Nicolae Tanase: Leslie, what is the meaning of life?Leslie Cerier: The meaning of life is joy, is fun, is love, is pleasure, is being true to oneself. And of course being a chef embodying a luscious lifestyle is part of the meaning of my work and my life. It’s about nourishment on every level, on our sensory levels. There is always beauty. For instance I would prefer to grow my own food, or to go to an organic farm. Or going to the market and have a beautiful human experience with getting my food. So gathering of the food is also a delicious experience. And the cooking of the food and the the eating of the food. All is about savoring life.The meaning of life for me is always that I do something for myself, something “delicious” every day. For that means being out in nature, being connected to nature. I live in the woods and every day of the year I’m either gonna go for a swim in a natural pond or I get to eat berries on the way in and out. Or as the seasons change I’ll hike or I’ll cross country ski, or I spend time wth friends. So that I’m not getting the work done first then playing. I’ll usually play first and that way I get the work done, because I fed myself first. NT: We could say that nature gives us meaning through all those nourishing things, through deliciousness as you’ve just mentioned. LC: Exactly. And appreciating the sun, the light. You know for me the meaning of life is being as much light as I can be, and eating the sunlight. So being in nature, getting the sun and eating the food sat out in the sun. I would not be somebody who would go to the supermarket and just run down the isles. The meaning of my life is to make it sensual and nourishing every minute.
When I do cooking for people, in the best possible way I’m cooking from my heart, besides following the recipe, because I write books and develop recipes for people. Sometimes people will say, even my own daughter will say: “I made your recipe exactly as written but it did not taste as good as yours…” And there is something when we are adding our essence in every ingredient that we can’t calibrate sometimes. It’s essence of it after all.
~Leslie Cerier “The Organic Gourmet” is an internationally recognized vegetarian chef, educator, wellness coach, cookbook author, recipe developer, consultant, photographer and farm to table caterer. She specializes in local, seasonal, organic, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free cooking. Leslie is passionate about helping people expand their palettes and leads cooking workshops and chef trainings all over the world.
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