Costa Rica cooking: happy new year from the HighVibe forest kitchen

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Happy 2014 friends!
I hope it is a brilliant year full of luck, love and health and that you celebrated it happily wherever you were.

I am writing from the Pachamama community in the forest in Costa Rica, where Ben and I spent a very peaceful Christmas in silence and saw in the new year with a riot of words, food, song and sweat lodge celebrations. It was a new and lovely way to end the old and begin the new for us, and now we are settling in to the kitchen here as we volunteer alongside their bright  shiny chef Alon (in action below on some sort of veggie millefeuille) until the end of the month.

The food in his self-named “HighVibe” kitchen is all super fresh, vegan and gluten-free and his alchemic mastery of turning heaps of fresh veggies and grains into ever changing mega meals for seventy is exciting us no end.

The vibes (and stakes) are properly high as we are left pretty much to our own devices, which we love – a fridge full of bursting-ripe fruit and veg, a spice rack as big as my bookshelf and all the nuts, seeds and vitamixes you could ever have hoped for. The food is simple, bright and nourishing and truly made with love. No emails or phones as we are so used to in London, no deliveries or meetings or chores to distract from our creations – just ingredients, music, chatter and a vague idea of where we are heading. There isn’t even a clock – which is mostly idyllic but can sometimes cause confusion. Perhaps it broke, or perhaps the high vibe cooking pays no heed to linear time. In any event it all comes out on time.

In between beach trips, forest walks and some wonderful workshops and learning, we are cooking almost every day. Here are some pics of our time so far, recipes to follow.

…And I haven’t even told you about the Wild Treats cacao bar yet….

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