Rising food star Eitan Bernat is leaning towards world comfort food

NEW YORK (AP) – As a child, Eitan Bernat did not collect baseball cards, comics and coins like his peers. Assembled kitchen utensils. “My fondest memories of my life are always related to food,” he says.

Keep in mind that life is still young. Bernat is only 19 years old, but he managed to use his love of cooking to become an influential figure on social media and a television personality. This spring, he released his first cookbook, Eitan Eats the World, published by Clarkson Potter.

The book contains 85 recipes for comfortable food from around the world, from a sweet smoky hamburger with guaca to Turkish red lentil soup and Kurdish shamburka.

“Knowledge is power, and knowledge is so important,” says Bernat. “The more you learn about the world around you, the better you will be able to be informed and a good citizen for the world.”

Bernat is part of a wave of young food stars who have received a springboard from social media, in his case strong TikTok fans. It has 350 million people browsing its content in more than 150 countries, and has a production and entertainment company that employs six people.

He first appeared on Food Network Chopped at age 11 – a few years later he also appeared in Guy’s Grocery Games with restaurateur Guy Fieri – and began creating content when he was 12. He saw it as a job. monetizing his blog after his third post.

“I was happy to do it before anyone watched,” he says. “I was just as excited when I had 100 views, when I was 12, and now I’m getting millions.”

He is the lead culinary author of “The Drew Barrymore Show,” and was recently listed by Forbes as “30 Under 30” for food and beverage.

Raised in Tinek, New Jersey, Bernat says both of his parents were educators and they used food as a vehicle to teach him and his brother the world around them.

“Growing up in a Jewish family, food is as central to the community and culture as it is to many other communities,” he said. “It’s a great way to enjoy delicious food, but also to learn about the world around you.”

Recipes in “Eitan Eats the World” transport readers from the Middle East to Spain, from Italy to India. Bernat took care to give preference to every kitchen and was “grateful, not appropriative”.

“I believe I am a student who share with my followers what I have learned. Of course, I am not an expert in Indian, Mexican or Italian cuisine, because I am not Mexican, Italian or Indian, but I am one who likes to learn about them.

When he got up, he could often be found in his room, glued to culinary documentaries, watching the elders in India, Mexico or Italy, and filling out his notebooks. Then he went into the kitchen and tried to recreate what he was looking at.

To prepare the book, he also went online. But he found that he needed to be especially creative because it was hard to create what no one else was doing.

“Many times as a recipe developer, you come to mind and think,‘ Oh, that sounds so good! I like this idea. ” And then I go to Google, and I wonder if anyone else has done it, and I would say that in 99.9% of cases the answer will be yes, someone did it. “

So Bernat came up with some stunning combinations that lurk in plain sight, such as a toast with avocado bruschetta, which is a combination of two favorite bread fillings. “It’s like a combination where I say, ‘Why didn’t I do it a million times?’ It’s delicious. “

Lightning struck twice when Bernat took the classic tuna melt and raised it, giving it a French croque monsieur finish. The traditional ham of the latter is replaced by tuna, and Morne sauce is added. This is what he calls “sinfully delicious.”

Bernat is an evangelist about food and says there are far more career paths in food than most people realize. He is also repulsed by some who sniff that he needs to work in a restaurant to call himself a chef.

“I think a chef is someone who earns money by cooking, who works in the kitchen,” he says. “I think in the end, no matter what you call what I do, whether the chef or not, the world is changing.”

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Mark Kennedy is located at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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