What Samin Nosrat Hopes Viewers Will Take Away From Waffles + Mochi - Exclusive

The new kids cooking show on Netflix, Waffles+Mochi, has already caught the eye of many. While there are so many facets of the show that are impressive, Mashed spoke exclusively with American chef, author, and Waffles+Mochi guest Samin Nosrat to find out what she hopes viewers will take away from the series.

"I think for me, probably the most special thing about this show is something that I almost hope people don't even consciously notice, which is there was an extraordinary amount of work and conscious decision making that went in, on the part of the people making the show, to put people in front of and behind the camera and stories on screen that represent the broadest possible part of humanity. That in my eyes, in my mind, to my mind, has never happened in food television certainly, and I'm not an expert in kids' television, but it's a really, really extraordinary thing," Nosrat shared. While one of the biggest takeaways for her is something she hopes you won't notice too much, it's certainly something worth applauding.

The inclusivity is outstanding

The beauty of the inclusivity of Waffles+Mochi is that it includes not only a variety of cultures and cuisines, but it also includes and celebrates people with all kinds of different skills and abilities. "As a member of the food world... after the year that we've had, this is a really healing and special thing. So when I think about the kids who are going to watch this and see themselves reflected on screen and see kimchi be celebrated — a food that I know I have a lot of friends who were made fun of for having in their lunchboxes or smelling like — and they're going to see people who look like them," Nosrat said.

The chef and author continued, "I was watching the show with some friends and their kids a couple weeks ago, and I wasn't even thinking about it, but my friend's kid, one of her sons is hearing impaired, and we were watching the first episode and Waffles and Mochi go to Mozzeria, which is run by and entirely staffed by deaf cooks. Afterward, my friend was like, she turned to me and she said, 'That's amazing for him to see that on screen. It's just the most incredible thing.'"

Inclusion was also a given

While Nosrat was so happy to see the show appeal to such a wide audience, it was the ease of the inclusion that really makes it a huge takeaway for viewers too. "It was just completely just matter of fact... I was watching the episode where Waffles and Mochi get in the Magicart to go meet Preeti and Magicart says, 'We're going to meet Preeti Mistry, they...' It's like no big deal, they're just using 'they' pronoun[s] for Preeti, just no big deal. Those are all really careful choices. I really hope that this sets a new standard for food television, for children's television, for all television, for storytelling."

Chef Nosrat continued, "to me, this is the most extraordinary part of the show. It's the most powerful thing it does, it's changed something in me to see that it's possible to be part of something like this. What was amazing was to see the entire team from the very beginning, from top to bottom, cared about this. So it wasn't this thing that anybody had to fight for, it was just part of it, so that it freed all of our creative energy to just be the most creative people we could possibly be."

Finally, Nosrat pointed out this isn't just for kids watching. "So I hope that happens for people, that it's just overwhelmingly amazing, and I think it will surprise people, because I think people think it's for three-year-old's and it's not. It's for a lot of people, it's for a very, very broad range of people," she said.

Let kids help and learn

Another lesson to be taken from the show is that kids should be allowed to help and learn in the kitchen. For example, Nosrat spoke about her neighbor Mia, who was also in the first episode. "She just is so curious in the kitchen and that's a really big part of her learning about food is getting to be part of the experience."

Nosrat also believes food for children should include more flavor. "Frankly, if you're just going to boil some Brussels sprouts and put them on a plate and expect your kids to eat them, nobody wants to eat that, adults don't want to eat that, it doesn't taste good... Make it with butter or make it with garlic, make it with salt, make it taste good, make it taste just as good as you would for yourself. Involve them in the process, let them have their hands in the garden, let them have their hands in the kitchen. Because I think when I've seen kids be involved in the process, they're a lot more invested in the result," Nosrat explained.

That's why she took this approach in her segment of Waffles+Mochi. "Maybe it's a low blow calling it tomato candy, but they are really sweet. They're delicious little flavor explosions in your mouth. It was truly a magical day of mega, mega flavor and I think people of all ages will be really excited to try that dish," Nosrat added.

Find chef and author Samin Nosrat, along with other respected chefs and celebrities, on Waffles+Mochi, streaming now on Netflix.