Experience The Mindful Kitchen: Heather Thomas’ tips and tricks

Heather Thomas and Marian Reed, are the two passionate food creatives behind The Mindful Kitchen. These two friends host interactive and educational food workshops where they teach their guests how to be truly present for a meal and engage with it by using all their senses. The Mindful Kitchen’s workshops include making delicious food, tasting unique flavours and sharing stories that are unconventional and thought-provoking.

Heather shares her go-to tips for how to create a mindful kitchen at home…


In workshops, I explain to people that preserve making is a practice similar to yoga or meditation. If it becomes ritual, it becomes the action that reinforces one’s understanding of food as the great relator of humans to all of nature. Even if you only make a dozen jars of jam a year, that’s great! The point isn’t to fill your pantry, the point is to put intent to connect to people, seasons and the planet through action.


This time of year, I find myself hosting a lot of dinner parties. It’s dark, cold and time to hunker down around the table with friends and food. I like to put on some Ella Fitzgerald, channel my inner Dorothy Parker and concoct signature cocktails made with preserves from bright summer days.  There’s something about the morphing of the taste of summer into something sumptuous for winter that really gets me excited.


Celebrate with cocktails. The creation of which I am most proud is my Temptation Preservation Cocktail. Also, this year I discovered apple shrub; Elizabethans used this apple, vinegar and sugar preserve in the way that we use lemons. Apple shrub provided a fragrant acidic punch in the days before industrialised agriculture gave us access to year-round citrus fruit.  I mix it up with homemade cinnamon-infused vodka, ginger syrup and whisky. I also rim the glass with zero waste apple powder (which I made from the peels of apples used to make the shrub). Just checking the clock, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

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