Food & Beverage

Brad Samuel Leone

Vernon, New Jersey

For Brad Leone, food has always been a universal language. Growing up in what he calls “the pretty part” of northern New Jersey, Brad learned to respect ingredients from the many hunting and fishing trips he took with his dad. After a string of odd jobs and his time in culinary school, Brad got a spot at Bon Appétit, where he would rise to become the test kitchen manager, and shortly thereafter, an internet star. He still lives in New Jersey with his wife and two kids, exploring the woods, fermenting anything he can find, and speaking his favorite language: food.
What goes through your head when you first wake up in the morning before you cook?
Whether it's going to the market to cook for family or packing for an outdoor cooking adventure, one of the first things that usually gets going in my head is: “I should've woken up an hour ago.”
Where is your favourite place to get ingredients to whip up a meal?
Local farmers markets or the expanding garden that I’m constantly growing. Growing your own food is by far my favourite activity when it comes to ingredients. Not only is the ritual and art of growing very rewarding, but you also get the best produce you can buy. It’s a really beautiful way for people of all ages to get involved in food and where it comes from, while also building the base for community and family. It's never been a more important time!
How do you up your game year after year?
Being inspired comes from everywhere for me. Having such an amazing network and the ability to have relationships with amazing people around the world has been a never-ending tap of inspiration. The amount of talent and beauty around the world is incredible—mixed with traveling, different cultures, and cuisines, it's a great way to recharge the creative batteries.
If you could do anything better, what would it be?


Ha! I guess just about anything and everything.

Who are your heroes? Who do you look up to?

Normal, hardworking, good-hearted people—folks who do right and help without thinking of money or fame or anything like that, the folks whose good deeds and stories never get told.

What haven’t you accomplished that you aspire to do in your lifetime?

Steam milk really well and on command. Also, harvest an elk and bring it to my dad in Alaska.

What sound or noise do you love?

A loon’s call at night on a lake.

What are the 3 most essential things you need for your category?

Community, high-quality ingredients, and curiosity.

What does YETI mean to you?

Well-built products. I’m obviously a fan of the products, but to be honest, the folks involved from employees to the ambassadors have been some of the best people I’ve worked with!

What does it mean to be built for the wild?

Being built for the wild means to be tough and reliable.

How would you explain what YETI is to someone who didn’t know?

I’m a firm believer in getting the right tool for the job and that's YETI in a nutshell for me —well-made and thoughtful tools that work.

How do you use a specific YETI product in your field?

I’ve been using the hard coolers as fermentation chambers and hot boxes to carry over big roasts of meat and steamed corn! The waterproof Camino® Carryall is the sleeper home-run product. I probably use that the most from fishing, farming, surfing—anything!