Our Chef’s Cooperative: Hayley North

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Chef Hayley North joined our chef’s cooperative this past July and serves up delicious and creative vegan and raw in our cafe on Friday evenings from 7:00-9:30pm.  Along with raw chef Matteo Morozzo she also puts on special raw food dinners a couple times per month on Tuesday evenings.  This interview with Hayley is the second installment in our chef’s cooperative profiles series.

1.  Where are you from?  What brought you to Rome?

I’m from the UK and have lived quite a nomadic life so far.  I came to Rome for love after 5 years of traveling the world as a specialist yoga retreat chef.

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2.  How did you hear about The Beehive and what made you decide to become a part of the chef’s cooperative?

I was put in contact with Steve and Linda at The Beehive through a mutual contact who runs a retreat centre just outside of Rome.  She knew I was looking for ways to bring my work to Rome and travel less and thought The Beehive would suit my personality and the type of food I make. When I heard about what was happening there and how they wanted to expand on the chef’s co-operative idea I wanted to be a part of it straight away.

3.  Can you describe the kinds of food you prepare on your evenings at The Beehive?

I call my nights The Holistic Kitchen, which is a name I have been using for many years now to sum up what I do. The food varies in terms of dishes and flavours, but it is the principles, methods, philosophy, and ethos that sum up what really happens in my kitchen.

The Holistic Kitchen is my way of making a stand against the manufactured, processed and convenience food industry, and it is as much about education and increasing awareness as the food itself.  This means that all food is sourced from independent, local or artisan producers, it is 100% organic or grown without the use of any pesticides or chemicals. I never use supermarkets and go out of my way to find the most ethical choice possible.

There are NO refined products used at all, and things like salts, oils and sweeteners are chosen carefully. The food celebrates ancient and traditional preparation methods and draws inspiration from the worlds of Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Natural Nutrition, Raw/Living Foods and Macrobiotics, and is suitable for people with all kinds of allergies and intolerances.

My food is deeply influenced by my travels and my studies in yoga and nutrition related subjects. I gain inspiration from so many cultures, so from week to week you can expect a varied alchemy of flavours and dishes from around the world.

4.  Are you vegetarian or vegan?  If you are, what were your motivations to become vegetarian or vegan?  If not, do you find it challenging to create a vegetarian or vegan menu?

I am not personally 100% veggie or vegan, but predominantly so. I rarely eat meat or fish, but I still feel a nutritional benefit from some animal products from time to time. I do not believe that to be healthy means to live on only a plant based diet, I feel this is not right for everybody. However, I do believe that if we choose to eat animal products we must be responsible for how much we consume and make ourselves fully aware of where it comes from and how it is produced and know why we are eating it.

I cook mainly vegan or vegetarian in my work and day to day life, for most people it is a step out of the day to day box and shows how rich and varied the cooking can be. I don’t find it challenging at all to create veggie or vegan menus.  In fact there are endless creative and delicious ways to prepare veg, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes.

5.  Where are your favorite places to eat in Rome?  

I haven’t really found many places that prepare food in this way in Rome to be honest. I really love Bibliothè and have had a lovely vegan meal at il Margutta RistorArte although it was very expensive. I also like the bistro at Villa Pamphili and Felice in Testaccio. I also was quite impressed with Grandma in Quadraro which had a great vibe.

Other than that I rarely eat out as I much prefer to make my own food. After 25 years in the catering industry I know how rare it is to find a good restaurant and to find food prepared by people who actually care about what they are doing!

You will find Hayley and her Holistic Kitchen every Friday evening in our cafe and special 100% raw food dinners on occasional Tuesdays – the raw food events are by reservation only and are posted on our Facebook page.

Dinner is served from 7:00-9:30pm and the cost is €8 for a mixed plate and  €10 with dessert.  Wine & beer are sold at €2/glass.  Menus are posted on the same day on our Facebook page as well as any notifications if there is a cancellation of dinner that evening as has sometimes happened because of illness or time away so it’s always a good idea to check there before heading over.  Reservations aren’t necessary, but do note that only a finite amount of food is prepared so it’s best to come earlier than later – we also have to be strict about wrapping things up early in order not to be disruptive to our room guests.

8 January 2014

The Beehive’s Clumsy Cook makes soup

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Winter is officially here.  Temperatures in Rome are now in the single digits in Celsius – that’s in the 40′s for those of you in Farenheit land.  I’m sure I’m not alone in craving warm comforting food when the temperatures drop – much to the chagrin of my waistline.

Even the Clumsy Cook has a simple solution for dinner on these cold winter nights.  This lentil soup is easy and requires no slaving over the stove.

Ingredients:

1 to 1 1/2 cups of small brown lentils

1 onion

1 celery stalk

1 carrot

1 clove of garlic

1 long sprig of rosemary

1/4 cup of olive oil

1-2 teaspoons of vegetable broth

sea salt to taste

thyme to taste

tomato sauce to taste

Chop up onion, carrot, celery and garlic into small pieces and sauté in a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot.

After veggies are soft, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups lentils and sauté together for a few seconds.

Add about 2-3 liters of water depending on how many lentils you used.

Add some pinches of sea salt, a pinch of dried thyme, the long sprig of rosemary, a couple of splashes of tomato sauce and about a tablespoon of vegetable broth.

Mix and leave at high heat for a little while until boiling and then lower to medium heat.

In total – you want to leave the soup simmering on the stove for about 1-2 hours.  Keep checking from time to time to make sure all the water hasn’t evaporated.

When you see that the soup is thickening – take an immersion blender and blend the lentils until you have a creamy, but chunky texture.

Turn off heat and allow to come down a bit in temperature – warm, but not scalding.

Dish out into bowls, add a drizzle of olive oil and if you are partial to cheese, you can add some grated parmigiano on top.

Serve up with some crusty bread – a simple bruschetta with garlic and olive oil is a good match.

Pour yourself a glass of nice red wine to go with it and enjoy!

 

 

 

28 November 2013

Our Chef’s Cooperative Profiles: Paola Haas

The most recent chef to join our cooperative is Paola Haas – originally from Mexico and Rome resident for many years.  She serves up traditional and authentic vegetarian Latin American food on Sundays from 7-9:30pm.  She also has vegan and gluten-free versions of her dishes available upon request as well.  This interview with Paola is the first installment as I profile all of our chefs in upcoming posts.

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1.  Where are you from?  What brought you to Rome?

I come from Mexico City, and moved to Italy to study art and design more than two decades ago.

2.  How did you hear about The Beehive and what made you decide to become a part of the chef’s cooperative?

I found out about The Beehive from my friend Paolo Casassa, who runs Clover and Acacia guestrooms.  When the idea of a Mexican or Latin-American evening came out, I jumped in immediately, as there are very few places in Rome where you can get this kind of cuisine– and The Beehive, with its international, innovative spirit is the perfect place to offer it.

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3.  Can you describe the kinds of food you prepare on your evenings at The Beehive?

I strive to prepare only authentic food, the kind you would have at a real Latin-American home, the kind your Mamá or your Abuela would cook… in a vegetarian version. Only ingredients that are true to the recipes are used, which can be difficult as we are across the ocean!  I also try to keep a balance between elaborate and simple.

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4.  How did you learn to make this food?  What is your food background?

I have been cooking at home since I was fourteen, as my mother did not cook regularly.  On the other hand, I was constantly surrounded by grandmothers and aunts who cooked divinely and passionately, and encouraged me to learn their recipes and secrets.  Furthermore, in my family, the appreciation of good cuisine has been a trademark ever since I can remember.  I consider myself a self-taught cook although I have taken non-professional courses in Mexico, Italy and France.

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5.  Are you vegetarian or vegan?  If you are, what were your motivations to become vegetarian or vegan?  If not, do you find it challenging to create a vegetarian or vegan menu?

Personally, I am neither vegetarian nor vegan.  However, my cooking philosophy is definitely vegetable-centered so I am used to adapting dishes to a vegetarian or vegan diet, as well as other diets like wheat-free or gluten-free.

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6.  Where are your favorite places to eat in Rome?  

You mean besides The Beehive?  For traditional Roman food, Da Marcello in San Lorenzo; fun, popular osterie in the Garbatella district like Grottino der Traslocatore, Er Moschino or Tanto pe’ Mangià.  In the Testaccio district always reliable and a bit more trendy: Da Fedele or Osteria degli Amici, or Da Domenico in San Giovanni; at a higher budget and with a creative twist, Primo al Pigneto, or Rivadestra in Trastevere; pizza: anywhere but Dar Poeta.  Also, 99% of the places selling pizza al taglio, supplì and arancini are delicious!

You will find Paola and her delicious, homemade and authentic Latin American food every Sunday evening in our cafe.

Dinner is served from 7:00-9:30pm and the cost is €8 for a mixed plate and  €10 with dessert.  Wine & beer are sold at €2/glass.  Menus are posted on the same day on our Facebook page as well as any notifications if there is a cancellation of dinner that evening as has sometimes happened because of illness or time away so it’s always a good idea to check there before heading over.  Reservations aren’t necessary, but do note that only a finite amount of food is prepared so it’s best to come earlier than later – we also have to be strict about wrapping things up early in order not to be disruptive to our room guests.

The Beehive Cafe – a Chef’s Cooperative


Our cafe at The Beehive has evolved a lot over the years – first from a simple breakfast room and then into a guerrilla style vegetarian restaurant serving lunch and dinner without set prices.  We called it the “Cucina Karmica” and while we had price suggestions, people could pay what they thought the meal was worth.

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Despite naysayers who thought it was a crazy idea, it actually worked quite well and we were often packed with nearby office workers during the day and guests and residents at night.

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In 2009, we got a shock from the city of Rome who forced us to stop serving lunch and dinner, without much explanation, but that didn’t deter us from wanting to continue to bring healthy, delicious, vegetarian and vegan food to our guests and Rome residents.

Fast forward to May 2012 when Aimee Jackson Accolla became the first participant in our chef’s cooperative, cooking and serving up delicious vegan meals 3 times a week in our cafe.  Aimee and her family recently moved to Scotland, but we have found several other remarkable people to take her place. We do serve a daily breakfast from 7:30-10:30am, but now 4 evenings a week (and hopefully we can get all 7 evenings filled up), we have outside chefs come in who are participating in our chef’s cooperative.

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As a cooperative, chefs buy and prepare all the food themselves either offsite or in the cafe, and host their themed dinners.  All proceeds go directly to the chef, which is a great way for us to open our space to people with passion, motivation, enthusiasm, and a love of food.  Our cooperative supports fellow entrepreneurs and also provides homey, lovingly made food to our guests and the Rome community at large.

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Our kitchen is by no means a professional kitchen!  The beauty though is that we believe great food can be made by anyone in any kind of environment, no matter how small and simple, and our cafe has proven that.

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Our guest chef evenings are currently as follows:

Wednesday – Vegan Asian fusion with Katrina Tan Conte (NB: Kat is from the Philippines and will heading there for the months of December, January and February.  Her last evening at the cafe will be 11 December 2013, but she’ll be back in our cafe on 5 March 2014.)

Friday – Creative Vegan and Raw with Hayley North

Saturday  – Vegetarian/Vegan Ceylan cooking (Sri Lankan) with Shabeena and Rozana

Sunday  – Vegetarian/Vegan Latin American with Paola Haas

Dinner is served from 7:00-9:30pm and the cost is €8 for a mixed plate and  €10 with dessert.  Wine & beer are sold at €2/glass.  Menus are posted on the same day on our Facebook page as well as any notifications if there is a cancellation of dinner that evening as has sometimes happened because of illness or time away so it’s always a good idea to check there before heading over.  Reservations aren’t necessary, but do note that only a finite amount of food is prepared so it’s best to come earlier than later – we also have to be strict about wrapping things up early in order not to be disruptive to our room guests.

Over the next few months, we’ll be featuring each of our chefs on this blog – stay tuned!

 

21 November 2013

Win a 5 night stay and food tour for 2!

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WHAT YOU GET

• 5 nights accommodation for 2 in Rome at The Beehive Hotel during our low season (read here why that’s a great time to come).

• 2 spaces on the Taste of Testaccio Food Tour by Eating Italy Food Tours

• €100 gift certificate to Volpetti, a mouth-watering specialty food shop in the Testaccio neighborhood of Rome, so you can bring home a taste of La Dolce Vita!

HOW TO ENTER

Send your most creative photo that expresses why you should be living La Dolce Vita in winter time by:

HOW TO WIN

We will choose our favorite entries, post them on Facebook and invite you, your friends, and our fans to like their favorites.  Whoever gets the most likes, wins!

CONTEST DEADLINE

1 December 2013

TERMS & CONDITIONS

• Valid for redemption for travel during the months of November, December, January and February starting 1 December 2013 to 1 March 2015.  The dates of 24 December through 1 January are excluded.

• Redeeming the prize will of course be subject to availability and we will offer you what is available in various room types for your dates of travel.

• Must be redeemed by 1 March 2015.

• Multiple entries allowed.

 

29 October 2013
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