Welcome

Ava and mama

I’m Sasha Martin and I started cooking the world for fun. What I didn’t expect? To cultivate inner peace and a sense of belonging along the way.

Since 2010 I’ve cooked more than 650 recipes from every country in the world. They’re delicious. They’re beautiful. And they’re going to make you and your loved ones happy.

I know because I served each recipe to my picky husband, Keith, and our young daughter, Ava – all from our small kitchen in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I’m proud to report that Ava ate the entire world before her fifth birthday – an experience that will have a lasting influence on her food preferences and attitude towards her global neighbors. Equally amazing – my once picky husband now looks at food as an adventure, not an attack.  As for me? I’ve satisfied (most) of my wanderlust (and finally put my spice jars to good use!).

This isn’t some stunt project.

I reveal in my memoir Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness (National Geographic, 2015) how the meditative act of cooking meals from 195 countries helped me overcome a difficult childhood and become a strong mother. The truth is this: cooking has the power to help families bond, empower, and heal. What’s more, setting a global table creates compassion and understanding – which helps the world heal.

The first lesson? There is good food everywhere.

We didn’t need a ton of special equipment. We didn’t need to order ingredients online. We steered clear of cobra hearts and fried tarantulas and stuck to the recipes that made us say YUM or WOW.  As we opened our hearts to trying new foods, bite by bite, the world grew smaller (and friendlier).

Together, we spiced up dinnertime, reclaimed our sense of adventure, and came to appreciate the peace that comes with inviting the world to our table.

And it all starts with stovetop travel. With each recipe you try, you and your family will explore a new and exciting corner of the world – not just with the food, but with the photos and stories connecting you to the people who live there.

Are you ready to explore the world through food?

  • Do you want to travel, but limited time or money makes that hard right now?
  • Are you tired of the same old boring meals? (I’m looking at you, steamed carrots, boiled corn, and baked potatoes!)
  • Are you curious about trying foods from other countries, but don’t know where to start?
  • Are global conflicts worrying your family? Are you looking to balance the negative news cycle by setting a peaceful table?

I’ve been where you are, and I’m happy to say that I can help. When I started this blog it was mostly to record our family’s experience, but it really took off when people (just like you) chimed in – “I want to cook the world, too!” Today, thousands of families are in the midst of their own Global Table Adventure – and you can be one of them.

Variety really is the spice of life.

We have hundreds of recipes from every continent for you to try – many easy enough for a weeknight, others elegant enough for the weekend. By introducing foods from 195 countries into your meals (as well as a full calendar of holidays around the world), you will reclaim the joy and adventure of cooking with your family. You’ll also know you’re teaching peace in action. After all: We create peace when we learn about each other, when we understand one another.

Picky eaters welcome.

Even the pickiest eater loves certain ingredients. Potatoes. PastaRice. Chicken. (SpinachKidding.)

The good news? These staple ingredients are found in recipes all over the world. When you prepare recipe “bridges” that utilize your family’s favorite ingredients, you help your pickiest eaters “cross over” into trying a wide variety of international foods. Some even start with dessert – after all, who doesn’t have a little sweet tooth?

Once you find a recipe you like, you can dive deeper. Each recipe includes linked ingredients at the bottom of the post – click on any ingredient you love and see all the recipes that use it to broaden your culinary horizons (or use up pantry items).

Take the first step today

You don’t need to cook the world all at once – even trying one new recipe a week (or month) will have a huge impact in your family. To get started, try out Tanzania’s Amazing Mashed Potatoes (this East African recipe is SO easy – our entire household loves it).

You can also find your own way – From the homepage you can explore recipes by continent/region; from the Map Room you can explore by country.

To help you on your journey, I’d like to offer you a FREE Starter Guide. These 45 pages are complete with tips for dealing with picky eaters, a “pact” for the whole family to sign, tips for hosting potlucks, and more – all to help make cooking the world a fun part of your lifestyle. Teachers and home educators will also enjoy my FREE Printable Passport Book for tracking progress through the countries.

Enjoy and happy stovetop travels!

P.S. Want to meet the family?

If you are still curious about who in the world we are, check out our personal stories by clicking on the images below and come say “HI” with #GlobalTableAdventure on Instagram, FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest

sasha-martin-headshot Ava's Around the World Lunches Keith-A-Martin

SASHA                                                  AVA                                                  KEITH

68 Comments

  1. I am so excited to find your book! I have always wanted to find a cookbook that brought me through foods around the world, and I can’t believe I found one in my own town of Tulsa! I love culture and adventurous food – thanks for sharing, and I look forward to cooking with you!

  2. Jan Olsen says

    Just downloaded your book on my Kindle and love, love, love it. Thanks! I need to get a hard copy so I can do some cooking.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Wonderful, Joumana – thank you. Unfortunately, not at this time.

  3. D.M.D says

    I haven’t had a good read that moved me in a long time and made me wish I didn’t read it in two days. Only because I wanted to read more and more. Although a very different experience of family trials and heritage from yours. You spoke pieces of my own journey to culinary school and moving around, seeking solace, fond food memories of my childhood, healing, and forgiveness. Thank you!

    • Sasha Martin says

      I’ve done that with books before – namely The Glass Castle. So, so good. Thank you for reading.

  4. Connie says

    I downloaded your audio book from our local library. WOW! I am so grateful you managed your difficult life journey to get to the point where you could write this book. Did I mention inspiring? Did I mention the palpable love that you seem to put into your culinary creations? Did I mention that I could almost taste your food through your amazing descriptions? Fantastic book!

  5. Joy says

    This sounds a bit creepy as I emailed Sasha as soon as I read the book once. But I’ve now read it twice! Love this book and wish you the very best with it.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Not creepy at all. Thank you for your support. Hugs to you, Joy.

  6. Joy says

    I started reading your book on Friday 4/10 and just finished it this morning, 4/14-I had so much trouble putting it down. The book is beautifully written and I so appreciate you being willing to share your life thus far so openly. I, too had a difficult childhood and I understand that need for peace and trying to learn how to live and not wait for the other shoe to drop. I applaud your willingness to share it and your families willingness for their stories to be told, at least in part, as well. My husband and I love to cook and try new things so I can’t wait to check out some of your recipes.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Happy cooking – working your way through the countries really is a wonderful walking meditation.

  7. Rene Marie Foust says

    I just finished reading your book and I have to say it rates as one of my most favorite reads ever. I loved every page and every story it presented. I found myself living each moment with you and relating to much of what you write about. I am so happy that you wrote the book and shared your deepest thoughts and emotions. I cant wait to but a few more copies and share them with my friends…I am not going to part with my copy but I know they will love it as much as I do. Now its time for me to try out some of your worldly recipes, you have given me the courage to enter into an international grocery store. I have seen these places and have always been too afraid to enter but after reading your story I have the courage and desire to push past my fear and walk in. I cant wait to see what awesome things I discover. Thanks again for your courage.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Go forth boldly into those stores – you’re going to have a blast!!! Thank you for your love and support. Peace to you.

  8. Just finished your book a few days ago. I had pre-ordered it and was blown away by it. When I first read a few lines in pre-ordering it, I thought how lovely to read. I was so moved I cried and laughed and enjoyed it so much. I am still working on processing all that I read. I cannot thank you enough for your openess to share your experiences with us. I have been helping women coming out of childhood pain for over 29 years. I will be adding your book to my list of books to share. I love the blog. I have been cooking recipes from different countries for years. My daughter and I would go to the Chinese markets when there we only a few here in Houston. We markets from all over world all over the place now. I laugh when I see things fried with panko. I bought them in the early 80’s. Again, I thank you for sharing your journey with us.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Thank you for letting my life into your heart. You are a gift to those women. Thank you for the work you do.

  9. Carol Frascino says

    I have just retired from work yesterday and found myself surrounded by a stack of fifteen books, waiting to be opened. I started reading yours, as I love anything to do with food and traveling and other cultures. Your book has moved and inspired me so much, I will sit here and read it, savoring it, and all else will fall by the wayside!! As this is a library copy, I will need to purchase my own, as I want to try all your recipes. I have travelled to many countries but admittedly, was timid to try some local foods. Now I can travel around the world thanks to you and have fun cooking all these interesting dishes. Thank you for sharing your family story. The grace with which you write your heartfelt memories will stay with me long after I read the last page.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Thank you for reading and caring. Congratulations on your retirement.

  10. Cole says

    I just read your story in Food & Wine, very inspirational! I have purchased your book from Amazon. The mini video on Amazon is a great introduction to your book.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Glad you enjoyed the story and the book trailer, Cole. I wanted to make sure readers really knew what the book was about before they purchased.

  11. deb says

    Just found your site. I read the Welcome after searching the recipes. What a wonderful gift to have given your daughter all by her 5th birthday. I look forward to reading your book and exploring your website some more. Thank you… deb

  12. MaryB says

    You are a truly gifted writer and wise beyond your years!
    “Life from Scratch” is one of the best books I have ever read!
    Thank you!!!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Hi Mary – your words and the sentiment behind them are humbling. Thank you.

  13. Joanne says

    Just started reading your book. What an awesome, bittersweet work. I had to stop and copy the recipes. Now, I’m not only good to go on some baking projects, I’m reading to begin where I left off on this wonderful memoir.

  14. Pingback: Bookalicious Babe Book Reviews: Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha Martin

  15. susan zanata says

    This book was amazing. I am a long married mom that sadly sees cooking as just a mundane chore.After reading your book, I can see things differently. I live in a huge multi cultural area in NYC and I smell all the good food, now I feel like I can brave cooking some of it. Thanks again….

    • Sasha Martin says

      You absolutely can! I’m excited for you – you’re on your way, Susan. Best wishes.

  16. I absolutely love your Life From Scratch. It has been a long time since I have been unable to put a book and wanted to read through the night. My name is Sue Walker and I am the Publisher of Negative Capability Press (negativecapabilitypress.org). We have been publishing a journal and award-winning books since 1981. We are currently working on an anthology on food — and I would very much like to include something from you. My email address is [email protected] — and the press is also on Facebook. Thank you.
    Sue Walker

    • Sasha Martin says

      Hi Sue – thank you for your kind words and invitation. It means so much.

  17. Carol says

    Hi! Just finished reading your book. Wow!! Looking forward to trying some of the recipes. I’m a chocoholic and am in search of a recipe for hot cocoa (?) – the kind Juliette Binoche poured into Johnny Depp’s cup in the movie “Chocolat.” It was rich, creamy, dark, and ever so smooth and silky looking. Any ideas where I can find such a recipe? TIA.

  18. I’m listening to your book as I write this. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the title and review on Amazon.com intrigued me. I do love food and usually family and have had to learn about forgiveness along this journey. This book reads like one of my favorite novels and my only complaint was that the reader wasn’t going fast enough!!! Seriously, thank you for an honest, and wonderful picture of what I am now sure must be shared with others as we all live our ‘Life From Scratch’!

    I’m also looking forward to cooking through some of your ‘travels’.

    • Sasha Martin says

      You are a gem – thank you for the love and listening to the story.

  19. Lois says

    Have you ever seen the Time Life set of books? For each country there’s a beautifully written text about the country accompanied by a spiral recipe book.

    Enjoying your memoir very much. It is a great desert after reading “Stir”.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ah, sounds like a wonderful research. I’ve seen older copies at used book stores – will look into modern editions – thank you, Lois!

  20. I’m looking forward to reading your book, seeing how you created a life for today through cooking and exploring the world of your past and this Earth’s variety of food and stories waiting for us to savor.

  21. I am SO happy I found this website. I love to cook but get bored cooking the same old things so when I do cook I usually cook something international. Before I found this site I actually had the idea to cook something from every country in the world and then a few days later while looking for some Ethiopian recipes I found your site. (by the way the Awaze Tibs was like the best thing I ever ate!). So I’m going to start my global table adventure as well and my mom is going to help me. I have printed out all the country names and I am going to draw one out of a hat each day I cook until I’ve cooked the world! So I am sure I will be spending a lot of time on this site!

    • Sasha Martin says

      So nice to hear from you Melissa – good luck with your quest. Sounds like you and your mom are going to make some wonderful memories. (I love the Tibs, too btw).

  22. Sasha, I am reading Life from Scratch, actually listening to the audiobook. I am so moved and immersed in your story that I can scarcely stop listening. I am just getting to the CIA part, but your history has touched me to my core. I feel like it is one of the most important things I have read in a long time. Your story, what a story . . . fiction is never as wrenching, as searingly authentic. Your mother must be one of the most amazing women God ever made. I have fallen in love with her through your words. I am looking eagerly forward to finishing the book and exploring your website. Thank you for writing the book. With it, you have created a swirling soup of pain and hope and sweetness for your reader to savor. For you, I am constantly thinking, “if only, if only”. Forgive me for acting like I own you. I just wanted you to know how powerfully you are touching lives.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Jewelie, your words are a gift to my heart. Thank you for reading, writing, and caring.

  23. i’m in the process of reading your book, not done yet, it’s brought tears to my eyes so many times. thank you for sharing your journey with the rest of us all in the world! Just out of curiosity, what did you cook for Indonesia?

    • Sasha Martin says

      Oh so many good things including Nasi Goreng. I think you’ll have fun digging around in the map room where you can link to each country: globaltableadventure.com/countries-ive-cooked/

  24. Karlee says

    I’ve just finished reading your book and I loved it so much I felt compelled to write a comment! My librarian friend recommended your book and it was so wonderful I found myself carrying it with me and reading every spare moment I had… As a busy mum I sometimes only managed a sentence or two at a time!!

    Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your story with the world. I can’t wait to have a look through your website and experiment with some of these amazing recipes 😀

    Karlee (Perth, Australia)

  25. I am reading your book right now (it is breaking my heart but in a good way if that makes sense). I live in Switzerland and have discovered so many different things to eat over here in Europe. Grew up in Salem, MA, lived in the North End for many years, most likely during the years you were a wee babe visiting your grandmother. I just recommended your book to my sister. You are a wonderful writer. And I asked my husband of Hungarian descent if we can make the pancakes!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ah, what a multicultural experience you’re having. Enjoy and thank you for writing, Susan and give your husband and sister a big hello from me.

  26. Kimber says

    I saw your husbands picture before even reading his bio and thought, he has such a kindness to him. And your daughter is so lovely. What a beautiful family! I’m just beginning your book today and I’ve dog eared lots of yummy recipes. I can’t wait to dive in!

    • Sasha Martin says

      Ah, thank you Kimber. I have such an amazing family. My husband and daughter are both bright lights in my heart.

  27. I am reading your book..only on chapter 6..I love it.
    Very touching.
    Happy to see a photo of you..your daughter and husband.
    Lovely lovely family.

    • Sasha Martin says

      Hi, Monique. Thank you for reading and writing. My husband and daughter are a gift in my life.

  28. Adriana G. de Oliveira says

    Hi Sasha. Loved your book, loved your story, loved your blog. I’m a Brazilian living in the U.S and while reading your book and blog, I couldn’t stop thinking about a blog you might enjoy. It’s from another Brazilian who lives in the U.S and loves to cook. In her blog she teaches how to make delicious food from Brazil. And she is also a Chef! All the best.
    http://www.frombraziltoyou.org

  29. Sonya says

    I just read your amazing book, and I’m glad you never gave up. Thank you for the vegetarian recipes. Blessings to you and your beautiful family.

  30. Kellie F. says

    Your book was amazing. Got an ecopy of the book from the library. Was so inspired to try the recipes that I ordered a hard copy from Amazon. My family sat in the living room eating your chicken dish from Afghanistan with no utensils! It was so much fun! Thank you for sharing your story and exciting recipes.

  31. Margaret Boraski says

    This has nothing to do with cooking or your book … but I felt a strong need to reach out and thank you and tell you why. The other day as I was sitting with my Mother in Law waiting for her appointment I picked up a magazine. I couldn’t even tell you the name of this Doctor office magazine . I was just passing time. I came across an article written by you called “Love Baked in”. Your story touched my soul and gave me hope. My daughter left her daughter , my granddaughter , when she was five years old. She disappeared from her life for very different reasons than your Mother. We have raised our granddaughter for the past 10 years. She is a beautiful, kind, intelligent girl. And she has a very uncomfortable and awkward relationship with her Mother. I wanted to say that your story gave me hope that some day they would find a common ground and develop a comfortable relationship. I realize they will never have the “typical” mother /daughter relationship. But your story has made me believe there is the chance of some kind of common ground , and for that I Thank you.

  32. I just started reading your book and am really enjoying it. However, as a professional copyeditor I read with an editor’s eye and would love to know why you use “I” instead of “me” as in “…Alfred let Michael and I drive the ravioli cutter…” In this type of situation, if you took out “Michael” what you have left would not sound right with “I” instead of “me”. How did this get past your editor??? 🙁 Other than that little anomaly, I really do like the book and look forward to a culinary adventure!

  33. Rhonda Zontelli says

    I finished your book and started it again! Within 2 weeks! Love…love it. Thank you for sharing so much!

  34. As part of my and my husband’s ‘cooking the world’ challenge, I’ve referred to your blog a number of times and eventually noticed the link to your book, which I bought and have just finished. Just wanted to say thank you for writing it and also for being such a comprehensive resource of world recipes! Your thorough research has made our own challenge so much easier. 🙂

  35. Carly says

    Hi Sasha,

    I am nearly to the end of your book. Recently, I have been struggling with traumatic memories of my own childhood and current difficulties with my husband’s health. I was searching for a good audio book to listen to for my commutes in the car and came upon Life from Scratch. I’m a bit of a nascar driver, so I thought a good book would calm me. A rush of warmth came over me as I picked it up and I knew that somehow this would help me.

    There’s something so therapeutic about hearing the words of someone who, through their own experiences, seem to understand your heartache, your pain, your suffering. Your book has not only verbalized those feelings with the such intricate and beautiful detail, but they reached my very soul. I cried, sometimes sobbed, tears streaming down my face during my commutes. I must admit I was a bit of a mess before gathering my composure. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a book that has touched me so deeply.

    You have a magnificent gift for words. Your descriptions are like all the bursting flavors of a delicious Indian meal. Hearing the pain of your trauma with such explicit detail explain my own pain somehow also gave relief to it. I don’t understand the reasons for why we must suffer so much in this life. Even despite my religion, I still have so much anger for things that have happened and are happening, and sometimes that anger and suffering creates a block to the happy moments I could be enjoying. There’s such fear that it will end without warning; so, I’m always on edge wondering, waiting for the next awful thing to come my way. I have a lot to be grateful for. I have a kind, gentle, loving husband and a bright, beautiful, happy daughter who is just nearly seven. I have the family I’ve always wanted, the one I dreamed about when mine growing up was being ripped apart. Somehow, however, I still feel haunted by my past and my current challenges feel so overwhelming.

    I never considered cooking as therapy, but in listening to your book it’s dawned on me that it’s also what I do to feel better. Most of my friends and family call me a foodie. Most say I should open a restaurant. I could care less about compliments EXCEPT when it comes to my cooking. Those comments I love. Most also comment about my number of spices I cram into multiple cupboards. When it comes to food, I love anything that is not American, especially Indian food. I had just begun collecting international spices to try my hand at a few recipes. Your ideas and words have given me such encouragement and excitement to start! I LOVE the idea of cooking every country of the world. Your descriptions of recipes are so exquisite that so often I can taste them just from hearing your words.

    There is much opportunity for international cooking where I live. I am surrounded by culture and diversity. I live in the Minneapolis area. Many may not consider a city in wholesome nicey-nice Minnesota to be culturally rich, but it is. I returned to live here as an adult. Out of the numerous places I’ve lived, it’s the only city I’ve ever loved. I figure that after moving nearly 50 times (or is it over 50?), hopefully by now I’ve figured out where I’ll be happiest. The most beautiful detail of this city is the people who live here, from all over the world. I’ve noticed that some of my dearest friends from both work and church were not born in the U.S. and speak with an accent. Why not ask them for recipes?! We have a plethora of Asian, Indian, African, and Russian markets, just to name a few. I was kind of envious that you had less selection in Tulsa as it makes it easier to determine which to visit. 🙂 I guess I’ll be visiting them all!

    Thank you for all the effort you put into writing and blogging. Thank you for sharing your journey. It has brought such great comfort to my heart. Thank you.

  36. Angela says

    I just finished your book. Thanks for sharing both your love of food and life. I’ve always dreamed of making cooking recipes for each country and your book has inspired that dream again. One of my favourite books.

  37. Electra says

    Sasha, even though you are a young lovely woman, you must be an old soul. Your curiosity and interest in the world cuisine is to be admired. Seldom do I encounter people like you, and when I do, I feel like I traveled to the most mysterious places I never heard of. Keep on doing what you do!

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