Our body is a reflection of what we eat. Jordan Feilders, founder of Cantine California, and his wife Tatiana talk about what they hold dear when it comes to matters of taste and education.
Does your fondness for cooking stem from your childhood?
My mother drew on her Mexican and Californian roots when cooking. When we were little, all the family would eat tacos together. We’d travel the world through the dishes she made. Today, I try to draw on this heritage in what I do. I keep things simple.
Is cooking a means of handing down this cultural heritage to your daughter Sophia ?
I’m American. Tatiana is French and we live in Paris… cooking allows us to mix these cultures. My daughter eats tacos and she loves them! We took her to Mexico when she was very young. At six months, she sat on my knee, looking at all the stalls and breathing in all the new smells. That she enjoys eating different things is very important to me.
Is learning how to take pleasure in eating a fundamental part of the education you wish to give her?
Tatiana and I love good things. That naturally gets passed on. Sofia is very adventurous foodwise. I always used to put pepper in her little pots of baby food. When I wanted to put in less, she’s pick up the pepper mill and add more. I’d met an Indian woman who put chilli pepper in her baby’s food! I think that the more you taste different flavours when you’re little, the more open you’ll be to every sort of cuisine later.
When you launched your Cantine California food truck, you wanted to put good quality organic burgers and tacos made out of local produce on the menu, didn’t you ?
I wanted to make burgers like the ones we had at home. When we prepared a barbecue, we’d go and buy local meat and whip up some
My daughter Sofia is very adventurous foodwise. I’ve always put pepper in her little pots of baby food. When I wanted to put in less, she’d pick up the pepper mill to add more.
great sauces all together. Today, we buy our supplies from the same organic cooperative as we used when we started. It’s in south-west France. I also wanted to serve tacos. I dug into my memories of home-made tacos and college dinners amongst friends. And, into my mother’s recipes, of course…
Burgers are a bit like guilty pleasures for children. Cantine California stops parents feeling guilty, in a way…
A piece of good-quality meat, whose provenance is known, served in a tasty bun made by a local baker, is a fine way of eating a product that, thanks to fast-food outlets, is not “considered” to be good cuisine. At the restaurant, Sofia really gets a kick out of ideal child-size sliders. She loves coming into the kitchen and watching the chefs at work. She really enjoys eating and is curious about food: two qualities I hope she’ll never lose!
Have you any future plans?
With the opening, in early March, of a lodge in Normandy, I want to propose a really convivial table in a cool place in a green environment. Setting off on adventures outside and playing amongst the trees is just brilliant for children. I’d like Sofia to experience this sense of freedom as often as possible. I’ve created this place so that children can experience these moments. The idea is to gather the family around a country table, while the little ones play outside. It’s an inspirational project that goes hand in hand with the family life I’m building…