Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Misha Collins
Raised by a single mom, "Supernatural" actor, philanthropist and author Misha Collins remembers how hard his mother worked to make sure there was food on the dinner table, even when they were homeless and living off food stamps. "My mom always found a way for us to eat meals together," says Collins, who resides with his own family in the Pacific Northwest. "We were poor enough that my little brother and I understood how lucky we were to have the food we had and appreciated it accordingly. Collins and his wife, Vicki, recently published "The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime" (HarperOne, $29.99) to promote delicious and healthy eating. Stay in touch with Collins on Twitter (https://twitter.com/mishacollins), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/officialmisha/), Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/misha/) and his website (https://www.adventurouseatersclub.com/).
Q. What do you look for when you are in a new city and want to enjoy a family meal out?
A. We do our best to hide the kids' menu and order from the regular menu. We order a few items and share, family style. We always try to get a few items the kids are familiar with so they aren't totally overwhelmed by an onslaught of new foods, but we also put on our adventurous eaters hats and try something new together.
Q. Was there any kind of food you thought you didn't like, until you ate it somewhere else?
A. I've got a pretty strong stomach, but I've had a few experiences where what I thought the food was like isn't what the real, authentic experience is. For instance, I was lukewarm at best on Scandinavian food when I had it at a certain big-box retailer, but when I went to Iceland a few years ago, I discovered they have some delicious food. In fact, I'm contemplating opening up a drive-thru hákarl chain here in America. I think its time has come.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. We took a family trip to Alaska this summer and it was incredible. We spent most of our time with our friends -- a native Alaskan family -- and they put us to work. We fished for various types of salmon, cut down alder branches to smoke the salmon, we learned to filet salmon, we hung it to dry to turn into a salmon jerky. We picked salmonberries and made salmonberry jam. It was a real salmon-obsessed vacation, now that I think about it. But we really got invested in the food production process in this tiny town in Alaska and it's such a big part of the culture there, so it was rewarding and enriching to be welcomed into the way of life of the locals.
Q. When children see where food comes from and how it's prepared, they sometimes have a better appreciation for it. Do you think it would be helpful if schools incorporated cooking classes into their curriculum?
A. Yes! I'm so glad you're asking me this, because it's something (Vicki and I are) both passionate about. I'm grateful that our kids have learned to cook with whole foods like yams in their school, but many schools don't have that kind of cooking experience. That's part of why we're using our author profits from the book to support innovative food programs like the Whatcom Farm to School Fund, which aims to help kids make healthy eating choices early on, and the Garden School Foundation, which works with Title I schools to connect children to fresh food from seed to plate by getting kids involved in planting, cooking and eating. We're also supporting Edible Schoolyard, the program started by Alice Waters, which develops curriculum to help give kids healthy food access and education from Pre-K through high school. Vicki and I feel healthy food is a right, not a privilege.
Q. Where is the most romantic destination?