Updated: Jul 19, 2018
A workshop without recipes. But plenty of ingredients.
What a feast we had. Loose instructions were given to create a dish or more, from the ingredients in sight. Participants were advised to go with ingredients they were drawn to, and prepare something big/small for the group to share.
Some wanted to create a dish they knew, others wanted to assist, and many were curious to freestyle from scratch.
I was told to run an Indian cooking workshop, but my sense wanted something a little different, it was more towards connecting with ingredients, feeling food, and flowing. I gently explained to the group of 30 that this will be a slightly different session... We began with a meditation, and then had a wonder around the ingredients. The unimpressed slightly pissed off expressions around me made me feel quite uneasy. I waited in silence for any responses to this process, soon one women stood out and said, “I want to work with the pumpkin” another “me too" by the time they reached the pumpkin other voices sounded. One by one people went over to their starting point, connected with others, and explored possibilities. Eyes widened, senses awakened. The excitement of no recipe was kicking in, filling the room with a joy of children playing.
An hour later the calm of the kitchen had transformed into a rippling chaos. Dishes travelled far with their wonderful scents, and cheeky tastes were well on their way. On top of the table, they appeared dish after dish, cornbread with lavender, avocado soup, pineapple chutney, smoked veg, curious curries, and more.
Surrounded by a sea of smiles, we took a moment to sing and chant before we dined together.
Feeling satisfied and proud with our creations the group exchanged notions of relief and trust in their senses. This process of cooking was filled with discovery, letting go, and collaboration. With no technique to follow and space to improvise the journey from ingredients to dish, a playful and loose environment could emerge. I noticed how during one experience many layers of an individual could be touched. Confidence to try something new, faith in scenes, knowledge of ingredients, letting go and having fun all at once. What stood out most for me was how this cooking workshop gave an understanding and experience of flow - a trust in the process whatever the outcome.