Keen’s Kitchen (formerly Yogi Kitchen) was started in 2009 when we moved to Vancouver Canada and not knowing many people, nor having the money to eat out, we mostly stayed at home and started to take our cooking seriously. This developed into a choice to spend our money on the really good quality ingredients available from the fertile British Columbia soil and climate and as our cooking and knowledge grew we wanted a way to document our meals and recipes to have at hand when we travelled.
Adam already came from a food background, cooking at various yoga retreats in Crete and in Goa, where he met his now wife, Theresa.
Theresa always loved food, growing up in a ethnically diverse food culture in Canada, we have since worked hard to recreate the classic dishes she remembers from childhood, in a vegetarian and often slightly more health-conscious manner, coming up with a few firm-favourites of their own along the way.
Our cooking is mainly vegan, never with eggs, we sometimes eat yoghurt and cheese but buy from shops we know that source carefully and have a deep and ethical relationship with their supplies. Mainly we use Neal’s Yard Dairy and Mons Cheesemonger, both in London’s Borough Market, of direct suppliers at local farmer’s markets. Our ethos is dictated both by philosophies and practically, by our lifestyle as students and teachers of yoga.
Home-cooking has become the centre of this approach. Though we used to like eating out a lot, finding that the food wasn’t as nurturing, fresh and healthy as the quality of food they could prepare at home, ultimately, led us to taking more care of own nutrition. You can really notice the difference when you commit to a physically rigorous practice everyday.
Often travelling to teach, there is still a lot of exploring of new dishes, ingredients and some eating at restaurants or street-food stands; it provides a fun way to navigate a new culture and city, meeting many people along the way and sharing over food. But then its back home and the fun of trying to recreate for family and friends the never-ending array of new dishes encountered.
We love everything about cooking and consider it more of a lifestyle than a hobby, and below is a list of the some of the benefits we gain from it:
Learning: food runs deeply through nationalities and histories of food is entwined with the history and culture of a people.
Exploring: once we’ve found a new recipe or type of cooking we find ourselves searching the city for unique ingredients and exploring new areas, this also means we are meeting new kinds of people.
Creativity: cooking the food itself and preparing for presentation is a way to use our creative skills, matching flavours and colours, textures are all part of the satisfaction of preparing a new meal.
Nurturing: we are very in tune with our bodies through the practice of yoga and the food we cook and eat nurtures us, we can feel the impact during times when we do not have access to a kitchen.
Sharing: we have cooked for friends and yoga students and sharing home cooked food for many people is not something they often have, we feel that it brings us closer to people, especially if we have cooked something with them in mind and they really enjoy it.
Not everyone would want to spend as much time thinking about food as we do, but if we can inspire anyone to cook for themselves just a little more often then that is a good thing.