We’re really thrilled that guests at our SpaFest event this year will be treated to lunch by internationally renowned vegan chef, Bettina Campolucci-Bordi. Bettina’s story, her food and her photography and her mission are all truly inspiring and she was kind enough to share her story and her plans for SpaFest with us.
Bettina has had a lifelong passion for good food and her most recent adventure into plant based food began six years ago.
“I met someone who shared my vision and we decided to embark on a journey in the health travel industry,” she explains. “I started to run retreats, and since I had such a love for food and ingredients it was only natural that I did all the cooking. All the food was to be plant based, refined sugar free and gluten free. Enthralled by this task, I dove straight in and started to create dishes that tasted familiar, were comforting during a sensitive week and could be recreated anywhere in the world.”
Around the same time, Bettina had been diagnosed with severe polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis, and was told that the likelihood of me ever having children was close to zero.
“The options sold to me were IVF, the contraceptive pill or medication with some not-so-nice side effects. I’d previously been working 12 to 14 hour days in the food and beverage industry and had entered a vicious cycle of very unhealthy living. I smoked cigarettes and partied way too hard. The late nights, alcohol and tobacco smoke were taking their toll on my body.Whilst over the years I had somewhat dabbled in a healthy lifestyle, I always seemed to swing back to bad habits. But my diagnosis was a pivotal point.
“The fact that I was cooking detoxifying foods at retreats was a very welcome bonus and – low and behold – 7 months later I fell pregnant.”
What had started as an experiment at the retreats became the foundation of Bettina’s career and family life. “This is now how my husband, my child and I eat on a daily basis,” says Bettina. “Yes – I have a living, breathing, energetic, healthy daughter that has just turned three, and her name is Ayla.”
As time has gone on Bettina’s creativity and love of learning about food has driven her to find tasty solutions to everything, whether they are for health reasons or intolerances.
And as well as being nutritious and healthy, her food is also, quite simply beautiful, a fact which the tens of thousands of followers of her famed blog Bettina’s Kitchen adore, as Bettina frequently posts vibrant photography of her dishes along with her innovative recipes.
“Nature evokes and inspires me on so many different levels. To realise that the abundance of what nature has to offer us has endless creative options and that the sky is the only limit makes me so happy,” says Bettina. “I hope my passion and creations inspire you to view food differently and restore your faith in natural, healthy eating, enough to take the time to make your food look as well as taste beautiful. After all, we always feast with our eyes first.”
Can you tell us a little bit about how you met Amanda (Amanda Barlow, founder of the Made for Life Foundation and MD of Made for Life Organics) and what connects you?
Amanda and I connected through a mutual friend and we ran a Retreat together for Lakes By YOO. Driven by the same ethos and philosophy is what has bonded us. We are both passionate about sustainability, being kind to our environment and making a change albeit small. With many small changes comes big changes…
Can you also tell us why you are involved in SpaFest – what made you decide to be part of it?
I was asked to participate. Being involved in the Retreat business for the last 6 years and especially around food, produce and how food makes us feel. It is not far off from how amazing beauty products can make one feel. What you put on your skin affects us in more ways than we know.
Are you able to tell us a little of what you will be sharing with SpaFest?
I will sharing some of my food philosophies. How we can go back to basics and how easy and fun it can be implementing more plants into our diets. No labels just good food.
Have you any new projects coming up?
I have a new recipe book coming out in March – very very excited !!!
Find out more about Bettina and discover her delicious recipes at www.bettinaskitchen.com