Finding Magic at Matthew Kenney Culinary Thailand
Born in India and raised in Hong Kong, New York and London, Kanch has spent her life exploring and learning. After a successful career in fashion Kanch devoted herself to studying health, and healing her body, mind and soul through food. She uses her extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, preventive health and dietary theories to help people make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results. Kanch is a Matthew Kenney Culinary Thailand alumni.
The memory of getting on a plane to Thailand for 4 weeks repeats on my mind as freshly as if it were yesterday. Mixed with a range of emotions; from anxiety to leaving behind my husband, to guilt for not working until the New Year, and a bit of nervousness to taking our little man of 16 months to a new environment for a long period of time. Some part of me could not believe this was real, after a year of saving, planning and coordinating with family to help, it was time to go live the dream.
My journey into the raw food world and clean eating began about 5 years ago. I came to realize after some years in a high thrill fashion career that I spent a good part of the last years in and out of doctor’s offices, over-worked, stressed out, low on energy, in pain and had just lost my way. That is when I started experimenting with raw foods, clean eating and yoga, eventually healing and finding myself again. Soon after I decided it was time for a change and on took becoming a certified holistic health coach.
Fast forward to last year, it was January 2015 and wanting to advance my skills, it was time to take my raw experimenting to another level. After all it was complimentary to my coaching, and so I signed onto Level 1 MKC in Hua Hin, Thailand. This was really perfect as it’s only a 2.5 hour flight from my home in Hong Kong, and full of palm trees, sea and sand.
Our first day started off with receiving manuals, chef suits and meeting instructors and classmates. One of my favorite parts was when we were asked what each of us came here to learn and wanted to take away from the course. My mission was to transition from a home chef to a more professional level, learn new techniques and become familiar with the ins and outs of how a professional kitchen is run.
Week one covered the basics of raw and knife skills – although knife skills were not my favorite I understand the importance of it in the culinary world, and towards day five of chopping it became an almost meditative activity. Week two’s highlight was ice cream making and the use of the fabulous Pacojet machine. In week three came cheese making, with the project to create our own cheese plates. And before you know it was week four, this week we were planning, making and experimenting with our own three-course menu. My menu was inspired by my Indian roots. It was a fun challenge of trying to re-create some traditional Indian dishes.
My magic moment appeared in week four. It was time for a one on one chat with the instructors about feedback and a general overview. It struck me that my creative passion had transformed from fashion to food and it was clear that I wanted to be in the back creating, experimenting and making beautiful, tasty, clean food. At some point during the conversation I remember feeling goose bumps and just being so grateful for the experience. …what’s next, scheming, plotting, planning for level two.
I’ll leave you with some food for thought:
Food is love,
Food is freedom,
Food is my expression of creativity,
The kitchen is my meditative space
And on the table I share my alma (soul) with you.
Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well.