You don’t expect to find mindfulness flourishing in the pressurised life of the chef. But that’s exactly what an Irish college is bringing to its Masters course for chefs. (Irish Times: “Calories, nutrition, mindfulness: what Foodology students learn”).

According to reporter Marie Claire Digby, “Three of the seven recent graduates [at the Institute of Technology Tallaght) had a strong element of mindfulness in their chosen research topic.”

Programme co-ordinator Annette Sweeney explained that “the programme takes an innovative approach to teaching research studies, using practices such as mindfulness, journaling and deep listening.”

Improved performance
One student, Cathal Kavanagh (executive chef at the Blackrock Clinic) told The Irish Times that “I have already noted improved areas of my own workplace performance through my project research and the use of selected mindfulness exercises.”

Pop-up mindful dining
Michael Liu Yiming (Sous chef, the Westin hotel, Dublin) said that hotels and their customers could benefit from “a relaxing, meditative dining experience alongside the facilities they already provide for health-conscious travellers, such as gyms and spas”.

“My short-term goal is to establish a pop-up Health and Wellness Mindful Dining Experience to test my theory on a larger scale.”

It’s all a fascinating example of how we are adapting mindfulness in unexpected but beneficial ways in the West.