Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us Bettina! Please introduce yourself to our readers :)
Hi Everyone! My Name is Bettina Campolucci and I am the founder of Bettina´s Kitchen. I am a freelance Plant based and Gluten free chef. I recently published a cook book called Happy Food and also run Retreats, recipe develop and run workshops. I am super passionate about what I do and wake up excited every single morning as I never know what the day has to offer!
Your instagram is a serious collection of incredibly fresh, enviable looking food! Where do you find inspiration from for your dishes and what process do you go through to create your recipes?
I find inspiration in the places that I am in. I am very passionate about produce, seasonality and supporting small scale farmers that emphasise on producing amazing ingredients. I am heavily inspired by my extensive travels. Also I love finding solutions there is magic hidden in old beloved comforting recipes that can somehow be made into plant based and free from versions.
In your opinion, what are some of the most underrated ingredients in plant based cooking?
PLANTS! We underestimate good old classic veggies like potatoes that are somehow demonised or cabbages that have a bad reputation. Roots in general. When going more plant based I see it as widening the range of Plant foods into your diet, not as many think eliminating the things that you cant have. Its all about increasing your options with good basics that are readily available and inexpensive.
What advice would you give to someone looking to become less wasteful with their food?
Buy in bulk and store you ingredients properly. Batch cook and use up your left overs as lunch box food. Buy better quality produce that doesn't go off as easily.
What is your go-to easy weekday dinner dish?
I love a good Buddha bowl with a little bit of everything. I am pretty obsessed with Korean flavours at the minute.
What would be your death row dinner? Starter, main, dessert!
Starter: Simple Spanish beef tomato salad, good olive oil, salt and some white onion (eaten at the height of summer)
Main: Truffle Mac and Cheese - I do this truffled cashew cheese (recipe in Happy Food) and discovered that its amazing in a Mac and Cheese (drool drool)
Sticky Toffee pudding, salted caramel and coconut custard (so freaking good) also from Happy Food.
You talk about cooking nutrient rich food as being as act of self care- do you have any other rituals that you live by for your wellbeing?
I am not a great water drinker - So I always drink huge amounts in the morning to make sure I have enough. Cooking for oneself and family is one of the most healthy things that you can do for yourself. Sourcing good ingredients that are local and seasonal is definitely part of my ritual too. Its important to me and makes me feel good about whats on my plate.
When you first began to run your health retreats they were one of the first of their kind. What made you take the jump into the travel health industry?
I was working at a Wellness Retreat and just thought I think I can do this better. I know that sounds pretty self assured but that is how it all began and from there evolved into what it is today. Very quickly reviews came in from Conde Nast travel and it took off.
Do you have a favourite place you’ve been to on a retreat so far?
Most challenging but equally as amazing was Mongolia and Bali will forever be a firm favourite.
What can people expect from your retreats?
Lots of yummy food, local experiences with the best of what the venue and location has to offer and hopefully some tools to bring home and implement into your busy lifestyle! Last but not least memories and friendships.
Do you have any cool events coming up in the calendar that our readers can look out for?
YES! I have a Bali Retreat coming up 30th March to 6th October 2019 and run monthly workshops in London starting in January!
You can grab a copy of Bettina’s book- Happy Food- here.