure.”

Described as a “community guide” rather than a city guide, “Local Legends” follows Leone as he explores “new people, places, cultures, products and foods.” New episodes will be released the first Monday of every month.

Meanwhile, “Makin’ It” focuses on Leone’s well-documented love of fermentation. Set in Leone’s new home-based kitchen “studio,” episodes will follow Leone as he “plans to ferment the world,” experiments with bread and teaches the audience more about food. New episodes of “Makin’ It” will debut twice a month, on Wednesday, alongside occasional bonus episodes and shorts released at different times.

Watch the trailer below:

With these two shows, Leone aimes to deconstruct the typical cooking show. According to Leone “Local Legends” is more about the story of the ingredient, adventure and the person. However, “Makin’ It” is about the science of cooking as much as it’s about the passion and art behind food.

“What I’ve always wanted to do was slow it down, and — instead of always ending with a cooking segment — I wanted to break it up,” Leone said. When asked if any of Leone’s former Bon Appétit co-workers would appear in his new shows, he didn’t dismiss the question, teasing, “my old pals may stop by the coop.”

Leone gained his following during the heyday of Bon Appétit’s Test Kitchen videos. First premiering in 2016, his series “It’s Alive with Brad” gained a loyal following. While at the publication, Leone also became a regular on Claire Saffitz’s “Gourmet Makes” and hosted the celebrity-guest show “Taste Testers,” which featured appearances from Jeff Goldblum, Jimmy Kimmel, Ashley Graham and Kiki Palmer. His 2021 debut book, “Field Notes for Food Adventure,” also became a New York Times bestseller.

In December of 2022, Leone parted ways with Bon Appétit. Shortly after the news broke, Leone assured his fans that he had more content premiering in 2023, writing on Instagram, “Lots of videos coming soon to my own YouTube page. Real good clean friggin’ fun coming soon.”