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Retreat Chef Training: 
April 20th-27th 2024, France

Our popular programme is open to anyone currently working as a retreat chef, venue owner, course leader, or anyone about to embark on a retreat career.

While this is not a retreat, during this week you are invited into the heart of a retreat setting, to develop kitchen skills and recipes that create extraordinary, unforgettable food.

You will explore the finer intricacies of how a menu can perfectly support and align with the flow and focus of each retreat day, in a way that both enhances the profound lessons and experiences for guests, whilst supporting the aims of the retreat facilitators.

Retreat chef training takes you on a journey that showcases food as not ‘separate’ from the retreat, but an integral part of it; with the chef as a crucial part of the retreat team.

This course will open your understanding to the consider the three foundational and essential
pillars of retreat cooking:

Creativity: giving life to the nutrition, balance and flavour of your food.

Creativity determines your style, intuition and confidence as a retreat chef; taking your menus beyond excellent taste into the realm of inspirational, vital, and nourishing masterpieces.

Ingenuity: underpining your skill sets and the foundations that define your working practice.

Ingenuity emerges as you build a foundation of consistent individual confidence and a skill set that is flexible to different circumstances and demands.

Efficiency: powers essential good business models that elevate your professional service.

Efficiency is what will set you apart from other retreat chefs by creating a structure of excellence around your work that protects you and your clients while defining you as a valuable and dependable team member.

Over 7 days the Retreat Chef Training provides:

  • hands-on and interactive cookery classes: creating breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks and drinks, including trips to markets and sourcing local produce 
  • practical workshops introducing working with food energetics, crafting your own style, key chef and kitchen skills, being an organised and efficient chef, menu planning to reflect differing retreat content and themes
  • study sessions on food industry practices, ethical sourcing, business and admin methods, kitchen and time management
  • personal self care with yoga and qi gong classes, meditation sessions, and cultivating time and nourishment for self
  • compliance with safer food regulations essentials of working with allergies, intolerances and special dietary needs.
  • inspirational skills to create inspirational gluten, dairy and sugar free plant-based dishes
  • networking opportunities with other chefs and event creators

And you will leave with:

  • a suite of resources including a copy of our comprehensive Retreat Chef Training Toolkit, with course notes, recipes, pro forma shopping lists and budget management tools
  • a sense of achievement certification of attendance
  • a community through invitation to our online community of retreat chefs with access to work opportunities


Holistic Kitchen Academy are the leaders and pioneers of Retreat Chef Training courses. 

From Rome and the Portuguese Alentejo coast to Dartmoor in the UK, we have graduated over 70 students through this course. Many of whom are out dazzling the retreat world with their unique gifts in the kitchen.

Our approach goes beyond food and menus; what we have to share is unique and encompasses a gentle ethic of connective ways of living and working. 

Together, we bring together decades of intensive experience working across diverse and rewarding settings in the food industry, as well as teaching: ranging from running cafes, pop up supper clubs, catering for large events, festivals and hundreds of retreats, working with children and teenagers, recipe development for books, spa resorts and hotels, to working in refugee camp kitchens.

Our kitchen practices are interwoven with long-term personal practices of yoga, meditation, and a heartfelt kinship with all life. 

It is our sincere belief that a ‘teacher’s’ purpose is to share what they have experienced, to empower the student toward a place of self-trust.

The week will be guided by Hayley North and Kate Allen. 

We are very excited to be hosting our next chef training at Manoir Mouret in Andillac, France. Please visit to find out more about the venue.

An optional transfer service is included in the price, from and to Toulouse airport. Alternatively there is a shuttle and train service where we can arrange pick up from the local station.

On booking we can assist you further with travel arrangements.

The total fee for this course depends on your accommodation choice. There are two options available.

Double Room (sole occupancy) – with king or superking bed, en suite bathroom – £1495

Twin Shared Room – with en suite bathroom – £1295

The price is inclusive of all tuition, accommodation, food and drinks, optional transfer from Toulouse.

You can pay in full, or secure your booking with a deposit of £350.

If choosing a deposit, the remaining amount will be divided into 3 instalments due at the latest: 1st of December 2023, 1st February 2024 and 1st March 2024.


In the event that Holistic Kitchen Academy needs to cancel this course because of government regulations, not enough participants or simply not being able to have the retreat in France at this venue for whatever reason, Holistic Kitchen Academy will refund your deposit within one week, and the remainder of your payment within 6 weeks.

In the event that you need to cancel within less than 4 weeks before the start date of the retreat, Holistic Kitchen can not refund. We wish we could, but costs were made by now, and in this time span it will be difficult to find a replacement. No exceptions, sorry.

There are no refunds for arriving late, leaving the retreat early, flight cancellations, travel delays or illness.

Any refunds due to cancellations before the four weeks leading to the start date will incur a 5% processing fee on the full total of your booked cost, minus the deposit.

We strongly encourage you to take out travel insurance to cover the costs of possible cancellation or illness.

A full nourishing experience on so many levels. The teachers have an amazing amount of knowledge, shared generously and professionally, with warmth and ease. Anyone with an interest in food and retreats would benefit from attending this training.

Carol Möllebo

Wellbeing Events & Retreat Organiser/Host, Sweden

We were located in paradise, supported by such lovely warm hearted guides. I am leaving beyond inspired and reconnected with my wisdom to nourish myself and all whom I care for.

Laura Duffield

Motivation Coach, UK

So much information and value was packed into the week and everything that unfolded was a wonderful surprise. The course was set a good pace, allowing one to experience what it is like to be on a retreat, whilst at the same time being in a concentrated learning environment. I now feel confident to create and design menu’s for clients and to get going. I felt totally inspired by the food and yoga classes and I will definitely be coming to this course again. The energy, vibrancy, generosity and inspiration is more-ish!

Clare Ryan

Yoga Teacher & Owner of The Quaives, Retreat Venue in Kent, UK

Such a positive week – a time to reconnect with myself and yoga, to connect with some wonderful new people and to learn new techniques and skills that will empower me to make the right next move.

Lisa Rumsey

Gluten Free Baker/Events Chef, Paris

Just perfect – exceeded all my expectations. Huge thank you for all your wisdom, inspiration and hard work during the week. I am so proud to be a Holistic Kitchen Academy graduate!

Lucy Wils

Freelance Holistic Cook, Sussex UK

This retreat was really a pleasure to take. I learned a lot about food, nutrition, balance and self care, I feel re-connected to ‘soul food’ again, which feels so nice. The group was great and we each felt very loved, cared for and supported. I feel well prepared now to begin running my own centre and cater for my guests.

Daniela Israel

Venue Owner, Portugal

This a retreat like no other. The teachers are trailblazers and pioneers. They take you on a journey that is so subtle and profound, their specialist knowledge and love of food is evident in all that they wholeheartedly share. Every aspect is covered from ingredient sourcing, menu planning and the organisational aspects of the retreat chef business. They are leading the way in what is known as ‘ethical business’ and they continue to support their trainees after the course through the retreat chef network that they created. Their ethos is heartwarming. The inclusion of their personal practices in yoga, qi gong and meditation combine to give participants a full holistic experience. Holistic kitchen Academy, you rock!

Cathy Richardson

Original owner & creator of YogaGypsys, Goa

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