About Simone

I have been cooking and working in the health and wellness industry professionally for more than 20 years. In my cooking the objective is to create delicious plant-based meals that increase health and longevity, increase awareness as they nourish body, mind and soul.

I see cooking as an art and love using the freshest organic ingredients emphasizing grains, beans, sea and land vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds to create a balanced wholesome cuisine with a wide variety of flavors, tastes and textures to delight the senses!

Favorite styles include Ayurvedic, Macrobiotic and ethnic cuisines such as Italian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Indian and Mexican, created in a healthy balanced way.

My experience includes catering for small to large groups during workshops, retreats and special events. In the past and from time to time I have worked as a personal chef for clients wanting to experience a healthier way of eating; notable clients include Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Steven Seagal.

I love to share my cooking skills with others and help them learn how to live a healthier lifestyle, either through our Chef Training Program, one – on – one training, or classes and workshops.

Experience

  • 2015 – present Head Chef and kitchen manager at the Kushi Institute. www.kushiinstitute.org.
  • 2009 – 2014 Working on a project in the Indian Himalaya Mountains to bring groups together for retreats and workshops. Our vision is to host wellness retreats and workshops for cooking, yoga, meditation and trekking in the stunning nature of this region. Please see www.Kshatra.com for more details.
  • 2009 – 2014 Free-lance chef and consultant in Europe and America. Cooking for groups, yoga retreats and teaching cooking classes, giving healthy diet consultations and working one – on – one with people in their home.
  • 2011 – 2014 Working as part of a team to preparing 3 gourmet vegan meals per day for 1,400 – 1,800 people on this annual one-week health cruise.
  • 2008 – 2009 I worked to develop a healthy Lifestyle Program, Chef training Program and Macrobiotic Weight Management Program for www.SerenaSpa.com, which is a spa management company based in India with urban spas and destination spas in India, Maldives, Egypt, Seychelles and Sri Lanka
  • The Lifestyle Program that I developed is a comprehensive 7-day intensive in which guests learn about and engage in the following: self-development, Macrobiotic cooking and health awareness, yoga, pranayama, meditation, activities and excursions and spa treatments.
  • It has been my job to create the concept and write the Macrobiotic menus and recipes, write the material for the health awareness classes, cooking classes, the yoga and pranayama classes, put together activities and excursions and do sourcing for all the organic ingredients necessary to run a fully organic kitchen
  • The Macrobiotic chef training program is used to train the chefs at the destination spas where we implement the Lifestyle Program and the Macrobiotic Weight Management Program was to be implemented in some of the more urban spas
  • 2001 – 2007 Free-lance chef and consultant in Europe and America. Cooking for groups, yoga retreats and teaching cooking classes, giving healthy diet consultations and working one – on – one with people in their home.
  • 6/00-8/00 Personal Chef for Ekant Pochter, CEO – DKNY
  • 3/99-9/99 Personal Chef for Steven Segal – Prepared gourmet macrobiotic meals for Mr. Segal, at his home in California and during his travels in Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong and India. Focused on Mr. Segal's desire for healthy Japanese and Italian cuisine.
  • 4/96-6/97 Personal Chef for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
    Prepared a variety of both simple and gourmet mostly vegetarian meals daily for Tom and Nicole, their family and staff at their home in California and abroad. During this period, they worked on Jerry McGuire, The Peace Maker and Eyes Wide Shut. The focus was on delicious healthy meals.
  • 9/95 and 9/97 Head Chef – Samata Yoga School and Retreats
  • 8/97 Personal chef for Matt Groening and his family (Creator of "The Simpson's")
  • 1994 – 1996 Independent Personal Chef Engagements – full time, special dietary chef. Worked directly for private individuals to develop and prepare daily menus and dietary programs for specific health needs and medical conditions that included cancer, nervous system disorders, and fatigue as well as weight loss.
  • 1984 – 1985 Sauté chef for the Bill Board Cafe, San Francisco, Ca.
    A popular art cafe featuring nouvelle California cuisine.
  • 1985 – 1987 Short – order cook and waitress at Sparky’s Diner, San Francisco, Ca.

Education

  • 09/90-06/92 The University of Minnesota
    Studied for 2 years towards a liberal arts degree
  • 8/92-10/94 The Kushi Institute Macrobiotic Study Center, Becket, MA.
    Study included macrobiotic cooking (both gourmet and medicinal styles of cooking), home health care, Feng Shui, Oriental diagnosis and Shiatsu massage.
  • 9/99-6/01 Emerson College, East Sussex, United Kingdom
    Studied Anthroposophy and Visual Arts.

Background: I am originally from northern California, but I love to travel and I have spent time in or lived in several places across North America, various countries in Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Nepal, Thailand, Bali, Brazil, Australia, Panama and North Africa.

Interests: nature, hiking, traveling, meeting people, engaging with different cultures, collaboration, philosophy, psychology, photography, art, film, singing, finding ways to make a positive contribution and working towards creating one healthy peaceful world!

My spiritual path has led me to: yoga philosophy and asana practice, devotional singing (Mantra and Bhajans), Anthroposophy (Rudolf Steiner), Vipassana Meditation, body orientated psychotherapy, Thai and Shiatsu massage.

Languages: English, Japanese and Dutch and a little bit of Hindi!

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