Features, Harambee, People

“Everybody in my family likes to cook”

If you ask Eric Berry where he grew up, he’ll tell you “everywhere.” Berry has lived in neighborhoods all over Milwaukee from 95th and Beckett to 3rd and Burleigh and 3rd and North.

As a result of moving around – and some other factors – Berry attended a number of different schools, as well, including Northwest Secondary School and Bay View and Custer high schools. “I just didn’t like the schools I was going to because I was always getting into trouble…not, like, big trouble but I always stayed in trouble.”

But cooking has always been a constant for Berry. And after graduating in 2013, he enrolled in culinary school. “I’ve been in the kitchen since I was 9 years old,” he said. “I just like playing with food.”

What’s his favorite part about cooking? “Just making your own creation, testing things out, putting this and this together and making it your own,” he said.

His grandmother and aunt, especially, played a role in his interest in food. When he was a kid he played video games and sports, too, but Berry always set time aside for the kitchen, too.  “When it’s time to cook, I was in there.”

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Berry didn’t always want to be a chef, though. When he was younger, he wanted to play basketball. “I wanted to just take my momma out of Milwaukee and just let her see the world, let her explore.”

But, even though he isn’t playing basketball, Berry still wants to travel. Now, he plans to work as a chef on a cruise ship.

Though he’s already “been a few places,” there’s more that he wants to see and do. After all, he’s never stayed in one place for too long. “I want to go to Europe, overseas,” said Berry. “I want to be that person that made it.”

“If I get this cooking thing off the ground, there’s no stopping me,” he said. “If you put your mind to anything you can do it, it’s there for you.”


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