Mindfulness for Chefs’ Wins Innovation Award

TU Dublin’s ‘Mindfulness for Chefs’ Wins Innovation Award

A global first- Innovating kitchen culture for chefs, using teaching and learning

Mark Glynn - TU Dublin’s ‘Mindfulness for Chefs’ Wins Innovation Award

‘The Mindful Kitchen’ a new module that is part of the core curriculum of year one culinary arts students in TUDublin’s -Tallaght Campus  is the winner of The Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning 2019 .

This module is the first of its kind globally, in culinary education. Designed by culinary lecturers Annette Sweeney and Denise Murray, it seeks to innovate kitchen culture for chefs using teaching and learning. It challenges young chefs in an experiential way, through exploring, in the practical kitchen, ways in which the modern chef can be mindful in food production and use mindful tools to benefit his/her health and well- being in the modern kitchen. It engages them with ways of developing healthy habits to deal with modern kitchen culture in order to affect positive change.Students are introduced to a wide range of mindful resources e.g. chef yoga, breathing techniques and Qigong, which can be used for chef health and wellbeing.

They are encouraged to be more mindful with regard to food sourcing, food production, food waste, presentation and eating. The chef self-care component has four key themes that focuses on favourable and unfavourable practices in relation to stress, mental health, nutrition and diet, and kitchen culture. Through class activities, students explore the factors influencing kitchen culture and the potential role of a mindful approach in maintaining a positive kitchen culture along with the need for a personal awareness of the application and the importance of chef self-care, in the career of a chef.

According to Annette Sweeney “What we are trying to do in this module is  to self-empower chefs for their profession, to set ‘seeds’ of awareness that hopefully will ‘fully bloom’ during their career, enabling them to care for themselves and others as part of their professional approach to working and being in a kitchen environment. In addition the module heightens their awareness of where food comes from along with the role of a mindful approach in inspiring dish creativity.”

Students have responded very positively to the module with a greater awareness of themselves, the potential of the approach and the creation of their own ‘chef self-care plan’.


Find out more about ‘The Mindful Kitchen’ – view the video application here

The Mindful Kitchen: Innovating kitchen culture for chefs, using teaching and learning

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