Chef Eitan Bernath cooks the perfect pesto pasta recipe with Oprah Daily

Mouth-watering PB&J pancakes, cola braised brisket tacos, or bourbon brown butter chocolate chunk cookies? Now you can learn how to create these recipes (and many more!) at home, thanks to Eitan Eats the World: new comfort classics to cook nowthe first cookbook by chef Eitan Bernath, 20, released in early May.

You’ve probably seen him cooking up a storm on TV or for his millions of followers on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and beyond. As a cooking enthusiast who grew up developing recipes in the kitchen, some of which are featured in his new cookbook, Eitan stepped into the limelight at an early age. After appearing on the first children’s episode of Food Network’s Chopped at age 11, he later appeared on Guy Fieri’s show Guy’s Grocery Games. Today, Eitan is a culinary personality, artist and recipe developer, and also wears many additional hats: he is the CEO of Eitan Productions and the main culinary contributor for The Drew Barrymore Show on CBS.

Watch Eitan cook the perfect seasonal recipe for lunch or dinner, Mint Pesto Radiators with Potatoes and Peas, in the video above. Then read on to find out how he felt when his cookbook hit the shelves.

Eitan Eats the World: New Comforting Classics to Cook Now: A Cookbook

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On the recipe he cooked for Oprah Daily:

This is my Radiatori mint pesto with potatoes and peas. This is super easy pesto – it’s actually a very traditional type of pesto, it’s just not as popular here in the US, but it does contain potatoes and peas. it adds a little more fun punch to her. There’s Yukon gold in there, there’s frozen peas, and then it’s just super classic pesto, except instead of basil, I used mint. Pesto isn’t always made with basil. The mint really makes it super fresh and new.

On his cookbook, released in May:

I am truly honored to have the opportunity to write and publish a cookbook. I always said to my parents: “One day I will write a cookbook. Now, I didn’t know if it would be when I was 30, when I was 40, and I’m really grateful that it happened now when I’m 20. I describe the food in Eitan eats the world as comfort food from around the world.

My parents are both educators, and they used food as a vehicle to introduce us to the world around us. With Eitan eats the world, my goal is also to show people, [that] these are the comfort foods that people eat all over the world. Of course, I’m no expert on recipes that come from all over the world, and I try to be super aware to never appropriate myself and to be extremely clear. I’m sharing what I’ve learned because I’m excited, but making sure to give credit where credit is due.

On the types of recipes featured in her cookbook:

A lot of the recipes are, I wouldn’t say, “American,” but eaten in a very classic way here in the United States, but with my fun twists. Then there is also a bunch from all over the world. I have plenty of recipes on it: [food] from the Middle East, Asian cuisine, Indian cuisine and Mexican cuisine. You can really expect to find some of your favorite comfort foods [that] you probably enjoy ordering from restaurants that you never do at home. For example, General Tso’s chicken from scratch.

I describe comfort foods as recipes that bring you comfort and are fun to cook. Recipes that you have fond memories of. [For] many of these recipes in the book, I share stories. There’s something for everyone, and my goal is really that wherever you are with your culinary abilities, you can find recipes that you’re already comfortable making, and then [can] keep increasing your confidence level.

My goal is really that no matter where you are with your cooking abilities, you can find recipes that you are already comfortable making.

On his favorite career moments:

The recent highlight of his career was definitely being invited to the White House. I was invited twice in December, once for a creative event. They invited a few designers to see the holiday decorations. And then while I was there, someone from Jill Biden’s team actually invited me to the Hanukkah celebration that was held the following night. I was truly honored, as a proud Jew, to be able to celebrate the holiday that I grew up celebrating and that my community has celebrated for thousands of years.

For me, it was a really proud moment to be proud, loud and Jewish in the most powerful building in the world, celebrating with the president and the vice president, the two most powerful people in the world. It was just a really meaningful moment, ending the year loud and proud and Jewish – even with these anti-Semitic attacks, we weren’t deterred. [from] be loud and proud of our traditions and everything. I think for me that was the most meaningful, knowing that all of the work that I did got me to where I was, standing, celebrating.

On what he’s looking forward to in his new decade and big personal changes:

Most of my career happened when I was in school. Technically, I’m still enrolled at Columbia and trying to do this part-time job. I feel like I’ve always had this genre rush, I have to be successful by the time I graduate so this can be my full time job. It happened. I’m in this place now where I’m really happy where I am. I strive for more and I’m always working on bigger and better projects.

My life has changed so much over the past two years, I can’t even begin to imagine how it will change in 10 years. I know that everything I think will happen will be totally different. A year and a half ago, I was living with my parents in Jersey, working alone, filming in their kitchen. I now live in Manhattan, run a large business from my apartment, and publish a cookbook.

My grandfather passed away from Covid in March 2020. It was a very difficult time. It was kind of my lowest level. I fell into a really deep depression. But right after that, my whole career started to explode. 2020 has been both the worst and the best year of my life. I signed the cookbook contract a few months after he died. It was very odd timing. He has always been my biggest supporter. It’s bittersweet that all of this happened because I wish he could see it. Even though he’s not here, what made him so proud is flourishing and doing so well, which is also why I dedicated the book to him.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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