The Mindful Kitchen Company brings people together to cook, bake, breathe and eat.
Run by Miranda Gore Browne (The Great British Bake Off Finalist and Cookery Writer) and Gillian Higgins (International Barrister and Founder of Practical Meditation), the Mindful Kitchen experiences are a moveable feast and can be held at The Kitchen School in West Sussex, in the workplace or at selected locations across the country.
Learn and share new life skills. Baking and mindfulness meditation form the heart of the retreat. Throughout the day, there are plenty of opportunities to ask questions and share experiences. Take home some new cooking techniques and meditation practices.
Your Mindful Kitchen Company experience can take place at The Kitchen School in Lodsworth in West Sussex, at the workplace or at selected locations around the country. It can be either 1/2 day or full day retreat, depending upon requirements. We can cater for up to 50 people, depending on the location.
In West Sussex, we take time during the retreat to forage and walk in the beautiful South Downs National Park. There are opportunities to collect herbs, learn about edible flowers and gather other seasonal produce from nature's garden for the lunch table.
At The Kitchen School in West Sussex, a typical day with The Mindful Kitchen Company involves learning new cookery skills and the essence of mindfulness meditation. Beginners are particularly welcome. In essence, the retreat is centred around a combination of baking and breathing.
At The Mindful Kitchen Company, we start the experience with a warm welcome introduction and refreshments. Before preparing the ingredients for the day, we discuss the practice and benefits of mindfulness meditation and share a short practice together.
After weighing ingredients and perhaps kneading some bread, it's time for a walk in the forest and a forage. After a guided sound meditation outdoors, we return to base for a warm drink by the fire pit in time to check the bread and share lunch.
After lunch, there's time for another mindfulness practice with a question and answer session. After decorating the cakes for afternoon tea, the day ends with a period of reflection, your own takeaway goodies and mindfulness practices.
Be mindful about the everyday.
Listen more effectively.
Manage stress & anxiety.
Calm your inner critical voice.
Build better relationships at work & at home.
Make simple changes & feel the difference.
Discover simple ways to eat better, live better and work better by putting food and meditation at the heart of life.
The Mindful Kitchen Company uses well-tested methods that are realistic, practical and fun.
Reduce stress in the workplace and build resilience in individuals and teams.
“It's not airy fairy, it's about finding time every day to fit in some practice. They just teach people in a very practical way how to be more in the present moment.”
“I suddenly realised that I could use this in any situation, anywhere and at any time. I didn’t have to sit on a mat in a quiet, calm room - I could use it on the train, in the car, before a meeting.”
“I was surprised to find that cooking with someone was a really good way to have a difficult conversation with a colleague from work. We were both so busy in the kitchen that it felt less intense than being face-to-face at the workplace.”
It does exactly what it says on the tin.”
“If we’re living more in the moment, we’re not worrying about who’s making the best cake - we're just enjoying eating it.”
“I stand on the base line and breathe. I don't angst about the shot I've just missed or the point I just lost.”
Miranda achieved widespread acclaim as a finalist on the first series of BBC2’s The Great British Bake Off. She was highly praised for her home baking, which was described consistently as both delicious and beautiful. Mary Berry remarked that Miranda reminded her of herself when she was younger. Miranda made a great impression with her “signature bake” biscuits in the form of perfectly dainty decorated shoes, pretty dresses and stylish handbags; and she also featured in BBC2’s The Great British Wedding Cake.
Miranda spent a successful career immersed in Foods at Marks & Spencer, where she gained a wide base of knowledge and expertise in the food industry. This experience has led her to be in demand as a food specialist, consulting for food businesses.
Miranda runs The Kitchen School from her home in West Sussex and is always busy teaching, demonstrating and sharing her love of baking at press events, festivals and demos. She lives with her husband, three children, dog and chickens in the heart of the South Downs National Park and thrives on putting baking at the heart of life.
Gillian is a leading international criminal barrister and meditation teacher. She established "Practical Meditation" in 2016 and is passionate about using meditation practically in the workplace to reduce stress.
Last year, she designed and led meditation sessions for barristers, solicitors, mediators and accountants in and around London and West Sussex. Gillian published her first 7 day E-Course "Introduction to Meditation" earlier this year.
As a barrister, Gillian specialises in war crimes and crimes against humanity at an international level having appeared before the International Criminal Court and the UN ad-hoc International Tribunals in The Hague and Tanzania. She practices from The Chambers of 9 Bedford Row, London. www.practicalmeditation.co.uk
"I have always been passionate about everything I do. From my full-on career at Marks and Spencer to reaching the final of The Great British Bake Off, pitching for a book whilst moving into a major house project, developing book recipes in a tiny kitchen as it was demolished around me, launching my book at Fortnums and running corporate press days whilst hugely pregnant with my third child. I have always thought I thrived on being busy and doing my best.
I love creating memories and have a brutal determination to give my three children as idyllic a childhood I can, enjoying the simple things, paddling in the harbour, licking the icing off homemade cakes, watching the sunset with fish and chips and generally living their lives in the moment, being present and happy.
With my father falling ill and my mother becoming more of a carer, I found my role as Head of Happiness growing and it was increasingly difficult for me to juggle everyone's needs. A dear friend said to me 'remember the oxygen on the aeroplane' and I realised that my family, my business and all of our happiness would come to nothing if I didn't look after myself and make sure I put the oxygen mask on first, so I could then look after them. Baking and cookery has always been an escape for me, an outlet for my creativity, a moment of calm, a sense of achievement, a way to show I love and care. It has also provided the chance to find sanctuary in the quiet of the kitchen at night, after days travelling with work or once restless babies, unsettled toddlers or needy children had finally found sleep. Even during the demands of Bake Off and book writing, creating recipes and baking allowed me to find me.
I found another escape and revived a childhood love by rediscovering ballet with its combination of discipline, abandon and joyfulness. Yet I found it hard to carve out even one hour a week for me to dance. I was cynical about meditation but as I hared in to the class every week, late and usually stressed, I found comfort in conversations with Gilly in class and her calmer approach to her stressful life. I was curious to know more and fascinated by her assurances about the effect a more mindful approach could have on me and those close to me. I have never looked back. Gilly's soothing voice, her honest confessions about her busy mind, the distractions it was acceptable for me to feel and her real approach to meditation has been uplifting. It has not stopped me rushing headlong into life but it has allowed me to experience a sense of calmer perspective and is constantly rejuvenating.
I am hugely excited to 'Breathe and Bake' together and can't wait to bring together the benefits of mindfulness and the natural joys of the simplest things in life...food, baking and being in the moment."
"A few years ago, I found myself running around in circles, feeling stressed and overwrought, on an almost daily basis. As a parent and a barrister, I felt sure there must be a way to run the professional motor and enjoy parenthood without feeling guilty or completely exhausted. I started to look for solutions on the strict basis that they had to be both workable and provable. It was at this point that I turned to meditation. I did my research, started to attend a class, read as many books and scientific papers as I could and started to practice, even when I didn’t want to.
After a few months, I could start to feel a difference. As a barrister, I found myself better able to cope with stressful situations in a more thoughtful and less reactive manner. As a parent, I was more willing to be present and more able to develop some breathing space to be able to respond, rather than knee-jerk react, to the challenges that arose.
I also became much more aware of the ability of negative emotions to hijack us at any moment of the day, without prior notice, and that our thoughts could start to define us, unless we paid attention. After several years of practice, I decided to qualify to teach meditation and have spent the last 12 months practicing as a barrister and teaching meditation to beginners.
A few years ago, I met Miranda at a ballet class and we became friends. She became a regular at my meditation classes in West Sussex and we started to talk about the similarities between baking and meditation. Soon after, we hatched a plan to launch The Mindful Kitchen Company as a way of combining both formal meditation practice and informal mindfulness, which comes naturally when we engage in such pleasures as baking, walking, foraging and sharing. We are both very excited about this new venture."
Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about our forthcoming events or discuss your bespoke, corporate package.