by Richard Gorelick
The Baltimore Sun
11:35 AM EDT, September 21, 2012
Baltimore's hidden global cuisine will be featured on Friday night's installment of the Cooking Channel's culinary travel show "Eden Eats." On Friday's episode, which airs at 10 p.m., host Eden Grinshpan will have 24 hours in Baltimore to "eat her way around the globe."
In and around Baltimore, Grinshpan will be shown having lunch at a Kenyan restaurant, making dinner with two Ukrainian sisters, sampling Newari specialties at a Nepalese restaurant, snacking on Lithuanian food, visiting a Bavarian chocolatier, taking breakfast at a Peruvian restaurant and, finally, rejuvenating herself with some Nigerian bitter leaf soup.
If you're baffled, or at least intrigued, by this list, Grinshpan says she'd done her job. When the series premiere episode explored the Somali cuisine of Nashville, it took even residents of the food-focused city by surprise. "Viewers tell us, 'You opened my eyes to my city in a whole new way.'"
Grinshpan followed her culinary training with extensive travel and volunteer work, in places like India, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. In India, while volunteering for an orphanage called Ramanas Garden, Grinshpan came up with the idea of raising money by re-opening a cafe, which had not been in operation for some time, and teaching the children the basics of culinary cuisine.
Grinshpan eventually returned to New York City, where she entered a management program at the Institute of Culinary Education before working at the bakery Babycakes.
But, she said, "I didn't want to give up on exploring food and cultures." Instead of taking viewers to foreign locations, "Eden Eats" travels throughout the United States. The show, Grinshpan said, is about "people who immigrate from all over the world and recreate their cultures in America."
Food, Grinshpan said, is the way to get people talking about their experiences. "It's not just about that one dish," Grinshpan said. "I’m being invited into their kitchens. These are very personal subjects. The instant you start talking about food you have that connection."
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