WILLIAMSBURG — As teens in their suburban Philadelphia home, Mike and Josh Greenfield picked up recipes from TV.
"We learned to cook on Food Network, that was our culinary school," recalled Mike Greenfield, who then went on to pursue architecture in college while his brother studied marketing and joined a band.
Years later, the siblings came back to their childhood ambitions.
They now have their own rooftop vegetable garden and catering business at their apartment off Bedford Avenue — and they star in their very own cooking program called "Brothers Green" on the HUNGRY Channel, Youtube's latest twist on the Food Network run by former Food Network executive Bruce Seidel.
"I never feel like I'm working," said Mike Greenfield between tasting a fresh pepper and watering the tomatoes on his rooftop one morning this week.
"Our ultimate goal is to inspire people who are a little fearful in the kitchen," he said of the show, which has now released episodes the past five Mondays.
The Greenfields' show on HUNGRY is produced by Electus — former NBC co-chair Ben Silverman's company — as one of about 100 new professionally run YouTube channels the site has reportedly pledged to allocate $200 million for marketing.
In the segments viewers can watch the duo kneading pasta dough, whipping up meatballs and alfredo sauce, and concocting breakfast pizza with guacamole — all in their own kitchen. Their Fourth of July burger video has already drawn more than 15,000 views.
"I'm pretty sure next week's is going to be a barbecue episode on our rooftop," Greenfield said, explaining that the footage was filmed this spring during six all-day shoots. He said the station approached the pair after their appearance in a cookoff on the "Rachel Ray Show" last year.
The Greenfields' journey to success started with them throwing parties for friends and producing their own cooking segments — all while transforming their building's roof from an unkempt party mecca to a natural oasis, they said.
"I was looking for a day job to make some money, and people started liking my food and I started giving them weekly meals," said Josh Greenfield, 27, whose main focus when he first moved to the city five years ago was his band, the Canon Logic.
He began planting a few vegetables on the roof, but the space was often overrun by beer bottles and late-night crowds, neighbors recalled — including a Victoria's Secret after-party, resident Jon "JJ" Mansell said.
"As much as I'll miss the days of the Victoria's Secret after-party on the roof, I have come to prefer the more subdued gatherings of hors d'oeuvres and good wine during a quality sunset," Mansell said, and praised the brothers' gatherings in their apartment that welcome other tenants for their culinary creations.
"It's this really natural progression," said Josh Greenfield, noting that the brothers first started a catering company called "Brothers Green" once his younger brother arrived in the city two years ago.
The pair's third roommate was a filmmaker, said Mike Greenfield, so they started their own online makeshift cooking show called "YuNork," whose first episode parodied the violent intro of the television drama "Dexter" — and went a bit too far.
"Josh was so in character, he accidentally immersion blended my chest," said Mike Greenfield, laughing and lifting up his tank top to reveal a scar from the cooking tool's blade, and calling his older brother the "wild" one.
"We've been talking about making a cookbook, called 'Wild and Styled,'" Mike Greenfield said, noting that his brother was the former and he the latter, both in personality and in cooking style.
"Josh throws anything together, he'll make things that have never been created," said Mike Greenfield.
"I'm the more refined [chef] with a creative flare... I'm more stable. He's more crazy."
Josh Greenfield agreed that the two had different culinary approaches, and that he preferred "going with the flow."
"It creates a cool dynamic with the show," said Josh Greenfield.
"We want people to be able to use food as a vehicle — to help themselves and to express themselves."