Growing up in a Modern Orthodox household in Teaneck, N.J., Eitan Bernath ate plenty of roasted chicken and other “traditional Jewish foods” at Shabbat dinners. But it was his interest in international cuisines, like Mexican and Indian dishes, that led him to start cooking, compete on a Food Network show, and become an Instagram star.
“This is my thing,” Bernath said. “I don’t do other extracurricular activities like basketball or whatever activities other kids do.”
In the kitchen he built in his garage, Bernath cooks up new recipes for his blog, Instagram and new YouTube channel. Though he keeps kosher, Bernath tries to appeal to an audience beyond the kosher-keeping community.
“I’m a food blogger who happens to be kosher rather than a kosher food blogger,” he said.
“I’m a food blogger who happens to be kosher rather than a kosher food blogger.”
Though you wouldn’t know it now, Bernath said he was a picky eater before he started cooking at the age of 8. At 11, he was chosen to compete in a special kids version of the Food Network hit “Chopped.” From there, he started doing cooking demonstrations and classes all over the tristate area and posting a new recipe to his blog and Instagram every week.
Bernath describes his cooking style as “international comfort food,” with his Instagram and blog featuring recipes like General Tso’s chicken, Chimichurri London Broil, and Hearty Tex-Mex Chili. But what he really can’t resist is a chocolate chip cookie, and his website reflects that with over a dozen cookie recipes.
With more than 75,000 followers, Bernath feels a sense of responsibility to stand up for causes he believes in. He recently posted a picture of himself wearing a March for Our Lives sweatshirt at a protest against gun violence. In honor of International Women’s Day in March, he wrote about why he calls himself a feminist.
“For National Women’s Day, I posted about being a feminist as a man,” said Bernath, before correcting himself. “Well I’m 16, so as a male.”
Cute enough to (not) eat: Bernath has two guinea pigs, Roti and Samosa, named for his favorite foods.