We are beyond excited to have Cade McConnell on board for our Byron bay Yoga Retreat August 13 - 16th, 2020.
We stumbled across Cades raving instagram a while ago, and he has been on our watch list ever since. Cade is a plant-based cook with a philosophy of ‘consciousness over convenience’, a concept of going back to the roots, where food is ritual, preparation takes time and is created with love. Using organic ingredients and seasonal produce, dishes are made from scratch and inspired by his travels to the eastern world.
Cade’s daily practices of mindfulness, yoga and meditation infiltrate his food. He understands cooking is an energy exchange and his mindset & intention is consumed by the eaters too. He is passionate about serving others and cultivating community through creatively nourishing and ethical foods.
Below we asked Cade a few questions about his food, clay pots and what to expect on the State of Salt Yoga Retreat in Byron Bay this August.
Us: Hi Cade, Thanks for being apart of this amazing retreat in Byron Bay. We are so excited to have you on board as our Chef. Can you tell us a little about your food and how you came into this role as plant based chef.
Cade: Thank you for having me on board. It's always a pleasure sharing my cooking on retreats & I am really looking forward to being a part of it all. My food & cooking is an expression of my reverence and connection to nature. I love the Earth & I want people to feel this through my food. My food is rustic, clean, wholesome & home-style. I've grabbed lots of inspiration from travelling the eastern world to Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Indonesia & Malaysia. My inspiration for homestyle cooking was birthed in Sri Lanka when I was 19, at the same time I met an incredible Yogi who shifted the direction of my life. I stopped eating meat & practiced Yoga everyday from then on. I wanted to be just like him! I did a cooking class in Sri Lanka & came home super inspired by their flavours & how clean the food was. From then on, I made sure I was aware of every ingredient going into my cooking. I cooked food to be my medicine, without sacrificing flavour nor experience. This role of being a plant-based cook came about very organically. It started in my own kitchen where I would cook dishes every night. I had the freedom to play around & experiment where I learnt to trust myself. I would whip up curries & recipes from Indian cookbooks, though clean the ingredients up on the evenings most people my age were out partying. I loved having my friends over for dinner. A few years later, I got an opportunity to cook a wholesome lunch for a friend of mine's business opening, this was my first event. From then on, it all seemed to flow. Instagram allowed me to paint a creative canvas for people to see. Now, I've shared my cooking at weddings, retreats, events, workshops & peoples homes all along the east coast over the last year and a half of doing this work.
Us: The clay pots look are amazing, do you make them yourself?
Cade: Oh yes, they are! I don't make them, I have collected them over the last few years from different markets. I found them really hard to get brand new here in Australia, so I did my research and went on a quest to Malaysia to find them! That is a funny & long story I can share on the retreat if you like. There's something special about using the Earth as your cooking vessel. It feels right & looks beautiful. I now sell these pots on my website as they encourage us to connect with nature whilst we are cooking and eating. They make cooking a special experience!
Us: What can we expect to see on the State of Salt Yoga Retreat with you?
Cade: You can expect to see me and clean wholesome food, with homestyle eastern flavours which some of you may have not tasted before. You can expect to feel nourished from the vibrancy & love in your food. I'll be using local seasonal produce which I will be stocking up at the markets each morning before I cook! I'll be sharing a plant-based cooking workshop (South Indian or Sri Lankan, I'm not too sure yet) for you all to learn & take home a heap of new recipes. You'll get to experience my food cooked in clay pots & served in beautiful hand-made ceramic by local artisans. I really look forward to cooking on this retreat with you all.