I had the pleasure of meeting Nicky Clinch a top macrobiotic chef at one of her supper clubs, hosted by Daylesford in Chelsea. Nicky Clinch is a Macrobiotic nutritionist & life counsellor, who hosts the six week macrobiotic cooking workshop Transform Your Diet, Transform Your Life.
This particular supper club was such a wonderful way to welcome in the spring, and the attention paid to detail was really on point. The tables were decorated with fresh rhubarb, beautifully smelling marigolds, and stones which had the words, ‘love’ and ‘happiness’ written on them. I brought home a ‘love’ stone which I now keep in my bedroom. Tea lights were scattered across the room, and although the atmosphere was cosy and romantic, it had a fresh and vibrant feel about it. Winter was well and truly behind us.
Before we ate we were asked to engage in a short yoga session taught by Nicky Clinch’s sister. When I say yoga, we weren’t getting ourselves into any obscure or strenuous stretches. The focus was more on breath work, being grounded and present in the moment. This was so we could be aware of what we were eating, rather than eat subconsciously or rushing through courses. The evening was enjoyed with awareness.
The Nicky Clinch menu itself was both carefully and thoughtfully planned out. Everything served was free of refined sugar and dairy and was as seasonal and organic where possible. Each course had a key macrobiotic ingredient, which was explained on a separate card accompanying the meal. A sort of superfood if you like, with multi-beneficial purposes.
The starter was a pea, white miso and truffle soup, alfalfa sprouts, fresh peas and pea shoots. The foliage was served into a large bowl, with the warm pea soup in a cup to the side of it. At first there was some confusion as to what we were actually meant to do with it, but the idea was that we poured the soup over the edible flowers and shoots. It tasted absolutely delicious, and was beautifully presented. Nicky pointed out the key macrobiotic ingredient in the starter was miso. Miso helps maintain nutritional balance and is full of good bacteria and digestive enzymes.
The main course was dulse and herb crusted cod or tofu steak (as a vegan option), on a bed of lightly spiced red quinoa. Which was served with red onion jam, wok fried Pak Choy and green goddess salsa verd.
Nicky Clinch believes although we shouldn’t eat refined sugar, our sweet cravings are not be ignored or suppressed, as they are actually associated with our human need for comfort, love and self care. Sometimes we need a little sweetness in our lives, it was for that reason the dish was accompanied with the red onion jam, which had a naturally sweet but soothing taste to nourish and balance sugar cravings. The dish itself incorporated all five tastes and elements which created balance, grounding and unity. These senses and feelings were in keeping with the yoga techniques taught at the beginning of the evening.
Desert was lemon curd tart with vanilla cashew and amasake ice cream with raw white chocolate sauce. How she managed to get the lemon curd to be such a vibrant shade of yellow using all natural ingredients was an impressive mystery to me. Desert was so pretty, the colours really popped out, it was like spring had sprung on our plates.
The key ingredient in the desert course was Amasake. It was the first I’d ever heard of this ingredient, but it had a warm, comforting flavour and texture, almost like a sweet version of Horlicks. Amasake is made from fermented brown rice and is a natural sweetener. Unlike refined sugar, it keeps our blood sugar levels balanced and our emotions and cravings calm and under control. Amasake is also incredibly rejuvenating for the digestive system, and nourishes the part in us that needs and craves comfort.
The evening sparked a motivation in me to discover more about Nicky Clinch, but also about the macrobiotic diet, and what it meant to cook the macrobiotic way. Both myself and my friend Hayley were so inspired by the ingredients used and their physical and emotional benefits that we decided to book onto her workshop Transform Your Diet, Transform Your Life.
Thank you for reading my post, I do hope that you enjoyed it. Please feel free to leave any comments, or to contact me about the various supplements featured.