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About page index
- Hi, I'm Jamie
- My culinary mentors
- The animal to plants' transition
- Denmark culinary tour
- Thailand culinary tour
- A new approach to cooking
- My holistic approach
- Diets, lifestyle, plant-based & veganism
- Contentment with a plant-based lifestyle
- Confusion marketing
- Holistic chef academy contribution
- Why The Holistic Chef Academy?
- My intentions
- Q&A Interview with Jamie
Hi, I'm Jamie
My life revolves around food and all that this encompasses; nature, travel, people, history, education, farming, growing, sustainability, cooking, health, and community...
'Food is Life' and my life's work is dedicated to positively impacting people's lives through inspiring healthy foods.
I started my culinary adventure at the age of 15, washing pots and pans in a busy hotel in Galway, West Ireland while studying Professional Cookery at GMIT. 10 years later I was cooking on the meat section at the world's number 1 restaurant; The French Laundry in California...
Another 10 years later and here I am cooking plants in the Jungles of Phuket, Thailand, after just completing a 3-year term as Director of Culinary Development at Thanyapura Sports & Health Resort.
My 20+ year culinary journey has taken me on some wild and inspiring adventures!
My culinary mentors
A mentor is someone that sees more talent and ability within you than you see in yourself - and helps bring it out...
I'm very grateful to have learned my craft from some of the best chefs in the world.
The animal to plants' transition
I never imagined that I would ever be a non-animal eater! The idea of veganism seemed to limit me as a classically trained chef.
It all happened by chance and marked a major turning point in my career and personal life.
The seed was planted while I was on a 3-month culinary adventure in Denmark and Thailand.
In 2014, at the age of 31, I hit a wall in my career. After working my way up from a 15-year-old pot washer to Executive Chef, the relentless pursuit of Michelin-star excellence and perfection was taking its toll on me.
No matter how good the food I was cooking and serving was - I felt it was never good enough. The competitive quest for awards, accolades, and recognition I was on had run its course.
My personal life and health were suffering. The 80-100 hours per week over 10 years in high-paced intense kitchen environments had caught up on me.
I'd given all I got. As fun and action-packed as it was, the time came to focus on my health and creative development.
Denmark culinary tour
In the Autumn of 2014, I took a sabbatical and did an internship with Rasmus Koefoed at Geranium restaurant in Copenhagen, Denmark.
This was the first time I was introduced to bio-dynamic farming, foraging, and the fascinating world of wild fermentation.
I was inspired by the style of Rasmus's cuisine and intrigued by his vegetarian lifestyle. Rasmus has the utmost respect for vegetables, fruits, roots, bark, saps, herbs, seeds, nuts, weeds, and flowers.
Even the humble onion and seaweeds were elevated to something remarkable, worthy of 3 Michelin stars.
My time in the kitchens of Geranium with Rasmus and his team was remarkable, it set me on a whole new path of culinary creativity.
Thailand culinary tour
The next stop was Northern Thailand for a 6-week cultural culinary tour. This is when I began to study nutrition in more depth. I spent my time Muay Thai training, studying online nutrition, exploring Thai culture, making kombucha, and beginning to practice yoga and meditation.
I decided to stop eating meat while in Thailand; to avoid food poisoning and to expand my vegan and vegetarian repertoire.
Throughout this time I started to feel fitter, healthier, stronger, and happier than ever. Creatively, I felt a new lease of life.
I started to look at food from a whole new perspective. Nutrition started to come to the forefront of my culinary focus.
A new approach to cooking
When I returned home from Thailand, I decided to give up cooking for accolades and start cooking for health. This was a challenging but liberating turning point in my career. The Holistic Chef was born!
After 15 years of cooking, I felt like I was starting all over again, with a whole new world of health-centered cuisine to explore.
My holistic approach
I believe food is life. Food is the foundation of happiness. Good healthy food has the power to nourish our body, mind, and soul.
We each have a unique relationship with food and must tune into our body's signals and listen to what it's asking for. The relationship we have with food is probably the most important in our lives. I believe we must continually work on nurturing and developing this relationship.
Our strength, stamina, endurance, vitality, motivation, creativity, energy, and mood are all directly impacted by the foods we ingest.
The quality of the food we choose to consume either replenishes and revitalizes our energy or slows us down and drains our vital life force energies.
Good health is not only determined by the food we eat, there are many other contributing factors: Who we eat with, the times of day we eat, where we eat, how we are feeling when we eat, the combinations of foods, and how well our digestive system is functioning are just a handful of factors.
Diets, lifestyle, plant-based & veganism
Diets are scientifically proven not to work
- The more we resist something, the more we want it. Any short term weight-loss will statistically result in putting on more weight further down the line.
Lifestyle change is what's needed
- My advice is to make small, lasting, enjoyable, and sustainable lifestyle changes over some time. This way, we can factor new habits into our lifestyle, enjoy the changes and feel their positive impact.
I'm guided by eating philosophies rather than diets.
- I look to the past for inspiration and guidance from our ancestors. Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Macrobiotics have been my inspiration over the years.
Reap what we sow
- By listening to my body and tuning in to what it craves and needs to thrive, I have evolved into a 100% wholefood plant-based vegan lifestyle over the last 8 years. This has been an incredible personal journey and culinary adventure.
The choices we make about what we eat, where it comes from, and how it is prepared, have a direct and powerful impact on the health of individuals, communities, and the environment.
Contentment with a plant-based lifestyle
Since transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle, I have a more balanced sense of peace and well-being, along with many other health benefits.
My body feels lighter, fitter, cleaner, fresher, and more vibrant.
My digestion runs like clockwork and with a strong immune system, I cannot even remember the last time I had a cold or flu. Annual blood tests are on par and I currently have the metabolic age of a 26-year-old! I feel more positive, motivated, compassionate, and creative.
Contrary to popular belief; I have not suffered from a protein shortage or calcium deficiency! Quite the opposite, with regular fitness routines and a varied wholefood plant-based diet, my body is in the best shape of my life.
My athletic performance has gone through the roof, I do regular CrossFit, Yoga, Marathons, and Muay Thai training. With professional athletes, celebrities, and even political figures progressing to a plant-based diet, why not the rest of us?
We can work towards this by consciously reducing our animal consumption. When we consider that animal production has led to more problems in our world than solutions, it just makes sense.
In our digital data-overloaded age, it has become increasingly convoluted to know and trust which ‘’diet’’ is good for us. There is countless contradicting evidence presented.
The diet industry is a multi-billion pound industry, each proclaiming they have a miracle diet cure. Ironically, January is their busiest month, after the overindulgence of the festive season. The sad thing is that this excessive overindulgence has been manipulatively led by corporate entities.
Diets have been scientifically proven they do not work - lifestyle change is what's needed. We need to break down negative food habits and build positive habits into our daily lives.
Why do we eat what we eat?
We each have a unique relationship with food, that has evolved throughout our lives. Many factors influence our decisions on what we choose to eat. Advertising, social media, culture, habit, nostalgia, and travel are just a few.
The challenges we face
Ultimately, what we choose to consume every day is one of the most crucial factors in our short and long-term health and well-being. We are not only a result of what we eat: we are what our body can effectively digest from what we eat.
In this face-paced faced busy world, we live in, we've been convinced that we no longer have time to source, prepare and cook our food. We need to rely on food delivery apps and prepackaged ready-to-go supermarket meals for convenient on-the-go food.
This is all well and good from time to time… but what happens when we allow corporations and chain restaurants to cook all our food? We put our health in the hands of others and lose touch with what we are putting inside our bodies. we lose sight of our connection with food, the earth, and nature.
Cooking is one of the most vital life skills
What we sow, so shall we reap ... Everything we choose to eat is an investment. Our miracle bodies can put up with a certain amount of bad investments, but eventually, it can break down, and 'dis-ease' sets in.
Invest wisely; our health is our greatest wealth.
Good, fresh, tasty, and wholesome food is one of the greatest life pleasures, and we can access this every day. Sourcing, preparing, and cooking our food is one of the best ways we can take ownership of our health.
Holistic chef academy contribution
I’m not a nutritionist or dietitian… I’m a world-traveling chef of 25 years, that grew up on a farm in the West of Ireland, with my Mum, the home cook, and nurturer, and my Dad a teacher and poet.
My childhood upbringing and world culinary travels have helped open my mind to view food more holistically. My honest and authentic approach to cooking is guided and inspired by ancient Ayurvedic philosophies originating in India 5000 years ago.
Ayurveda views food as medicine… when we give our body what it needs, it will heal itself from within and thrive.
Every human on earth has different nutritional needs, therefore, no one diet fits all. We each have to listen and tune in to what our body needs.
All the answers lie within.
Why The Holistic Chef Academy?
There is a need for honest food education, accessible to all...
- Educate with new recipes and techniques.
- Inspire with a new way of learning.
- Empower with more confidence and a new set of skills.
- Make a lasting and positive impact in people's lives.
- Enable a ripple effect by developing a community of students and teachers to support and inspire each other as the academy grows.