|Photo: Caspar Poyck|
Caspar Poyck is both Chef and Culinary Coach with a business, Consciously Culinary, that is well known throughout the central and southern California coasts.
Combining his backgrounds as clinical BodyMind therapist and chef, he explores and teaches how deeply our psychology drives our eating behavior. “Our nutritional, psychological and emotional wellbeing” he says, “are connected through our body, mind and soul.”
Caspar’s slogan is ‘HOW we eat may be as important as WHAT we eat!’ Allison Costa writes in a recent Edible Ojai & Ventura County that he “just might be the remedy to what ails many of us: too many meals eaten on the run and a disconnect between our bodies and our food.”
Caspar grew up in Europe as the son of two yoga teachers. As a youth, he learned yogic principles. As a young man, while working as a chef on retreats coordinated by California’s most prestigious yoga teachers, he applied these principles to a western and modern lifestyle with an emphasis on the value of good food and drink.
After the events of 9/11, he made a dramatic life change and ended a 12-year career as a network television producer/director, moved to Ojai and simplified his life by getting back-to-basics. To Caspar, this meant not only preparing beautiful, healthy food but also becoming a culinary therapist.
Just back from a trip to New York, speaking and counseling at The Joyful Heart Foundation (Mariska Harhgitay’s foundation supporting survivors of child-abuse, domestic violence and rape) Caspar offers Valley Vegetarian readers a warm, fall inspired Red Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pine-nut Gravy:
4 acorn squash
6 cloves of garlic
2 cups red quinoa
1 yellow or green bell pepper
10 dried black mission figs
sliced and pan-fried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup pine-nuts
Squash: Cut the bottom tip of the acorn squash and cut the top like a lid. Scoop the seeds out of the squash and rub the inside with honey, salt and cinnamon. Place on a baking sheet, lay a clove of garlic on the inside and pour a tablespoon of water inside (for steaming). Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes (or until soft).
Quinoa Pilaf: Make the red quinoa according to direction on the package. Once ready, mix in half of a diced onion, the diced bell pepper, sliced figs, pan-fried shiitake and a little chopped cilantro.
Pine-nut Gravy: Heat a little olive oil in a pan, add some cracked pepper and salt and roast the pine-nuts. Add two finely chopped cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp of the frilly part of fennel (chopped), some cinnamon and curry. Put into a high speed blender, and add water or veggie broth to make into a gravy thickness. Add dill and salt to taste.
Presentation: Fill the squash with the quinoa, pour a little of the gravy over the top, garnish with some chopped cilantro and lean the acorn top against your creation.
Pairs well with steamed vegetables, a salad, a nice glass of Viognier and a big smile.
|Photo: Caspar Poyck|
In addition to his personal chef and catering activities, Caspar conducts culinary retreats. His next one is scheduled for December 10th – 12th. For more information see his Consciously Culinary website or visit his Facebook page.