Why is Chef coaching so important?
A huge part of our Indian culture across various communities that reside in India lies in creating the most amazing, wholesome and nutritious food from our kitchens. While most women take a very active part in this process, a large percentage of the Indian population relies on the cooking done by their kitchen help.
This means we need to become more conscious, especially in the current times on how our kitchen help/chefs are cooking for us. The Macrobiotic lineage is very strong on cooking to heal yourself or your family. This is why in my nutritional counselling session; I meet with the domestic chef of the person who has the ailment and the spouse (especially if the person with the ailment is not cooking). We term them as ‘primary care-givers;’ someone who will be in-charge of the person who has an ailment and his foods during the healing process, since we are using ‘food as medicine.’My Chef coaching program or Chef Cooking class program was designed to train domestic kitchen help and Chefs.
We are lucky in India that we have people who are willing to work for us and we can also train them to suit our needs and also cater to the different likes and dislikes of our family members. When I work with using ‘food as medicine’ and train anyone in the kitchen to do the same; the information needed is very different from regular day-to-day cooking.
What does Chef training involve?
- I focus not only on what basic food groups are, meal plans that will be needed and ingredients that will be used for a person’s healing.
- A trip is made to the market to acquaint the Chef with vegetables, dry grains, millets and lentils, whole beans and other ingredients that a Chef may not be aware off.
- Superfoods that will be used for healing are explained with preparations that are demonstrated.
- Cooking methods that need to be used are different for each health condition,and the ones specifically needed for a person’s healing are taught.
- The Chefsare taught how not to use high-heat when cooking, yet retaining the flavour of the dish being prepared.
- Attention is drawn to the use of too much salt and oil and spices.
- A training on different ingredients that can be put into different preparations is explained.
- Quantities of each ingredient that are needed to make food delicious and tasty are looked at.
- How to achieve the right balance of foods to make a wholesome meal is taught.
- We work on mock menu plans, and training is imparted on a plan with different cuisines over a week.
- Training is imparted on how to use dairy-free, sugar-free, refined food-free, preservative-free cooking across all cuisines; cooking with natural sauces and not bottled and processed foods.
- Certain principles of Macrobiotic cooking are also passed on –
- Cooking from the ‘hara’ that is the second chakra where we give all the energy from to whatever we do, and our creativity stems from here as well.
- Being grounded when we cut and chop vegetables, i.e., stand firm and be centered with all our energies focused on the task of creating that perfect meal.
- How to create harmonious ‘energy’ when cooking, by cleaning the work area and keeping hygiene in-mind.
These are the finer nuances of a healing chef. This is why the Macrobiotic Chef cooking program becomes so special and unique.