The Basics of Spirituality

One should not pass over these things, simply saying they are food. They are in reality a complete civilization. –Abdulhak Sinasi, Camlicadaki Enistemiz (1944)

I really like the philosophy and spirituality of the Mevlevi (a Sufi brotherhood which originated in the Seljuq period, under Mevlana Jalaluddin-i Rumi) because the kitchen is central to their philosophy and daily life. Their rituals value the importance of taking time to cook, something we are missing in the modern age. Many of our ancestral rituals, whatever culture we come from, focused around food and cooking. The alchemical mystery of fire, water, air and earth coming together to create something new that nourishes and pleasures our bodies and senses has inspired mystics and poets, around the world, for thousands of years. Food is an aspect of spirituality that we all easily resonate with.

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Kitchen Education Manifesto


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I discovered this, written by a Shaker while I was studying at the Culinary Institute of America. One of the most fantastic aspects of that school is the huge library they have of culinary works from across the centuries. I was writing a paper on the Shakers. When I first read this I got goose bumps and my spine shivered.

Unfortunately the people who are in positions of power currently in our world are generally on pretty bad diets. Couple that with high stress lifestyles and we have a perfect recipe for paranoid, grumpy and negative thinking personalities. Is it really such a good idea to let people like this run our world? The following, written by a Western Plowman and published in The Shaker Manifesto of September of 1883, lays this out in clear language.

Kitchen Education

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Kitchen Community

During the Winter Olympics I helped out at Lazy Gourmet which was very busy catering to French House, General Electric Hosting, Price Waterhouse Coopers, events for the Polish Government, Vanoc, Richard Branson and a bunch of other stuff. Given this line up, and knowing Lazy Gourmet’s reputation as being the best catering in Vancouver, I expected to be working in a high stress environment. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in an easy-going but highly efficient kitchen full of interesting and widely varied people. I realised in the 11 days I spent working there, how much I have missed the special sort of community you get when you cook together.

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