In this Keen on Yoga Podcast Adam talks with Bettina Campolucci Bordi, wellness guru, retreat chef and creator of Bettina’s Kitchen. She is the author of Happy Food and her second book 7 Day Vegan Challenge, out now, enables anyone to include as many plant based recipes into their repertoire as possible.
Over the last few years she has appeared on Saturday Kitchen, has had recipes featured in the Telegraph and Sunday Times, been endorsed by Jamie Oliver and Conde Nast.
Born in Denmark to a Bulgarian/Danish mother and a Norwegian father Bettina spent her first 11 years in Tanzania and after that in Sweden. In Tanzania she learned from her mother how to pick the best quality fruits and vegetables from the local markets. They would also visit a farmer with just a few cows for fresh milk that her mother would magically turn into butter, cream and yogurt.
Her father also cooked and would spend hours preparing his ingredients and making sure each element of the dish was cooked properly and just right. From these experiences she learned that good things take time.
Holidays spent in Bulgaria included time with her grandmother and auntie who were both amazing cooks. She recalls sitting at the kitchen table at her auntie’s house watching her make pineapple upside down cake, creme brulee, stews, and breads baked from scratch.
Other summers were spent in Sweden with her paternal grandmother in a tiny summer house in the woods. Also a keen cook with green fingers who had all sorts of wonders growing in her garden, cordials and pickling were her specialty.
The Beginning of Bettina’s Kitchen
Following struggles with personal health issues including PCOS and endometriosis, she soon discovered that what she ate made a significant impact on her physical health. She found that she was able to manage her conditions and discovered a profoundly positive effect on her mental wellbeing, too.
For Bettina, cooking is a way of inspiring people to include and cook with ingredients that can sometimes be daunting. Her aim is to show others how food can be inspiring, where it comes from and that cooking from scratch is the single most powerful thing you can do for yourself and your family.
In 2011 she entered into the wellness industry running health retreats in Spain as a way to spread her message. She began sharing recipes on Instagram and slowly but surely people wanted more and Bettina´s Kitchen was born.
Everything Bettina does is aligned with her philosophy around food and wellness: that we should eat seasonally, locally and from farm to table as much as we can. We should support small businesses within our communities; we must use roots, shoots and all! Cooking waste free is particularly important to her; and above all the best plant food is fuss-free, simple, easy, inexpensive.
Combining healthy cooking with travel and wellness worldwide and you can find her cooking on and training local kitchen teams with Reclaim Yourself Retreats. Reclaim Yourself speciality is introducing people to remote, magical places including Mongolia, Iceland, and Zanzibar.
She also hosts retreats in her favourite place in the world, Bali as well as her Retreat Chef Academies where you can cook with learn from her experience.