b"M servicehe devoted nearly his entire life to it arianist Brother Leo Slay may be retired from foodPHOTO: ROBIN JERSTADbut at the Marianist Residence on the St. MarysUniversity campus where hes lived since 2016, the 88-year-oldstill plays a mean game of pool.I played racquetball until I was about 70 years old, he says.Now I play pool. I won two out of three games yesterday. I do all Brother Leo doesnt use recipes, so estimate amounts based on your tastes.right. But over the years, he knocked it out of the ballpark when Ingredientsit came to creating tasty dishes and delighting his hungry guests. Lean ground beef (at least 80% lean) Chopped green peppersBorn in St. Louis, Brother Leo was the youngest son of Some water-soaked bread Fresh minced garlicLebanese immigrants who arrived in the United States in the Chopped white onions Salt and pepperearly 1900s. Alongside his six brothers and three sisters, he recalls Combine, form into patties and cook on pre-heated grill.earning his food chops early in his familys restaurants. My parents took good care of us, he says. But they always Bro. Leos secret to delicious, juicy burgers? Keep a close eye on themade sure we worked. At that time, our family owned three grill. Burgers dont take long to cookjust a few minutes on each side.restaurantstwo steakhouses and an Italian restaurant.When Brother Leo was in sixth grade, two nuns came tolive in the Slay family home. The next year, at their recommendation and also to escape a rough neighborhoodBrother Leos parents students worked for him after they graduated, and later opened theirsent him to live and study at Chaminade College Preparatory School own restaurants. in St. Louis, a boarding program the Society of Mary still runs today. Along the way, Brother Leo earned numerous local and stateThats when he first encountered the Marianists.awards, including St. Louis Restaurant Associations Man of theI enjoyed seeing the brothers, living and working with them, Year in 1974 and was inducted into the Missouri Restaurant FoodBrother Leo says. I thought about becoming one, but never said Service Hall of Fame in 1992. anything. I didnt think I was good enough. Brother Leos recipe for success? If you like what you do, youllThat changed when the late Marianist Brother Marion Belka do a good job at it, he says.asked him if hed ever considered joining them. If he never hadasked me, says Brother Leo, I wouldnt have become a brother. A recipe for joyServing people has brought Brother Leo joy. He believes theres noA gift for culinary arts better way to be happy, to serve God, than to be of service to others.In 1948, when Brother Leo entered the Marianist novitiate in Wisconsin, Brother Leo lives vicariously now through the achievements of hishe established what was to become his ministry. The Marianists asked me 38 nieces and nephews, many of whom are continuing the 112-yearwhat I wanted to do, and I said: food service, Brother Leo says. They Slay legacy in restauranteering. One of Brother Leos nephews,almost fell over. It was something most people didnt want to do. Francis G. Slay, was St. Louis 45th mayor from 2001 to 2017 Culling from his already extensive experience working in the making him the longest-serving mayor in St. Louis history. Andfamilys dining businesses, Brother Leo carved out a vocation in Francis father, Francis R. SlayBrother Leos biological brotherfood service. He made stops managing cafeterias at several Marianistwas, you guessed it, a restaurateur, in addition to serving tworetreat centers and schools, including 14 years at the postulate at terms as the citys recorder of deeds. Maryhurst in Kirkwood, Missouri, and 18 years back at Chaminade Brother Leo loves to reminisce about his familys history andCollege Preparatory School.making people happy through food. I still can remember the smellIn 1960, Brother Leo founded the Marianist Culinary Institute, of freshly made popcorn in the hallways at Chaminade-St. Louiswhich educated religious from across the country in food service and seeing students enjoy the food we prepared for them, he says.and eventually extended to the nations military branches. I worked Brother Mike OGrady, director of the Marianist Residence, callsand traveled with the military six different times, Brother Leo says. Brother Leo the epitome of hospitality. He also is the finest greeterThree times for the Army, twice for the Navy and once for thewe have for guests.Air Force. I evaluated their food operations to help them to become And for the record, I do not watch the Food Network, Brothermore efficient. Leo says with a chuckle.\x01From his time spent at schools as director of food service andinteracting with students, Brother Leo says at least half a dozen Alex Salinas is associate director of communications at St. Mary's University.Please help the Marianists care for their senior priests and brothers. To donate, use the enclosed envelope or go to marianist.com/donate. Or contact Brother Alex Tuss, SM, at 937.222.4641, ext. 3003, or alex.tuss@marianistmission.org.marianist.com/donate 9"