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12/02/2018 08:36 EST | Updated 12/02/2018 11:25 EST

'Born & Raised' Podcast: Immigrant Moms Take On Veganism And Dish Do-Overs

We all know who's boss of the kitchen and of our stomachs.

From left to right: "Born And Raised" podcast episode 4 guests Preena Chauhan, Tasha Stansbury and Ben Lootens, whose immigrant moms all have a unique take on their cultures' food traditions.
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From left to right: "Born And Raised" podcast episode 4 guests Preena Chauhan, Tasha Stansbury and Ben Lootens, whose immigrant moms all have a unique take on their cultures' food traditions.

Listen to "Born And Raised" on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Mom knows best, especially in the kitchen. There's just something magical about what she does that makes her food taste better than anyone else's. But is it possible to adapt our immigrant mothers' recipes and cook as well as they do ... or even better?

Host Angelyn Francis and reporter Al Donato present a trio of guest stories, and reflect on their own immigrant mothers and the ways cooking passes on intergenerational knowledge and feeds our souls.

Listen to "Mom's Cooking"

Can't play it on this page? Listen on the SoundCloud site.

This episode's transcript is available for download.

This episode's stories:

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Warak enab, stuffed grape vine leaves, on a plate (Left); the rolls are among law student Tasha Stansbury's favourite Lebanese food. (Right)

Tasha Stansbury assumed going vegan meant she'd have to miss out on her favourite Lebanese dishes and be satisfied with just enjoying the sides. But, she had made the decision and there was no turning back. Then, her mom found out, and Tasha's world changed in ways she'd never imagined.

Preena Chauhan runs cooking classes with her mom, Arvinda, but they don't agree on certain techniques. One of them loves sticking to traditional, slower methods, while the other tells students to take shortcuts when they can. And only one can be victorious in this culinary battle of wills.

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Construction carpenter Ben Lootens remembers his mother's boerenkool with dread for the meal and compassion for her.

Ben Lootens grew up with a nemesis — a traditional Dutch dish his mom often made for dinner. Why would she feed her family something that tasted so ... awful? As an adult who now has a passion for all things culinary, Ben thinks he understands her reasoning, and came up with a way to turn the dish around. Would his family bite?

Places mentioned in this episode:

  • Arvinda's cooking classes are held at Nella Cusina in Toronto
  • No Frills is a Canadian grocery chain with locations in several provinces

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Stream this episode and more: Find "Born And Raised: Food" on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

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