Retreat Chef Training: May 25th – June 1st 2019, Portugal – Fully Booked!

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.

During this week, we invite you to explore the kitchen skills and recipes that create extraordinary, unforgettable food.

We delve into how a retreat’s menu can perfectly align the flow and focus of each day, in a way that both enhances the profound lessons and experiences for guests, whilst supporting the aims of the retreat facilitators.

We will lead you on a journey that shows food as not ‘separate’ from the retreat, but an essential and holistic part of it; and the chef as an integral part of the retreat team.

We will explore the role of the retreat chef in three essential ways:

Creativity – the nutrition, balance and flavour that define your food.

Explore your own style, intuition and confidence as a retreat chef. Deepen your understanding of the nutritional profile and healing properties of ingredients.

Ingenuity – the skill sets and foundations that support your working practice.

Learn how to set up and stock your kitchen, identify the best local produce and producers. Expand your repertoire of basic kitchen essentials and ingredients.

Efficiency – the essential good business models that underpin your professional service.

Understand how to set up essential operational practices. Build a solid business framework to manage the paperwork and red tape behind your services.

Over 7 days the Retreat Chef Training provides:

  • Daily hands-on holistic cookery classes; creating breakfasts, lunches, dinners, desserts, snacks and drinks.
  • Key chef and kitchen skills; setting up your space in the retreat kitchen.
  • Workshops, including food energetics, Five Elements/Ayurvedic nutrition, raw/living foods, fermentation. 
  • Study sessions on food industry practices, ethical sourcing, business and kitchen management.
  • Creating menus that reflect differing retreat content and enhance sadhana.
  • Essentials of working with allergies, food intolerances and special dietary needs.
  • Skills to create inspirational gluten, dairy and sugar free plant-based dishes.
  • Understanding and using algae, tonic herbs, healing and medicinal foods.
  • Daily yoga, qi gong or meditation classes.
  • Trips to local suppliers, markets and artisan producers
  • Networking and meeting the fellow trainees on the course.
  • Invitation to our online community of retreat chefs

In addition you will get:

    • Comprehensive notes and a full recipe pack of all that we cover in the course
    • A copy of The Holistic Kitchen Ebook
    • Certification from The Holistic Kitchen Academy

The week will be guided by Hayley North, Jo Tytherleigh and Kate Allen, co-teachers on the Retreat Chef Training courses.

We have all pursued individual paths in the food industry, each with our own particular areas of interest. Ranging from growing – using permaculture and organic methods, to running cafes and pop up supper clubs, recipe development for books, spa resorts and hotels, catering for large events and retreats, working with children and teenagers, to working in refugee camp kitchens.

From this wealth of experience, we continue to turn our attention toward holistic food education. We are in a unique position in this arena, being long-term practitioners of yoga, meditation and connected disciplines. Our embodiment of these practices gives us a holistic approach in all that we share.

It is our sincere belief that a ‘teacher’s’ purpose is to guide the student toward a place of self-trust that brings empowerment.

Vida Pura Eco Retreat Centre, Odeceixe, Portugal

We are very excited to be hosting our second chef training in Portugal at this stunning location. You can find out more about the venue here.


Prices depend on the accommodation option you choose.

£1295 – Private apartment with double bedroom, terrace and own facilities SOLD OUT

£995 – Twin shared room in a villa, with shared facilities (we always pair rooms with same sex)

£695 – Tipi – twin shared, with real beds and access to the facilities in the villa and other shower room – SOLD OUT

* Prices include all tuition, accommodation, meals, drinks, snacks and our scheduled airport transfers.

A deposit of £250 is required to reserve your space. The deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. Please contact us directly with details of your accommodation preference.

The remaining balance is due 6 weeks before the course start date, unless you have a prior agreement in writing with the course facilitators.

Payment Plans
Staggered payment options are also available. Please contact us to discuss a plan that works for you.

Terms and Conditions
We reserve the right to cancel the course should unlikely circumstances arise where we need to do so. In such an event all monies paid to us, including the deposit, will be refunded in full.

Click the link below to make your £250 deposit payment and reserve your space. We will notify you via email as soon as it has been received.


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

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

Just perfect – exceeded all my expectations. Huge thank you to Hayley, Jo and Kate 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 a retreat like no other. Hayley & Jo 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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