Father Leo was in Northeast Ohio for his so-called “Feed Your Faith” series. To give him a taste of Cleveland, Andrew Horansky took Fr. Leo to a pastry shop opened by his uncle.
Author: Andrew Horansky
Published: 3:02 PM EDT May 24, 2018
Updated: 7:11 PM EDT May 24, 2018

“Celebrity” and “priest” are not often used together. But when it comes to Father Leo Patalinghug, the phrase may apply.

“People will generally say ‘Hey, what do you do?’ And I say, ‘I’m a priest with a cooking show,’” he said on a recent visit to Cleveland.

No doubt, Fr. Leo has a huge following, with tens of thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter. He has written three books and reaches a national audience each week on his EWTN cooking show.

A 3rd degree Martial Arts Black Belt, he also once beat Iron Chef Bobby Flay in a cook-off on the Food Network.

“Because of him, my website literally on that night that the show aired got like 2 million unique visitors,” he said.

It seems those visitors never left.

This week, Fr. Leo was in Northeast Ohio for his so-called “Feed Your Faith” series, where he cooks in front of a big crowd and sermonizes along the way.

The secret sauce is what he describes as making faith “bite-sizeable.”

“Every religion celebrates food,” he said. “Our objective is to try to create a place where people can feel like they’re not alone and that we can literally come together.”

The recipe also helped him grow an audience on a regular podcast he calls “Shoot the Shiitake.”

“I think if we lose our connection to food, then we’ve lost a sense of our religion,” he said, pointing out politicians certainly caught on to food when it comes to reaching people.

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