DELHI: An ayurveda based chef’s retreat – it could well be an organic food fan’s dream come true. Back to Roots, positioned as India’s first, ayurveda-based chef’s Retreat, is aiming to do just that.

The three day event will host guests to do just that. Dr Gita Ramesh, Joint Managing Director, Kairali Ayurvedic Group, and a team of renowned chefs – Manjit Gill, Abhijit Saha, Vikas Seth and Chetan Sethi will be conducting special classes and interact with the participants.

The retreat, scheduled from July 3 to 6, is to be at Kairali’s Ayurvedic Healing Village at Palakkad district, Kerala.

For Ramesh, “The first chapter of Healing Recipes-Back to Roots is a conscious effort at food sustainability. It is an attempt at showcasing how age-old philosophy and culinary practices still hold relevance in modern times.”

“It is imperative that we revisit our approach to food, to ingredients and cooking techniques, and Healing Recipes – Back to Roots, for me, is that one platform that will help you rethink food,” Gill stressed at an event held in Delhi recently to explain the concept.

Chef Gill and Ramesh, an Ayurveda expert and author of The Ayurvedic Cookbook will mentor the event. This inaugural edition of the event will see Mexican expert Chef Vikas Seth, progressive cuisine guru Chef Abhijit Saha and Indian cuisine specialist, Chef Chetan Sethi conduct specially designed classes and interacting with the guests.

Guests are also expected to attend specially-curated masterclasses, explore local cuisine, and learn how to grow vegetables organically.

For Seth, the event is “a window into the world of food for chefs and others alike to experience the various culinary trends that have held centre-stage in the past five years: be it Clean Eating, Farm to Table, even foraging for unknown ingredients and practices”.

Madhulika Dash, Curator & Co-Founder, Healing Recipes, says, “We have all grown up eating homemade food, but never realised that if cooked in a healthy way with farm fresh ingredients, it will lead to more good effect on health.”

The stress at the festival is going to be on local produce and will include aspects such as gathering and foraging for food.

Drawing a comparison between seasons and the food palate, Gill said, “Every climate has its own taste… just like there are six seasons, so are the tastes which are very important for every human being to experience. Food is like medicine, it heals the body from within. Hence, it is imperative that we revisit our approach to food, ingredients and cooking techniques.”

Abhilash K Ramesh, Executive Director, Kairali, expects the event to be a dialogue between Ayurveda experts and chefs, with each learning from the other and passing on the knowledge. He also pointed out that there will be onsite horticulturalists to ensure quality of ingredients.

The three-day retreat, which will see a mix of Indian and international cuisines (Mexican, continental, Mediterranean and possibly raw) and exclusively vegetarian food, costs Rs 45,000 per person or Rs 75,000 for a couple and has an upper limit of 30 people.

The Kairali Ayurvedic Group is present in 9 countries with 35 treatment centres. It has plans to expand both domestically and internationally.

Suman Tarafdar 


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