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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

For storyteller Natasha Samreny, multicultural family dinners set the table for a comedy career

Multicultural food on a table

Natasha Samreny recalls cross-cultural family dinners and her attempts in the school cafeteria to trade tabouli for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Listen to the episode

For storyteller and comedian Natasha Samreny, her multicultural upbringing is a source of endless inspiration.

Born in Maryland, the “military brat” spent most of her childhood in Panama and Germany. She spent her adolescence in Tampa, where her parents still live. Natasha recently moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she works as marketing and communications director for a theater.

Family dinners were a boisterous, hours-long affair with Natasha, her parents and three sisters. The menu reflected her parents’ backgrounds. Her mom is from Quito, Ecuador; her dad is of Italian and Lebanese descent.

In this conversation, Natasha shares stories from her multicultural upbringing; describes her favorite Ecuadorian, Italian and Lebanese foods; and offers advice for parents of budding comedians.

"I host a food podcast" is a great icebreaker at parties.