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Exuberant foodie has her TV cake and eats it too

Eden Grinshpan combines culinary with travel in exciting broadcast career she dreamed of while growing up in Toronto and summering in Israel

Renee Ghert-Zand is a reporter and feature writer for The Times of Israel.

TV food personality Eden Grinshpan (courtesy)
TV food personality Eden Grinshpan (courtesy)

As a teenager in Toronto, Eden Grinshpan spent a lot of her time watching television cooking shows. Hooked on the colorful culinary world, she was mesmerized by celebrity chefs and their recipes for everything from comfort food to connoisseur comestibles.

Flash forward a decade and a half and it is Grinshpan herself who is captivating audiences as a food television personality with several shows of her own. In addition to serving as a celebrity judge on the Food Network’s Chopped Canada and other culinary competition shows, she hosts her own Cooking Channel programs in which she travels the United States in search of the best, most delicious and diverse fare.

Grishpan’s journey from her parents’ kitchen to those of the country’s best chefs has been relatively quick thanks in large part to her infectious enthusiasm: If you are looking for someone to gush over goat’s cheese, goji berries or green tea noodles, then Grinshpan’s your gal.

Grinshpan, 30, had always been an adventurous eater, but she did not get serious about food preparation until she chose to go to culinary school instead of university. With the full support of her parents, she flew off to London to earn a “Grande Diplome” in both pastry and cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu.

TV food personality Eden Grinshpan (Matan Hakimi)
TV food personality Eden Grinshpan (courtesy)

Following her graduation in 2006, Grinshpan traveled for three months in India, where she volunteered at an orphanage in Rishikesh. She continued on to Israel, to work for a year and a half with top Tel Aviv chef Sabina Valdman. She then returned to the orphanage in India, reopening and running its donated cafe for several months.

Then it was back again to Israel, which is a second home to Grinshpan. Her father is Israeli-born and as a youth, her family spent every summer in the Holy Land. Today, both her older sister Arielle and younger sister Renny live in Tel Aviv.

In contrast, Grinshpan decided to settle in hip Williamsburg, Brooklyn where she lives with her Israeli-born husband Ido Niv-Ron, the vice president of sales for Israeli hi-tech company Wibbitz. (The couple is expecting its first child in April 2017.)

Grinshpan is well versed in cuisines from various countries and regions and ranks Israeli and Mediterranean food as her favorites.

“I definitely gravitate toward Israeli food. I’m totally Ashkenzi and I love my mom’s brisket, but I’m not home making kreplach. What I do love to make at home is a lot of tagine and vegetable and fresh herb-heavy dishes,” she told The Times of Israel in a recent phone interview.

She’s also a big fan of shakshuka, the classic Israel comfort food dish comprised of eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce. She’s even included the dish in a series of humorous cooking videos she’s made with her sisters.

Despite her abiding love for cooking shows, Grinshpan ended up in the food television business on a whim. Her parents had encouraged her to film the process of setting up and running the cafe at the orphanage in India. After eventually ending up in New York about nine years ago, Grinshpan cut the footage down to a 15 minute show reel and set it off blindly to a William Morris agent.

To her surprise, Grinshpan got a call from the agency two weeks later, and at its urging, she put together a video pitch for what would become her first Cooking Channel show, “Eden Eats.”

‘There’s only one Eden Grinshpan and she’s 95% goofy fun. I don’t take myself too seriously’

“It feels dreamlike and surreal,” Grishpan said about entering and succeeding in a highly competitive field.

She’s grown professionally and learned to diversify as the business has evolved in the last decade.

“I got into TV before YouTube became big. Since that time, TV has been evolving because of the web and people are pushing out whatever they want. Stars are born every day,” Grinshpan noted.

In an effort to keep advancing her career, she has remained a multitasking freelancer with her own EthNicitY production company. Other than projects for which she is under contract, she follows her own interests and pursues whatever she likes.

“If something interests me, then I’ll do it. The more I do, the more ends up coming my way. That’s just how it works. My main goal is to be around food content and to travel, so I do things that let me do that,” Grinshpan said.

She also wants to eventually have her own restaurant, which nowadays is part and parcel of being a high profile personality in the food entertainment industry.

The camera loves Grinshpan as much as she loves food. Her bubbly girl-next-door appeal combined with her fashion-model looks keep fans glued to the screen. In fact, one wonders how she manages to maintain her gorgeous figure while basically cooking and eating for a living.

‘I just want to keep learning and traveling, and to share what I learn along the way’

“I never hold back with food, but I believe in moderation. If I am full, I don’t keep eating. I love my chocolate babka, but I don’t eat the whole thing. If people see a picture of me on Instagram eating a pizza, they should know that I am just eating a slice or two and sharing the rest,” she explained. (Grinshpan is a major food influencer on social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.)

At home she eats very healthy, and she keeps fit by walking the streets of New York for many miles every day. It seems her years of dancing and doing yoga while growing up have also left her with a fast metabolism.

Grinshpan is admittedly an ambitious entrepreneur. But she insists that the buoyant, sometimes silly persona we see on screen is genuine. She’s not faking her infectious enthusiasm for food and the interesting places and people associated with it.

“There’s only one Eden Grinshpan and she’s 95% goofy fun. I don’t take myself too seriously. What you see is what you get. I just want to keep learning and traveling, and to share what I learn along the way,” she said.

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