Advanced Retreat Chef Training – Becoming The Sensory Chef

May 1st – 8th 2021, France

Taking retreat catering to the next level, we are excited to launch the second stage to our popular Retreat Chef Training programme.

This course is open to a maximum of 12 participants, with some experience working as retreat chefs.

We invite you to come with your sleeves rolled up, ready to get stuck in to the kitchen and create an abundance of recipes, in addition to learning new techniques and skills.

Achieve balance and harmony through all that you do, to cook meals that leave people feeling amazing. 

Join us for this unique course in France and deeply explore what makes you the best retreat chef you can be. 

Come and learn with our retreat experts skilled in catering for a wide variety of retreats, to;

be flexible:

adapt to the current demands of the growing retreat industry and be versatile in supporting a diversity of retreat types with your food.

be holistic:

harness the six essential principles of taste, sight, touch, sound, smell, and awareness that – when combined through your own unique skill – create vibrant, energetic, delicious meals that perfectly serve and enhance the lessons and themes of the retreat facilitators, while also delighting their guests.

be supported:

through small group coaching sessions that work with you to identify blockages and create a masterplan for your business, plus a bonus one to one after care package with your facilitators.

This course includes:

  • Study sessions: based around balancing the six principles of colour, taste, texture/touch, smell, sound/listening, awareness
  • Daily Plant Based Holistic Cookery Classes:
  • Tasks and projects set by the facilitators
  • Exploration of the sattvic ‘yogi diet’ and how to create incredible meals that adhere to the these principles
  • How to up your game when it comes to catering for allergies, intolerances and specific dietary needs
  • Practical, interactive and reflective coaching sessions: the philosophy and ethics of ‘who we are’ as retreat chefs in service
  • Daily Yoga, Qi Gong, Movement or Meditation: this approach encourages deep inner listening, self enquiry, strengthening connections and opening our perception
  • Presenting tea ceremonies and create a range of drinks and elixirs that take your menus to another level
  • Food Sadhana & conscious kitchen practices: evoking ancient wisdom around food preparation
  • Massage  (1 treatment per person included)
  • All accommodation, local transfer, food, drinks, snacks and tuition
  • Abundant gift pack, complete course notes and recipes


  • In addition to the personal action plan that you will have assistance creating during this week, we are offering an additional 60 minute Skype mentoring session per person to follow up on your progress. This is to be taken within 3 months of the end of the course.
  • Get first pickings of the jobs and work opportunities that get offered out through HKA

Venue & Accommodation:
Your venue for this retreat is the stunning Domaine de Mournac.

With panoramic views of the Pyrenees and a quiet rural location, this 12th Century stone coachhouse offers a perfect place to retreat.

The house is renovated to a high standard, with yoga studio and heated outdoor pool.

The surrounding countryside provides plenty of opportunity to walk, trek to the top of Mont Sec or just enjoy exploring nature. This area is also a prolific wine producing region and there will be an opportunity to enjoy some organic local produced wines during the retreat.

Carcassonne is the closest airport. Toulouse is also another option a little further away. We will provide a transfer to and from Toulouse.

The nearest train station is Couiza-Montazels. The nearest mainline station is Carcassonne.

Why Train With The Holistic Kitchen Academy?

Our facilitators are passionate about the retreat environment and how food is a fundamental part of the retreat experience.

We have been participating in, organising and cooking for retreats for many years and have a deep understanding of how it works.

We created the first ever official Retreat Chef Training, that we are aware of, back in 2015.

Since then we have hosted 7 trainings, in 4 different countries and had over 80 students pass through our retreat kitchens.

Some of those students have been on the course twice they loved it so much, or have joined us for other courses.

Many students are now working the retreat circuit and we continue to offer our support through providing job opportunities, networking and mentoring.

Your HKA Course Leaders

Hayley North
Hayley has dedicated the past 15 years to refining the art of holistic cooking within the unique and transformative environment of retreats. During this time she has cooked for a wide range of retreats worldwide and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to these trainings.

Hayley’s journey in retreats began as a regular participant many years ago, which in turn led her to become curious and explore further the role of nutrition and food energetics in this arena.

In addition to retreat catering for clients, Hayley has facilitated, hosted, taught and created many retreats of her own or in collaboration with others. She has also lived in retreat centres in Goa, Italy and Portugal.

Kate Allen
Kate has spent her life running and teaching diverse projects that focus on connecting people to a gentler world; through growing, creating wildlife havens, cooking and eating with vibrant, real, single ingredients.

She has cooked for thousands and for one in settings ranging from retreats, people’s homes, and refugee camps. Her passion for the retreat setting comes from a love of the liminal experience of creating transformative spaces, and she firmly believes in the role that food has in creating that magic.

Kate finds her own connection to the natural world and to wild things through cooking, fermenting, and foraging. Plants for her create a personal medicine and a wisdom of belonging.


Booking, Terms & Conditions:

This retreat is open to 12 experienced participants.

A deposit of £500 is required to secure a place on the course.
The deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Please note: We are a small organisation. Whilst we understand that sometimes things happen and cancellations occur, every cancellation has a wider impact on our team and the retreat group.

The final balance can only be returned in full if the participant cancelling is able to find a replacement.

Investment Into Yourself

The final price depends on your choice of accommodation:

Double Room (double bed, sole occupancy, private bathroom) – £1785
Twin Room (two single beds, shared bathroom) – £1585
Twin Room (three single beds, shared bathroom) – £1385

Please use the link below to reserve your space.

Balance payments are due in two stages once the deposit has been made.
Part 1 – 50% of remaining balance, due 180 days prior to retreat start date.
Part 2 – Remaining 50%, due 90 days prior to retreat start date.

The combined knowledge, wisdom and creativity of Hayley, Jo and Kate is phenomenal, they are extremely professional, generous and gracious. I left with a renewed sense of purpose, creativity as well as deep calm! 

Kate Bouverie, Canterbury, UK

Retreat Chef Training & Going Deeper Student

I have so much gratitude for the teachings I have received. The focus on self-care gave me much to take away to put into practice and I felt very nourished, very inspired and very happy to have spent a week with such wonderful teachers and group of people.

Claire Louise-Nobbs, Brighton, UK

Retreat Chef Training & Going Deeper Student

The knowledge that Hayley, Jo and Kate bring to this 7 day course is invaluable. The study sessions were carefully thought out and allowed for Q&A and as the group size had been kept small, we could delve deeper into our own personal understanding. It has definitely inspired me to continue with my own personal learning.

Liz Carr, Southend-on-Sea, UK

Going Deeper Student

The teachers of this course all have a language for how they feel and experience food, the energy within and behind it. This has given me a deeper permission to speak and start to write about the magical world of plants and energy that nourishes us.  The unique flavour of each teachers experiences deeply enhanced the quality of the material they offered. The “Going Deeper” retreat will forever remain in my heart.

Susan Caniglia, California USA

Going Deeper Student

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