By Jessica Easthope
With a dash of determination and a whole lot of parmesan cheese, Nathan Berg’s culinary career is heating up.
“I would love to own a restaurant or multiple restaurants, take a managerial position but start off in the kitchen,” said 18-year-old Nathan.
Though the pandemic took some of the steam out of his senior year at Xaverian High School, Nathan said it added zest to his passion for cooking.
“I’ve had a lot more time to experiment in the kitchen and I’ve also been able to cook for my family more and do more comprehensive meals every night so I think I’ve done some of my best cooking during the pandemic,” Nathan said.
Born and raised in Bay Ridge, Nathan’s love of being in the kitchen started early.
“I always loved to cook, watch my mom and grandmother cook, I grew up in a predominantly Italian American household so it kind of came as second nature,” he said.
He credits his Catholic education with kickstarting his career. Having recently graduated, Nathan was lifted up by his school community, especially when it came to his food Instagram account called Mangia My Dudes.
“Teachers and faculty started to follow me,” he told Currents News. “People would tell me the next day in class, ‘Guess what we had last night, what you made!'”
And the food he makes is just as authentic as he is. As for secret ingredients, he has a few, but you won’t find any of them on a spice rack.
“To be Catholic, it’s all about sharing something from yourself and giving it to others and I feel like that’s also the basis of cooking and food in general, even in the Bible. I love all the food verses, bread and wine and the loaves and fishes,” Nathan said.
Now Nathan is just beginning his freshman year at Cornell University where he’ll study hospitality. Though his life’s menu will be constantly changing, Nathan’s recipe for success will always be the original: faith, family and food.