When it comes to cooking, Nick DiGiovanni loves the balance between new innovations and tradition.
DiGiovanni’s family has Italian and Persian roots, and he grew up watching them — his grandmother in particular — as they followed their tried and true recipes. Finally, after years of watching, he felt confident enough to start messing around in the kitchen himself.
“I had this mindset: I didn’t want to look at recipes,” DiGiovanni told In The Know. “I just wanted to play around. That actually, I think, worked out for the better.”
As a student at Harvard, cooking continued to be just a hobby for DiGiovanni. He struggled to pick a concentration while in school — but then, during his senior year, he had an opportunity to try out for MasterChef, a competitive cooking reality show series on FOX.
“I was literally leaving during senior year for months,” he said. “[I] wasn’t really sure what was going to happen with school, but it went really well.”
That’s an understatement — DiGiovanni placed in third.
After his success on MasterChef, DiGiovanni’s manager wanted him to keep putting himself out there and recommended he start posting videos to TikTok.
“I put up one video. I made a chocolate bar starting with a cacao pod,” he said. “I checked my phone maybe 30, 45 minutes later and it had 1.5 million views.”
DiGiovanni’s transition into TikTok was seamless. He started filming a video per day, naturally finding ways to incorporate the tips and tricks from his childhood — all while keeping his personality front and center.
“It’s an enjoyable process, trying to think of the new ideas,” he said. “You have to kind of ride the balance sometimes between things that people want to watch and then things that you actually want to cook.”
DiGiovanni’s biggest goals for TikTok are to teach people more about food — where it comes from and how to cook it — and to focus on his long-term career goals.
“I’m happy with where I am at this point right now,” he said. “But I know I have just so much out there to learn.”
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