Kentucky chef Brian Leigh on PBS KET cooking show
A Kentucky chef who has created award-winning barbecue sauces and seasonings will enter a new PBS cooking competition this month.
Bowling Green’s Brian Leigh was one of 10 cooks from across the country selected to compete on “The Great American Recipe,” a cooking show that focuses on multiculturalism and how it has defined American cuisine.
Airing nationally, the eight-episode TV show will give contestants the opportunity to show off their homemade recipes. Hosted by Alejandra Ramos, contestants will be judged by celebrity chefs Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry and Graham Elliot.
Leigh is the founder of BT Leigh’s Sauces & Rubs, where he sells his original products worldwide.
He was exposed to German and Hungarian cuisine as well as barbecue at a young age. He discovered his talent for cooking while still working in the IT industry. He brought a brisket of beef he had made for his co-workers and thought he had ruined it. However, they liked it so much that they started paying Leigh to keep bringing her meats and sauces.
He says on the TV show’s Meet the Contestants page that his signature dish is ribeye with blue cheese and BBQ Brussels sprouts.
Leigh is originally from Ohio and said he had to change things when he moved to Kentucky.
“When I moved to Kentucky, I realized I needed to step up my cookie game, which we didn’t see a lot in Ohio,” Leigh said. “And chilli cheese too. I’ve always loved discovering food from different regions and seeing how these recipes can evolve, borrowing flavors from Caribbean or French traditions and integrating them to create something new.
Leigh compared her time on “The Great American Recipe” to being back in a commercial kitchen.
“It was definitely stressful, but also so much fun,” Leigh said. “I made some great lifelong friends through the show, and we compared notes every night over dinner. It was such an invigorating experience to enjoy and learn from the breadth of their culinary knowledge.”
“The Great American Recipe” will premiere Friday, June 24 at 9 p.m. on KET.
Leigh will also be hosting a free watch party of the show’s premiere. The event will include music, games, raffles and snacks. It will be held at the Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green on Friday, June 24.