It’s immediately obvious that Eden Grinshpan makes the best kind of happy hour buddy. Within five minutes of introducing myself at the downtown Manhattan Mediterranean spot Vic’s, Grinshpan — who’s sitting propped up high on a barstool — has already quizzed me about my apartment, my plans that weekend, and where my shoes are from. Her long, light brown hair swings as she leans in emphatically, making everything she says feel like it’s the most important thing in the world.

Over the past few years, this friendly, familiar vibe has won the 29-year-old cook and TV host a loyal following of hungry fans. But, as Grinshpan explained with a self-deprecating laugh, her success came about a bit haphazardly. She said that she “applied on a whim” to London’s Le Cordon Bleu per her father’s suggestion, and was shocked when she was admitted. After graduation just a few years ago (and a stint at New York City vegan bakery Babycakes), the Toronto native made her Cooking Channel debut in the 2012 series Eden Eats.

The show followed Grinshpan as she traveled to a new city for a 24-hour culinary tour. She’s since hosted Cooking Channel’s Log On & Eat With Eden Grinshpan and popped up on VH1’s Morning Buzz; in her off time, she pals around with the likes of Rebecca Minkoff and Lauren Bush (whose FEED Organization Grinshpan supports). It’s not surprising that her warm persona has earned her a cult following. Her 17,600 Instagram followers are treated to a goofy inside look into Grinshpan’s #foodporn lifestyle; she also regularly updates her blog with recipes and videos.

When we met, Grinshpan was wearing a pair of vintage Levi’s jeans from Brandy Melville (“my new obsession,” she said), a buttery black Acne leather jacket, and a white Zara turtleneck, her feet clad in black Alexander Wang motorcycle boots. Grinshpan said that she chooses her outfits depending on how she happens to feel that morning. “The best thing about fashion is how what you wear can affect your energy for the day,” she explained. “My plans when I wear jeans and leather jacket are totally different from when I wear my high-waisted ‘70s pants. It gives you a different energy and a different attitude, and I think your outfit really affects your kind of approach.”

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