The rock-star popularity of such globe-trotting, plate-hopping TV personalities as Andrew Zimmern and Tony Bourdain shows how hungry audiences are for exotic eats. But bringing home the bacon dumplings from a trip to Prague would make your luggage reek. That’s where Aarti Sequeira comes in. The new show “Taste in Translation” (9 p.m. Fridays on the Cooking Channel) has the Indian-American chef (and winner of Season 6 of “The Next Food Network Star”) showing us how to cook a variety of worldly dishes — no passport required.
Where are some of the places we’ll see you go?
We’ll actually go around the world. The purpose of the show is to demonstrate our similarities and differences in food. Food is something that unites us, for instance at celebrations, whether it’s American cake or Honduran arroz con pollo.
What’s the most unusual thing you show audiences how to make on the show?
Janson’s Temptation, this Swedish dish, comes to mind. It’s potatoes, cream, onions and anchovies. Some people might be put off by the anchovies, but they’re pickled, so they dissolve into this sweet, nutty awesomeness. You want to wrap yourself in it!
Are ingredients from foreign cultures tough to find?
It’s becoming easier and easier to find ingredients. Grocery stores have more things, and you can always order your yuzu and Sriracha online.
Is there an ingredient you wish people would try more often?
Kimchi! It’s one of these ancient foods, and it’s good for digestion. It goes with so much.
What’ll be the food trend in 2013?
Korean is one, and regional Mexican food. At-home fermentation, from brewing your own beer to making sauerkraut, will be a trend. People are pickling carrots in their sleep, so it has to be what’s next!
Have Americans become more adventurous eaters?
Yes. Palates are opening up, and people are willing to take little culinary adventures. That’s why I wanted to do a show like this – we frame each episode with a common theme, like snack food, and show people both how Americans do it and, say, the Senegalese do it.
If you were planning a culinary dream trip, where would you go?
I’m split. I’d love to go to Denmark and experience the imaginative food there, both in terms of flavors and how they’re presenting it. And I’d love to go back to Goa in India. I was recently there, and people are really experimenting with food, fusing Indian with Western.
If I eat a dish on vacation and want to make it at home, how do I get the recipe?
Try to ask for it, obviously. And then, it’s a combination between scouring the Internet and experimenting.