Meet Friend of the Brand Bettina Campolucci, who is a sustainable chef and plant-based recipe developer and creator of Bettina's Kitchen. Her core ideals regarding zero waste and the environment align with VOYA as a sustainable brand that strives to waste nothing. Here at VOYA, we use any leftover seaweed that isn’t used in the production of our face and body products, in our packaging board paper. Bettina is also passionate about Wellness and Clean Beauty, two key principles that are integral to the VOYA brand.
We sat down with Bettina to hear all about how she began her career in food, how she built her brand and get her top tips on how to incorporate more plant-based meals into your day. Bettina also shares some hacks on how we can use the entire vegetable, roots, shoots, and all when cooking sustainable, plant-based food at home.
GET TO KNOW BETTINA
With a BBA in Hotel Management & Business, and study in Switzerland, Ireland and Spain, Bettina started off her culinary career front-of-house.
That background helped immensely when she entered the wellness industry in 2011, and began running health retreats in Spain, and later all over the world.
How did you get into your career as a Plant Based and Sustainable Chef?
“For me, cooking became a way of inspiring people to include and cook with ingredients that can sometimes seem daunting. I wanted to show how food could be inspiring, and where it comes from, and that cooking from scratch is the single most powerful thing you can do for yourself and your family. The retreats were the initial stage in spreading that message.”
Reinventing herself as a retreat cook, Bettina’s hobby quickly transformed into a career as a chef specialising in plant-based cuisine. From here, she began to focus on gluten-free and ‘free-from’ recipes – which today form the foundations of her cooking. She went on to study at the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy, in Los Angeles, to expand her cooking skills and knowledge, and learn the culinary arts. She also travelled extensively, to discover how other cultures cook and use plant foods. She began sharing recipes on Instagram – and slowly but surely, people wanted more and Bettina’s Kitchen was born!
Bettina’s Kitchen encompasses food, yoga and mindfulness retreats, plant-based cooking workshops, recipe development, food writing, the Retreat Chef Academy and her cookbooks.
“Everything I do honours my own beliefs about food and wellness, and aligns with my philosophies,” Bettina explains. “I believe that, wherever possible, we should eat seasonally, locally, and from farm to table. We should support small businesses within our communities, and use roots, shoots and all – as cooking waste-free is particularly important to me.
We should also let our veggies do the talking. The best plant food is fuss-free, simple, easy, inexpensive, and speaks for itself.” Bettina’s knowledge of, and passion for, plant-based foods continue to grow, and she’s constantly on the hunt for delicious solutions to challenge the belief that eating plants is boring, expensive and time-consuming.
“I hope that I can inspire people to incorporate more plants in their diets, give a starting point for their journey, and show just how easy cooking with plants can be. Now’s the time to begin positively influencing the next generation in sourcing local ingredients, preserving traditions, respecting the seasons, and cooking from scratch. I’m here to celebrate food, life, friendships, and all things good in the world!”
TOP TIPS FOR 2023
After a busy festive period, do you have any new year health tips?
Walk, eat as seasonally as possible (subscribe to a veg box) and focus on getting enough sleep. All very simple really.
What do you predict to be trending in 2023 in nutrition and veganism?
I think mushrooms will take centre stage this year and live up to their full potential.
How can people eat more sustainably? What tips can you give for us to look after the planet
The simplest and most inexpensive way to eat more sustainably is by subscribing to a veg box. That way you are supporting local farmers, eating more seasonally, and adding more diversity into your diet.
Why is vegan beauty important to you?
I think clean beauty is more so than vegan beauty. Beauty is one of the most unregulated when it comes to labelling. Less ingredients from natural sources are key.
Seaweed is at the heart of VOYA. What nutritional benefits can seaweed provide?
Seaweed is definitely a super food in the sense that it is easy to source and grow and contains lots of the good stuff!
How do you keep your wellbeing in balance, and do you have any wellness goals for 2023?
Being aware when I am not feeling great and pinpointing why that is. Most of my 2023 goals are around using less phones, making more memories and taking time out to balance my busy life.
What can we expect to see from you in 2023?
My Wellness Retreats are back on in a big way. I will be travelling to Bali in February, India in October, and Japan in November! I am working with lots of great brands and maybe just maybe there is another cookbook on the horizon.
What are your favourite VOYA products and why?
It is very difficult to choose a favourite, but I love VOYA products because they are made close by, made from natural ingredients, sustainable and feel and smell amazing.
You can discover more about Bettina's retreats, recipes, events, courses, books and much more at Bettina's Kitchen.