Marina Berger is a Personal Chef who lives and works in New York City. In 2009, she left her former life working at a prestigious SoHo art gallery to pursue good food. She has cooked for a wide range of New York professionals, from politicians to Broadway directors, but finds the greatest joy when cooking for her loved ones. She believes that fresh, seasonal ingredients should always be the star of any meal, and reflects this philosophy in her straightforward, health-supportive cooking techniques that bring out the nutrition, beauty, and — especially — the flavor in the food she cooks. Marina has been featured on Heritage Radio Network’s Hot Grease with Nicole Taylor, and resides on the internet at MarinaCooks.com and @MarinaCooks.
I was born in Queens and raised in the suburbs just outside of New York City. I graduated from New York University with a degree in Art History, and worked in the arts for six years until my passion for food pulled me out of the gallery and into the kitchen (where I’ve always belonged). I graduated from the Chef’s Training Program at The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts, and have been pleasing palates around New York ever since.
In addition to cooking weekly meals in clients’ homes, dinner parties, and private cooking lessons, I have done seasonal cooking demonstrations at the Green Market in Union Square and at the Bushwick Farmers Market. I completed my culinary internship with Kelly Geary of Sweet Deliverance, where I assisted her in teaching canning classes and in preparing seasonal American cuisine using the best possible local, organic ingredients.
In 2010, I co-founded the Brooklyn Bridge CSA in downtown Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Bridge CSA is sponsored by Pursue: Action for a Just World, supported by Hazon, and has an explicitly Jewish food justice theme. So in addition to delivering delicious produce from Sang Lee Farms, we have a meaningful and active justice component built into the CSA’s structure and programming.
In 2011, I created the Salt Salon: A Delectable Blend of Food and Art. The Salt Salon was born from the realization that pretty much my whole life is taken up by food or art. This is where I combined the two. Each installation of the Salt Salon series featured an artist performing her/his work — poetry, prose, music, performance art, you name it — and a featured chef’s culinary creations. A simple recipe for an extraordinary evening. The Salt Salon is currently on hiatus, but I hope to bring it back before 2012 concludes.