“When my mom was growing up, it was just her and my grandma,” writes social media star Eitan Bernath in his new cookbook “Eitan Eats the World.” His grandmother Barbara — who goes by Bobbie — was a single mother, fiercely independent, and dedicated to her career. She received a masters in journalism long before it was common for women, Eitan notes, and reported on business, consumer news, and lifestyle topics for 30 years.
“One thing that they didn’t have time for was traveling, so grandma tried to expose my mom to the world through food and cooking,” he adds. Enter gazpacho: a cold summer soup originally from Spain. Bobbie spotted a recipe for the soup in an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine and started to make it, adapting it to her tastes.
The original magazine clipping was lost long ago but the soup stuck, becoming Bobbie’s signature dish. When Eitan would visit her when he was little or Bobbie would come over when he was growing up in an Orthodox home in north New Jersey, she always had gazpacho on hand. “When I think of grandma Bobbie and food, gazpacho’s definitely the first thing that comes to my mind,” he says. Taking a page from her, Eitan adapted his grandmother’s version, upping the acidity with sherry vinegar. She’s tried Eitan’s version and still prefers hers with a little less tang but, “We can agree to disagree on that,” he says laughing. “[We] love each other nonetheless.”