Professional Chef Geoffrey Cambal celebrates trends toward culinary mindfulness
Forbes recently released an article highlighting a Brooklyn-based start-up that is concerned with the psychology of well-being and a mindfulness approach to the culinary experience, an effort praised by chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Cambal. The article begins by discussing the project called Windowfarms, and how the start-up is interested in “making food choices that can help you flourish and thrive.”
The report defines culinary mindfulness as the eating, “cooking, shopping, sharing, remembering, and even talking about food. The purpose is to build awareness of increasing well-being in all the food choices one makes, to accrue mental wealth from every aspect of one’s calories.” The article mentions that the company sells what its name suggests: “hydroponic systems for growing food in windows, be they in small apartments, big houses, or even the lobby of the Museum of Natural History where an impressive Windowfarms display is exhibited as part of the ‘Our Global Kitchen: Food, Culture, Nature’ show.”
Renowned chef and gardener Geoffrey Cambal weighs in on the new window-farming project and the benefits of just-picked foods. “From the standpoint of a culinary professional and a personal gardener in my spare time, I completely agree that anyone who eats vegetables should consider growing them at home,” he said. “Even semi-successful vegetable gardens are better sources of produce than what you may find at the supermarket, not to mention it’s cost-efficient.”
The article highlights the pleasure and positive emotions that can come from growing your Windowfarms, making for mindfulness approach to the culinary experience. “Just picked – and I mean within moments – greens, lettuces, herbs, strawberries, and even cherry tomatoes have flavors and textures that you can astound, if you savor them…” Geoffrey earnestly responds to the contributing writer’s sentiments, noting that “a salad from your own garden has a plethora of experiential opportunities, unlike what you may find in processed systems.” The article adds that “the more you mindfully savor, the more satisfied you feel.”
Geoffrey Cambal aims to adopt this approach in his own restaurant as well as his home, creating a culinary experience for a diverse range of guests. He places high value on preparation when it comes to culinary success and mindfulness, noting that presentation is key.
“I enjoy watching the looks of delight on their faces when customers bite into freshly-cut vegetables and aesthetically pleasing food,” he said. The article continues on with the idea of presentation, mentioning that Windowfarms “takes the positive emotions generated one-step further: their system is gorgeous industrial design unlike any other, at least to my eye. Putting one in your window provides visual pleasure.” The highly-acclaimed chef comments on the concept of beauty in food. “My staff constantly strives to make our dining experience a meaningful activity. You can’t achieve a reputation of culinary mindfulness without paying close attention to the details,” said Geoffrey Cambal.