Some years ago, I remember someone told me, “Oh, You Don’t Have To Be A Fancy Chef To Nourish Your Family.” And I must agree with that statement.
The first person that now comes to my mind is my friend Donna. She is not a chef but an amazing, creative artist who plays with food and makes wonderful creations. I believe this for any of my friends, as I know that they also prepare amazing dishes to nourish their families.
Actually, I believe that all of you can make epic meals that your family and friends will love. But I also know that some of you need just a bit of confidence to turn into a ‘fancy chef’, or if you prefer non-fancy chef, who prepares mind-blowing meals.
Well, you can first start with a couple of cookbooks. After many years of cooking, I still have my cookbooks in the kitchen.
But what I noticed working and talking with you guys is that what one actually needs is a mentor. What inspires me is that I feel like I’m your mentor at home. That was my idea when I created the online cooking classes. I wanted to give you an opportunity to feel like you can actually not only just achieve it but execute a dish at the end of the day.
That’s what we do here at our retreats. Last time at our PRAXIS retreat, we had around 28 people. Most of the participants who join us at these retreats are in their 40s, but the last time, our youngest participant was a 7-year-old boy and the oldest was a couple in their late 60s.
When you just think about it, it is amazing that there is this huge generation gap, but on the other side, we are all connected by the food we prepare here. And I just love these retreats because so many different people, so many different energies are gathered at one spot around the same reason.
I see these people reading recipes carefully and engaging themselves so much while preparing a lot of different dishes. We actually prepare a dinner together and then we all get to eat together, which is awesome. What I love about food is that it has this power to connect people, relax them and make them friends, and that’s epic.
While they are preparing dishes, I like to go from one to another and have a chat with everybody. I want them to have this feeling like they are at home and I’m just there to encourage them and make them truly believe that they can do this.
I came to understand that some people just need this kind of a “push” to make wonderful things. But this is not a learning opportunity only for them.
When we have these chats, it’s not like a shaming or a judging moment. Instead, it’s about supporting each other to create at least one or two dishes during the 5-day retreat here. During this 5 days together, we usually manage to try out and prepare around 20 different dishes. What makes me feel good is that I see that for them it is a kind of a relief to have me around.
Also, it helps them reach that level of confidence when they are at ease when they cook. What I learned on these retreats is how it feels like to be someone’s mentor. Knowing that people appreciate what you do, that they are “hungry” for knowledge about cooking, and knowing that they consider you an important part of it, that’s just an amazing feeling I’m grateful for.
During these retreats, we don’t follow any trends, we don’t do any superfood ISM thing; we are just people who enjoy food and who gather to naturally make food and eat it.
What I love about you guys at home is this idea that I know that out of 7 days and 35 meal occasions a week, there is one dish that you mastered so well. Even if this is as simple as eggs on toast or almond butter and bread, I’m proud to be part of that.
I’m proud to be part of your space, to be in your inbox, and to talk to you guys. Some of you will maybe join us at one of our retreats, some will buy my online cooking classes, but in order to bring out those master culinary skills, you don’t have to be a fancy chef.
Cooking is just a relaxing thing we enjoy knowing that we serve all our organs in the body and that we nourish our families, and that is just awesome. Remember to add #love to each and every dish to give it that magic touch.
With love from my kitchen to yours,
Chef Cynthia xx
Chef Cynthia Louise is an Internationally acclaimed MasterChef, speaker, author, restaurant consultant, teacher and television presenter in wholefood, dairy-free cooking. She also has the worlds first online cooking classes focused on dairy-free plant-based whole foods with recipes that people are raving about and changing people's health, one delicious bite at a time. Chef Cynthia loves nothing more than educating people about the simplicity and vitality of a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle. Each dish is like art on a plate and her flavour combinations nourish the soul and get everyone talking.