The Meaning of Meals. (Episode 198)

The Meaning of Meals. (Episode 198)

This episode is inspired by a conversation I had with a Mexican chef as research for my upcoming book, The World of Creativity.


You can learn a lot about life from Martha Ortiz and she learned a lot about life from food.

Martha grew up in a family where the father was a famous doctor (he did the first kidney transplant in South America) who read a lot, and a mother who was an artist and a cook. The two biggest rooms in their home were the library and the kitchen.


Her parents would have big dinners with artists, intellectuals and other interesting people as guests and little Martha would sit at the table and listen.

It was there she understood that people having meals together is one of the most profound, collective, creative and inspiring things that humans do.

Later in life she became a chef herself, opened her own restaurants on two continents and became a judge on the television cooking competition Top Chef Mexico, amongst many other things.

Martha is passionately conscious about the effect that eating good food together with other people has on us. A person cooking food for herself to eat in solitude has nothing in common with a group of friends coming together to share a meal. The first is about nutrition. The second is about life.

Or, as Martha calls sharing a meal: “It’s a celebration of life! The magic of life!”

Something happens when we share a meal. We all know this. The joy, the togetherness, the sharing. The exchange of humanity.

Or as Martha said it: “Everything happens at the table. Love stories, family drama, business deals. Everything.”

It is the sharing of food with people that makes it magic. And perhaps that is the clue to the magic of all creativity: that it’s shared with others.

Sitting at home and writing a poem that no one else will read is a creative act. But creating with others, or sharing your creativity with others, is a much bigger creative act. The first is about mental nutrition. The second is about life.

We can go so far as to say that creativity is sharing. And life is about sharing our creativity.


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