If you’ve been to Bodhi Surf School or follow us on any of our social media channels, you may have already heard rumors of “Adrianne’s Kitchen” — whisperings of Baked Banana Coconut French Toast and Homemade Granola or stories of Thai or Greek nights at the Bodhi Surf Lodge. But if you haven’t heard of it, let me take a moment to introduce you to the development of what we now call “Adrianne’s Kitchen”.
Cooking for a surf and yoga camp
As of April 2015, we have been including five breakfasts and three dinners in our week-long surf and yoga camps, and I have proudly held the official title as “Head Chef at Bodhi Surf School”. In nearly a year of offering meals at the lodge, I feel like we have changed the vacation experience offered at Bodhi Surf School. We have had so many laughs, interesting conversations, unforgettable moments, and delicious meals (if I do say so myself). All of this, in the comfort of the Bodhi Lodge, where we can stay and hang out for as long as we want (that usually doesn’t go past 10pm as everyone’s exhausted from the day’s yoga and surf lessons). Which means that long after the plates have been cleared, dinners have turned into game nights, lip-sync battles, jam sessions, or dancing. In a word, it’s been fun.
And what about the food, you may ask? Well, my goal is to serve food that is real: healthy, wholesome, and nutritious, without sacrificing the delicious. As much as I can, I make everything from scratch, using locally-sourced ingredients whenever possible. A typical Bodhi breakfast spread is the following:
- Local coffee (ground right before brewing, and with a sprinkle of cinnamon)
- Fresh, tropical fruits
- Homemade granola (that is also vegan, incidentally)
- A main dish: anything from the local Costa Rican breakfast of “gallo pinto” to homemade banana bread
- Sides: farm fresh eggs, local cheese, avocado, homemade jam (depending on the main dish)
Dinners typically follow a tradition of being specific to one region, so we will have Costa Rican / Mexican / Italian / etc. nights, depending on what fresh ingredients I can find, and the dietary restrictions of the group.
A space for passions and skills to flourish
In a way, the story of Adrianne’s Kitchen is the story behind Bodhi Surf School. The ownership of our boutique surf school being comprised of four very different individuals with very different backgrounds means that we bring a wide array of skills, talents, and passions to the table. In creating this business, we always discussed that we wanted it to be a living and breathing reflection of our passions, skills, and values. As the youngest member of the team (I was only 23 years old when we started Bodhi Surf School), it may have taken me a little longer to know exactly what my passions and skills were and how I could best contribute. But I can say that I have arrived at the place where I know what’s important to me, what I want to share with the world, and how this can be utilized in my business. One of the passions that I want to contribute is everything related to food.
With the advent of the second phase of the Bodhi Surf Lodge in 2014, we had a large, communal kitchen at our disposal. Having organized plenty of informal dinners with Bodhi guests and friends prior to 2014, and having worked in the food industry back in Canada, I felt that serving food to our guests was something that I could and wanted to do. Why? Because I believed that food is so important in the creation of a positive and holistic travel experience, that it was a way that we could expand our teachings and philosophy, and that the table would be a place of joy and the creation of new friendships. I also knew it would be a lot of work — long hours, with the possibility of working late nights and followed by early mornings — but I felt a strong and burning desire to at least give it a try.
Where did this love of food emerge from?
My love of food can be traced back to my direct ancestors, my parents. My mom is a very health conscious person who taught me at a young age the value of cooking food from scratch using healthy, real ingredients. From my dad I learned diligence and perfectionism in the kitchen, and the value of investing time — even when you’re tired, “hangry”, or simply not in the mood — no shortcuts. From both, I not only learned to make unique, interesting, and delicious dishes, but also to love food, plain and simple. Because food is not only the fuel we need to live, it’s also something over which families come together, new friendships are forged, plans for the future are made. Food is the essence of life. Being a “food-maker”, I am helping to facilitate these wonderful and memorable moments.
I am currently in the process of translating this love into something that Bodhi guests can take home with them when they leave — I have created a blog, “Adrianne’s Kitchen“, that will feature recipes of dishes I make at the Bodhi Surf Lodge, as well as some cooking tips and tricks that I have learned over the years. While I admit it’s been a little slow going, it’s something I am continuing to update and improve!
How can you expect to eat during your Bodhi Surf & Yoga Camp?
You can expect to be fed, and fed well! We know how hungry people get during our Bodhi Sessions, and we are committed to keeping you fueled and strong for your yoga and surf lessons. All of our meals are served buffet-style, so that the hungrier people can eat more and the less hungry people don’t have to feel guilty about throwing food away, which reduces our overall food waste — something we’re stoked about. Meals are attended by Bodhi guests, various staff and interns, and occasionally community members.
We are also experienced in cooking for people with different dietary restrictions. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or lactose intolerant? No problem. We have plenty of [delicious] alternatives in our arsenal.
One thing to note is that as an environmentally-conscious business, we are gradually reducing our meat consumption (as individuals and as a business) as time goes on. Bodhi meals will occasionally feature chicken or fish on the menu, but we are not serving red meat anymore in an effort to curb our environmental impact. We certainly do not limit you to cooking and preparing whatever you wish on your lunches and free nights!
Which brings us to a second important point: the community experience is just as important to us as environmental impact reduction, and for that reason, Bodhi Surf School does not offer all meals. We do this because it is important for us that you get out and experience what the community has to offer, whether that’s to the grocery store or to sample some of the local restaurants. There’s nothing quite like “diving right in” to get the full experience, read more about why we opted out of all-inclusivity.