Eitan Eats the World: New Comfort Classics to Cook Right Now

Eitan Eats the World: New Comfort Classics to Cook Right Now

by Eitan Bernath
Eitan Eats the World: New Comfort Classics to Cook Right Now

Eitan Eats the World: New Comfort Classics to Cook Right Now

by Eitan Bernath

Hardcover

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Overview

85 fresh comfort food recipes highlighting the enthusiasm, creativity, and foolproof techniques of the TikTok cooking prodigy who “taught millions stuck at home during quarantine how to cook” (The New York Times), now the principal culinary contributor on The Drew Barrymore Show
 
“Eitan has set the bar when it comes to his cooking style. His skillset and joy make a perfect combination!”—Drew Barrymore

Every time twenty-year-old Eitan Bernath tastes something, he immediately thinks, How can I make this myself? From burgers to beer bread, tacos to (mushroom) cheesesteaks, and every kind of potato preparation you can imagine, Eitan has obsessively created and recreated all the amazing flavors and textures he loves, and shares them with infectious energy and insatiable curiosity for millions of fans across social media.
 
In Eitan’s debut cookbook, he channels his high-energy passion for all things delicious into eighty-five inventive and approachable recipes, paired with mouthwatering photography. They range from new twists on comfort food and classics (PB&J Pancakes, Double Grilled Cheese with Blueberry-Thyme Jam, Bourbon Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies) to his versions of dishes from around the world (Green Shakshuka, Chicken Kathi Roll, Beef Souvlaki) that he has meticulously studied with friends, neighbors, and other chefs.
 
Overflowing with positivity, creativity, and the “You can definitely do this!” attitude that catapulted Eitan into the media spotlight, Eitan Eats the World will charm and inspire readers to get in the kitchen and start having fun.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593235362
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed
Publication date: 05/03/2022
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 215,198
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Eitan Bernath is a self-taught cook and creator best known for his popularity on TikTok. His work has been recognized by The New York Times, People, New York, and Vanity Fair, among other national news outlets. Eitan has also been featured as the principal culinary director on The Drew Barrymore Show. He currently lives in Manhattan, New York, with his sassy cat, Cardi.

Read an Excerpt

Introduction


I was wildly fortunate to grow up with parents who pursued their own passions, and so my early love for food and cooking was nurtured and supported from a very young age. With a mom who’s a high-school math teacher and a dad who’s a pediatric occupational therapist, it was natural for my parents to turn every activity into an opportunity for education and research. On any given Sunday afternoon, you’d find the four of us piled in the car on our way to a vegetarian Indian restaurant, for my family’s favorite cuisine. We traveled all around the tri-state area to try restaurants with different regional specialties, and my parents wisely encouraged me and my brother to order new dishes each time as a way to learn about this large and diverse country from the most delicious kind of teacher: its food.

One Sunday we drove to a new restaurant that specialized in south Indian cuisine. Upon seeing the menu, I immediately noticed the food was different from what I was used to at the mostly north Indian restaurants we had visited before. “Where is all the bread? No naan? Roti? Poori?” I sputtered to my mom. But my initial confusion and, no joke, dismay turned around as soon as the food came to the table. In place of the bread were mountains of fragrant rice, lentils, and legume-heavy dishes. My taste buds were happy, and my curiosity about exactly why I was being served such different things was ignited. On the ride home that night, my mom, ever the teacher, explained to me that the difference in geography and climate across each part of a country as big as India results in a diversity of agriculture, and thus in cooking methods and cuisines. In the north of India, wheat grows in abundance, and in the south, lentils, rice, and other legumes flourish. So people in these two areas rely on different raw ingredients and consequently have different dishes as part of their regional cuisines.

In the days and weeks after that meal, I did what any other eightyear-old would do: I spent hours watching documentary after documentary about the differences between the cuisines of the north and the south. You know, a typical Sunday night activity for a third grader. The more I discovered about the intersection of food, culture, and geography, the more fascinated I became with knowing about other places and the culinary traditions of each of them. Through learning about food, I was expanding my understanding of the world, traveling thousands of miles and circling the globe to try all sorts of amazing new things. (Or at least it felt like that!) I constantly asked my mom to make dishes I saw on TV or tried during our Sunday outings. She did cook them, but she also encouraged me to try to make them myself—and this was when I had the lightbulb moment that, as much as I loved eating and learning about food, actually cooking it myself was the ultimate level of fun.

As my family will attest, I take everything to the nth degree. Curiosity, thoroughness, and—I’ll admit—a tendency to turn interests into obsessions are my defining characteristics. So for the rest of my childhood, instead of being on the basketball court or in front of a video game console, I could often be found in my room, feverishly taking notes on a documentary about a small fishing village in the state of Goa on India’s western coast. There were no baseball cards under my bed, but rather tawas, tortilla presses, and Indian spice boxes, and any authentic piece of cookware I could get my hands on. All my holiday and birthday gifts while growing up were tools to cook with or resources to teach me about cooking. The kitchen became my favorite place to be.

Okay, so I do have another defining characteristic: When I get obsessed with something, I am super excited about it—and I don't want to keep that excitement to myself. So I didn’t want all the fascinating things I was learning and cooking to be limited to my kitchen. I wanted to be like the chefs I saw on TV: to share the passion and enthusiasm I have for ALL food with as many people as possible. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait that long: I made my debut TV appearance at eleven years old on the first-ever kids’ episode of Chopped. In a matter of days, little Eitan went from cooking in his parents’ home kitchen to cooking on the Food Network. And while I may have lost on Chopped, it was the biggest win of my life, because it was the spark that lit the flame of my culinary ambitions: to develop my own platform to connect with people about food. 

At first, social media was the answer. I began documenting my culinary journeys first on a blog, then on Instagram and Facebook. I posted articles and pictures of what I was cooking and couldn’t believe how many people responded to them. I knew my family and friends enjoyed seeing me cook, but strangers, too? One hundred followers turned into one thousand. A thousand turned into five thousand. Five thousand turned into ten thousand. Ten thousand turned into one hundred thousand. It didn’t stop. I realized that as much as I wanted to connect with lots of people through my cooking, lots of people also wanted to watch me cook. I had started a race with my passion that had no finish line. So I kept racing.

From my experiences on the Food Network, I knew how much I loved being on camera, so I decided to make the leap to YouTube and recorded my first cooking video. Before I posted it, I got nervous about people’s reactions, especially the kids at my school. Did I look stupid on camera? What were people going to think of me? Would anyone even watch it? But I didn’t let my insecurities get in the way of doing something I loved—a lesson that has stuck with me ever since. The response to that video was overwhelmingly positive, and the engagement on the post was my highest ever. Knowing that I’d been able to bring my passion into so many other people’s lives, and that I was getting them as excited about cooking as I was, motivated me to keep striving for new audiences online, on TV, in media—and it’s why I was so excited to have the opportunity to write this book.

One thing that’s remained consistent since my first attempts in the kitchen as an eight-year-old is my penchant for comfort food. Comfort foods were what I gravitated toward in my early cooking days, because they are both delicious and approachable for an aspiring chef. I define comfort food as food that warms the heart, satisfies the stomach, and feeds the soul. And I’m lucky to have grown up in a family who not only encouraged my passion for learning about the cuisines of places geographically far away but who also had their own dishes and food traditions that I treasure—and which became my first comfort foods as well.

Yet while comfort food in some form or other has universal appeal, part of my education in cooking has been learning that what constitutes comfort food differs wildly not only by the country but even more so by the cultures and distinct region of its origin. Comfort foods—which can be anything from your favorite childhood meal to the dish you crave after a long, hard day—are an essential part of learning about cuisines from around the world, beyond the Americanized menu versions of dishes that are often eaten at restaurants. I wanted to learn what other families make for a weeknight dinner, the favorite snack that the people of a country or a continent away grab when they’re out and about running errands, or a hot one-bowl meal that might have some unfamiliar ingredients but speaks the international language of comfort. I would never pretend to be an expert in every cuisine, so this cookbook is truly a tribute to all the foods I currently love the most. All the recipes in this book, no matter their origins, were developed out of my previously mentioned curiosity with figuring out how dishes work. As you’ll see all over this book, most of these recipes had their beginnings when I tasted a new dish or was introduced to a new technique, and then I meticulously (some might say obsessively) figured out how to replicate it as authentically as possible at home. These recipes are also a testament to my never-ending desire to learn about not only the food but the people who turn to these dishes when they crave a little comfort.

One other thing that comes up in this book is how I used to be a very picky eater. Yes, that is correct: your boy who now cooks with spice, heat, and vegetables used to basically live on cereal, bread, and potatoes. So part of my own journey as a cook has been the massive expansion of my palate and being open to trying new foods and flavors. One of the reasons I wanted to write this book was to inspire other little Eitans who might be picky or intimidated by cooking to get in the kitchen and try new things! This cookbook is truly a collection of the foods that I crave, the recipes I turn to for comfort, the dishes that excite me, and the type of meal I’d make if I could invite each and every one of you over for dinner. I hope these recipes become the ones that you also turn to for comfort and that you share with friends and family, and most importantly—I hope they help you discover the FUN of preparing a delicious meal.

Eitan Bernath

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