‘What the kitchen means to me’ BY TURIYA WARMAN

 

In the garden, we need sun, water and the earth to grow plants, it is the same for our body/mind, we need to balance.

FullSizeRender-2-e1488381836923

Though originally from Newcastle, Turiya has spent the last 10 years either living in Scotland or travelling the world. After offering service in the kitchens of yoga centres and ashrams, reverence and devotion became key to her cooking. She is influenced by Ayurveda, Microbiotics and the natural healing properties of food. Expect to eat hearty, healthy and beautiful dishes cooked with love and attention.     

 

The kitchen is the place I feel most alive. It is both the comforting warmth of a freshly made soup and the blazing fire of the oven. It is life and death dancing together in the pot. When I’m cooking I can feel the pulse of life/death/life moving through me from my heart and I burn wild. When I say I cook with love, it’s literally all I can do, as I feel my heart exhilarated by the creation, the assimilation of all my life force, with the vegetables, the water and the fire, all of nature joining together to feed health.

I remember as a child finding the kitchen to be my friend. I loved to spend time making cakes, bread and especially a family Sunday roast, which is a weekly fixture here at Newbold. My special job was to make the gravy, it was me the fire and some idea of gravy perfection that I had in my mind. Over the years I have had to face the demon of perfectionism (and many others!) and I find the most powerful place to do so is in the kitchen. 

For a time I was managing a kitchen in an Ashram in Guatemala, where work/life/service merge into one breath. My life was standing in the fire and having Mother Kali burn my vasanas (tendencies). When I realised the power of this sadhana (spiritual practice) I knew this was what I have to do, this was my swadharma (action in accordance with nature). I made a vow to serve and the greatest gift I can give others is food. People often ask me if I can write a recipe book and I honestly don’t know where to begin. My cooking comes from somewhere else, when I surrender and let go of the ‘me’ in the cooking, when I flow and dance with the ingredients, I create something beautiful, but it is realising there is no ‘I’ in that creation that makes it beautiful.

10882098_1008639062483877_9097715007665157130_n

My current passion is Ayurveda, having studied philosophy, yoga and then cooking healthy, vegetarian food, it’s no surprise India’s holistic system of health would spark my imagination! Everyday my understanding grows deeper, as I see the world in energy, interconnecting and constantly flowing. It is divine perfection. What I love the most is that we each take responsibility for our state of being, and with that we can regain balance of our system. In the garden, we need sun, water and the earth to grow plants, it is the same for our body/mind, we need to balance our energies (doshas) so we can flourish. 

The kitchen is my place of worship, where I can encounter God in creation. For me this means using organic ingredients and a strictly vegetarian kitchen. When I think about the desperate state of our oceans, our woodland and our dependency on agriculture, I feel privileged to be in a position where I can ignite change and bring awareness to the need for a radical shift in our perception about consumption of food. At Newbold we have a stunning organic, walled garden, producing incredible abundance of sweet fruits and fresh vegetables. In times where we have to fight to keep organic food organic, I feel so blessed to walk out to the garden and take fresh spinach and duck eggs, with no added chemicals, a rare thing indeed. With this in mind I see it as my duty to regift our abundance and create food from my heart, I do this with absolute respect and humbleness, that any moment it could be taken from us. Here we hang in the cycle of life/death/life, without reverence for Mother Natures gifts, there might not be another harvest.

IMG_4349

For all those coming to Newbold my wish for you is that you walk in the garden and feel the love growing, hear the wind in the trees and a distant buzz from the bee hives, and find that moment of stillness in the peace garden. Then come into the house for your supper and taste the same love, for it truely is the greatest gift, life giving, health giving, love.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s