TikTok users who have made it to #FoodTok may recognize Nick DiGiovanni from his fast-paced and informative cooking tutorial videos — most of which open with him sticking a knife to his cutting board.
The chef originally rose to fame as a contestant on Season 10 of MasterChef, and he’s the youngest person to ever make it to the finals.
Since his time as a competitor on the popular cooking series, Nick has returned to the show as a mentor. He’s also graduated from Harvard with a special degree in Food and Climate, and he’s become a social media star (along with his hamster, Pesto) with more than 7.2 million followers on TikTok.
In honor of National Coffee Day, which is on Sept. 29, the Rhode Island native spoke exclusively with Distractify about how to best pair the beverage with Kinder Bueno bars. He also discussed his TikTok success, and why his video style sticks out from the rest.
Though Nick arguably has an added advantage on TikTok because of his MasterChef platform, there are so many other creators on the app to compete with. In order to set his videos apart, Nick mixes up his everyday recipe posts with videos featuring “unique ingredients,” like a pink pineapple or a durian, to show people “things they haven’t seen before.”
“One of the biggest things I do that you probably don’t see on a lot of other cooking channels is that I go right to the roots of something,” Nick told Distractify about why his videos are different. This can mean teaching people how to make chocolate brownies fully from scratch, by starting off with a cacao pod.
While the MasterChef alum wants his videos to teach and inspire, he recognizes that TikTok is a platform all about instant gratification.
“I want to make these videos very lighthearted and fun to watch. Most traditional cooking videos, while certainly informative, are very slow and boring. That’s not the way it is anymore online, which is really exciting,” Nick shared. “Nobody really wants to watch a really slow-making video and wait for water to boil.”
The chef also doesn’t take himself too seriously, which is why many of his videos feature his signature knife toss.
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“I want to make cooking cool, and to do things that keep people on their… Brinkwire short summary.