Inspiring interview: Today's Parent's Eshun Mott
Today’s Parent Magazine has been a Canadian institution for decades, offering parenting tips, advice, news, recipes and inspiration on all things parenting. We’ve been zoning in on the work of Today’s Parent’s Food Editor Eshun Mott for quite some time now. She curates some fantastic food ideas that many of us here at BT have taken into our own homes. Indeed, she’s an inspiring woman and one we wanted to profile here. Enjoy this chat with Eshun Mott, an expert on kid-friendly and family-loved food.
BT: Eshun, tell us how you became the Food Editor at Today’s Parent.
EM: I have been working in the field of recipe development, testing and food styling for over a decade (I worked with Lucy Waverman, Food & Drink Mag, Outpost Mag, House & Home, Canadian Family & Today’s parent as a freelancer). I co-authored a cookbook/parenting book on how to feed your family when you have a picky eater (Whining & Dining, Random House 2007)—a book that came out of my desperation at having a child who wasn’t interested in eating the food I lovingly prepared for him. I worked in restaurants before that, and did a degree in Women’s Studies and English Lit before that.
BT: Sounds like Today’s Parent is a natural fit. What would you say is the best part about your job?
EM: I love cooking and the puzzle of how to make something you think you know simpler and even more delicious than you remember, and convincing parents that they can think beyond chicken fingers and cook and enjoy the foods they love with their families.
BT: Yes, it’s a challenge to not get bogged down by routine but you make it look easy! Can you tell us the best meal tip you’ve come across that has helped in your own family life?
EM: So many little things really, but the big thing at the moment is changing the way I think about the kids’ pickiness—as less a part of who they are and more of just where they are at as they learn to devlop their palate. It’s given me a reason to push them just a little harder to try foods they aren’t interested in – because how can you grow to like something you won’t even try? I try to keep a balance between cooking foods that are familiar and foods that push the envelope a little and that seems to be working for us all.
BT: Can you share a favorite column (that you’ve writted) in the past few months?
EM: My columns are so short that it’s hard to give people as much useful information as I’d like to pass on. In our November issue I was able to tell people about the easy way we often entertain – as very casual joint family meals. I think this might be a new idea for people who think it’s too much work to have friends over for dinner when you have small children.
BT: And finally, where do you go to find meal inspiration?
EM: I love cookbooks! I’m always perusing new ones – though truly, I mostly just read them (I have Nigel Slater’s new book The Kitchen Diaries 2 on my bedside table right now). I get lots of inspiration from magazines and blogs, and try to get out to eat in Toronto’s thriving restaurant scene as often as I can. But sometimes inspiration arrives as a result of some beautiful produce I feel compelled to take home from the grocery store, which I then have to find something to do with it.