This is one of those times where we really want to be solemn, but it's hard to stay cool, because we are talking about food with Byron Bay caterers, Burbury Wholefoods.
Kinga Csilla's palettes are often inspired by the expressiveness of a lush banquet spread created in honour of a big life moment so obviously we are fascinated with what they do.
In this Q and A we learn a little bit more about the creativity and joy experienced through seasonal east coast food.
(yes! there’s a recipe for this delicious masterpiece)
Can you tell us a tasty story about the mission of Burbury Wholefoods?
Please use the names of as many delicious foods as possible in this story. We insist.
Our mission has always been to connect people to their food. The story behind this wasn’t super tasty at the beginning but has a deliciously sweet ending.
Like many young girls and boys, I struggled with body image, and knowing what food to eat was a constant battle. I would research and go back and forth with different rules and diets that were branded as ‘healthy’ but, for myself, were actually just restrictive.
I was so obsessed with eating minimal food that I became very unwell.
As time went on, the more time I spent with food, the more I learned.
I was lucky enough to work in an organic cafe in Canada that served beautiful collard green wraps filled with local veggies and healing Kitchari- an Ayurvedic digestive meal. This was where I watched people heal themselves with food. By spending each day nourishing others I started to nourish myself and began my own healing.
Slowly I began to view food as an avenue for healing and joy. It was never an easy journey to recovery but I can honestly say I’m here and I’m so happy I made it.
To think that someone with an eating disorder could now be a chef running an organic catering company with the love of her life really shows what turns life can take.
Hence the name of our first cookbook, ‘Anything’s Possible'. If someone who was so scared of food could become a chef with their own food company, I truly believe anything’s possible.
So at the start of retreats that you cater, you talk guests through your food and your ethics. Does it lead to new understandings for some?
About 3 years ago Tom and I started using the time before each meal on retreats to help inspire others. Not only do we want people to enjoy eating our food but we want them to walk away with tips and tricks on how to implement some of these ideas into their daily practice.
During these chats, we mainly talk about connection. Connection to where your food comes from, how important it is to have good ingredients, mindful eating, listening to your body, and sustainability.
We really believe this inspires others. We often receive messages and emails from guests saying they have changed how they think about food and how they now find so much joy in the whole process of food - from sourcing to plate. It brings me to tears these messages. If we can impact someone to create small changes that will positively impact their lives and the earth, we’ve done what we set out to do.
Creative experimentation clearly permeates your whole range of services - so we want to know about the styling, the ceramics, the line drawings that add so much personality to your web presence.
Seems like you're bringing a love of art and style into this!...
Thank you so much. We really believe it’s important in any business to nail the details. I studied art at uni so I notice how brands represent themselves visually. Our styling has changed and emerged as the business has grown. Just with anything in life it took time and research to really find our own individual style.
We love teaming up with amazing local ceramicists, photographers, and videographers who we believe add personality to our brand. It’s been an important lesson to understand the value of supporting others who in exchange support you in your growth.
Weddings present a fantastic opportunity to put a creative foot dramatically forward and start the peak joyful vibes.
What does it feel like to cook for celebration and exuberance?
This is what we love about weddings. It’s such a special day and to be a part of someones’ dream is such an honour. We’ve been lucky to have couples who trust us enough to let our creative juices run wild.
It’s also an opportunity to reduce our impact. Weddings, especially the food side, have a heavy-hitting environmental footprint, generating large amounts of waste specifically. We take a lot of pride in reducing this.
So really the feelings behind cooking and being a part of someone's wedding are usually a mixture of high energy, privilege, and pride.
It can be a new step to take off to a retreat, as a kind of holiday that aligns participants with a particular shared purpose or learning curve.
For those of us who have never been, can you talk us through how your cooking compliments their experience?
All retreats are different and when it comes to the food, we work with the hosts to complement the overall experience. For example, a meditation retreat in winter would have foods that are warming and grounding such as root vegetable curries with spices like cardamom and ginger.
This same thought of flowing and adapting what you eat is important in home kitchens as well. We often eat the same meals each week, rotating through our staples, not adapting to what’s going on in your life, your cycle, the season, etc. Life is constantly changing so it's important for your food to complement this.
For example, oranges are in season in winter which is when our immune system is down as our bodies are trying to keep warm. Oranges contain vitamin C to keep that immunity up. It is important to flow and change your food with your environment. Just as it is important for us to change what we serve at a retreat to work with what’s going on with our guests' bodies. Helping guests feel grounded, comfortable, and well looked after.
For those of us who rely on the industrial grid, what is one daily favour we can do for ourselves - in terms of conscious consumption - to eat better?
Our first suggestion would be mindfulness. Before every meal and while cooking we try to remember the many hands, energy, and resources that went into creating the food we are about to eat. We have found taking this moment helps us experience this simple everyday necessity more profoundly. Connecting to your food in a conscious manner unveils the romance all around it, from a smile from your local farmer at the markets to a table full of hungry loved ones.
By taking a few minutes before you eat to be present with your food, you are preparing your body. Just before you are about to eat something really delicious you have most likely noticed yourself beginning to salivate – that is step one of your digestion. When we eat in a rush, we miss out on this initial response.
That is why we can suggest, next time you sit down to eat, taking a moment to stop what you are doing, put down your phone, turn off the television, walk away from the computer, and try to be present with your food.
Have a go at the simple meditation below, taking a few breaths to foster some motivation to get in the kitchen and enjoy cooking up a storm.
- Insecurities around food
- Expectations in the kitchen
- Judgment of what you eat
1. Creativity with healthy food 2. Self-belief in your cooking abilities 3. Joy even when the dishes may not work
If you could share a meal with us right now, what would we eat?
Thank you Tash and Tom , you've been so generous with us today!
Kinga readers we're paying Tash and Tom's kindness forward and including a fridge-door-friendly recipe card with all online orders through the month of September.