I had the pleasure of interviewing Sasha, of Global Table Adventure, who is making 195 meals, from 195 different countries in 195 weeks… Truly eating her way around the world with her husband (affectionately known as “Mr. Picky”) and her the adorable, adventurous, almost 5 year old daughter Ava.
With gorgeous, tantalizing photographs (that you only wish were scratch and sniff!), her web site is part cookbook, part armchair travelogue, part video-culinary review by her daughter… whether you love to cook or you love to eat, this is an amazing educational experience in world cultures and anthropology from her kitchen to yours.
The genius behind the Global Table Adventure is Sasha Martin. Sasha spent several years as a child in both France and Luxembourg, and is now hoping to teach her daughter about other cultures through these culinary adventures. She had the idea to begin cooking her way around the world when Ava was only 7 months old and just beginning solid foods. Sasha admits that her husband is a bit of a picky eater, so as a family they decided to cook and eat dishes from every country in the world- in alphabetical order- as a way to exposing her daughter to different textures and spices and hopefully avoid finicky habits.
Thus the Global Table Adventure family project grew into a movement, that became a way to use food to open minds, and learn something quite nice about countries around the world. Sasha purposefully chooses dishes that are not too exotic (not à la exotics of Andrew Zimmerman or Anthony Bourdain), but rather accessible meals that mix some familiar ingredients with new spices, or cooked in a different way.
Travel Tuesday: An overview of the country’s cuisine so readers can learn about popular foods and traditions.
Wednesday: The menu is revealed. Sasha often includes an appetizer, vegetable, main course, and dessert, or sometimes a drink or soup recipe.
Technique Thursday: Sometimes a video or recipe typical from that country, Sasha teaches you about a new ingredient or technique.
Fun Friday: Lots of fun facts, tidbits
In the last part of the interview, I asked Sasha her tips for parents who have picky eaters.
“It’s not about the food, it’s mostly about the texture or the format. Try chopping it up really fine or changing the presentation or cooking technique,” says Sasha. “People don’t give their kids enough credit.” What she’s done for Ava is to set a couple of rules. First, everyone must always taste the dish- and it’s OK to admit when you don’t like it. When Ava’s scared to try something, Sasha explains “It’s exciting to try it, but even mama doesn’t like everything.” She also debunks the myth that if you offer something 5 times, your children will begin to like it: “Don’t give up! Five times is sometimes not enough.” When you’re kids do try something new, “reward them with enthusiasm.” Finally, in Sasha’s house, what’s for dinner is what’s for dinner- no making pb&j every time your children don’t like something. This will just feed into their finickiness and discourage them from even trying new foods. Here are a few of Ava’s favorite foods, with links to their recipes on the Global Table Adventure page:
I cannot wait to follow in her global footsteps and start choosing recipes to try!!! I love her mission, and think that you will too:
You see, we create peace when we learn about each other – when we understand one another. But here’s the thing – we can’t create peace alone; We must set a Global Table and invite everyone to sit down together as one family.