Retreat Chef Academy

Are you uninspired cooking in the same kitchen day in, day out?

Do you long for the freedom and knowledge to play with culture, flavour and variety in your recipes?

Are you ready to travel around the world while getting paid to feed people?

Do you want to use your recipes to make a difference in the lives of people on transformational health and wellbeing journeys?

I am so excited to finally launch The Bettina’s Kitchen Retreat Chef Academy to teach you how to master the art of retreat cooking and implement it into a career you love.

I spent 7 formative years as a retreat chef. Cooking on retreats gave me an arena in which I could experiment with my style, working methods, and flavour profiles. Twenty four hours a day for a seven-day trip was a long time to be gifted with to discover ingredients and the ways in which what I did with those ingredients add value to someone else’s life. It’s intimate and growth-promoting and kept my feet steadily on the ground and in direct relationships with my clients and my craft. I now want to pass that onto you.

This course has been years in the making and planning and I am so proud to finally be able to offer this intensive learning experience to teach you:

  • The nuances of retreat cooking
  • How to deliver exceptional cuisine within a retreat setting
  • How to curate delicious, healthy plant-based dishes to nourish and inspire guests on their transformational journeys.
  • How to live your dream and enjoy a successful career as a retreat chef

Being a great retreat chef is about so much more than just cooking lovely meals.

The role also requires you to also be an excellent menu planner, budget-er, accountant, and contract negotiator. The best retreat chefs know how to handle stress and time management, insurance, food allergies, and demanding clients and bosses with ease. All whilst delivering memorable, balanced meals to support yoga, exercise and the overall style, and the environment in which the retreats are held.

Enrol onto The Bettina’s Kitchen Retreat Chef Academy to learn all of these essential practical skills, and gain invaluable creativity, motivation, and industry connections to truly develop a rewarding career as a Retreat Chef.

Bettina's Kitchen

Retreat Chef Academy

Subtotal £500.00

Total Amount: £500.00

Not Ready? Contact Me

The Bettina’s Kitchen Retreat Chef Academy is open to anyone that wants to work in the plant based arena. As well as if you are currently working as a chef or a retreat chef, a venue owner, a course leader, or anyone about to embark on a career in the Plant based or Retreat industry, to learn the intricacies and skills required to create menus, develop recipes, manage operations and run a kitchen within a retreat setting.

I invite you to come prepared to explore and learn every detail behind creating extraordinary, unforgettable Plant Based Retreat food. Get ready to delve into the art of crafting a functional menu to perfectly align the flow and focus of each day on a retreat. Learn how to use food to enhance the profound lessons and experiences of guests, whilst supporting the aims of the retreat facilitators.


The Bettina’s Kitchen Retreat Chef Academy course runs for 7 full days.

Each 9:00 am to 5:00 pm day incorporates an in-depth exploration and immersive learning experience into exactly what it takes to become a successful and in-demand retreat chef.


  • Benefit from comprehensive hands-on cooking classes in a small group setting
  • How to create your own breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks and drinks recipes
  • Learn how to adapt your menus and ingredients for the content of each retreat
  • Learn how to cook plant-based, free-from dishes and how to accommodate allergies and intolerances
  • Networking and meeting the fellow trainees on the course.
  • Opportunity to win a place as a chef on one of two established retreats upon course graduation

Creativity and a signature style:

  • Develop your own cooking style to enhance your employability and establish yourself within the industry.
  • Explore your favourite flavours, nutritional profiles and ingredients to enhance your personal style.
  • Build your confidence in the kitchen and learn how to hone your intuitive skills as a chef.

Business and Operations:

  • Strengthen your practical and management skills and develop a business model to enable you to enter every new retreat kitchen and execute your craft with efficiency, professionalism and confidence
  • Learn how to structure and stock your kitchen, source local produce and develop strong relationships with suppliers.
  • Learn how to navigate the intricacies of insurance, health and safety, staffing and invoicing without getting flummoxed!

In addition, each student will receive:

  • Certification from The Bettina’s Kitchen Retreat Chef Academy.
  • Comprehensive notes to use in practice.
  • A full recipe pack of everything covered in the course. (Note that notes have to be taken during classes)
  • A copy of The Bettina’s Kitchen Retreat Chef Book, including a list of suppliers with some discount codes.
  • Ongoing support, networking and work opportunities

Course Outline

Plant-Based Basics – the theory of plant-based cooking techniques

  • Food safety and hygiene
  • Pantry basics — how to create your plant-based retreat toolkit of essentials
  • Menu planning and budgeting
  • Equipment & knife skills
  • How to set up your kitchen space when your kitchen is ever-changing

Plant-based Basics – a note on plant nuts and seeds

  • Nut and seed milks
  • Tofu Making class (okara, yuba)
  • Yogurts and creams
  • Nut and seed based cheeses: almond, macadamia, cashew and seed based
  • Fermentation processes: jun, kefir, pickles, sauerkrauts and kombucha

Plant-based Baking – how to bake gluten-free

  • Breads, crackers, flatbreads and Sourdough (not gluten free)
  • Cakes and desserts
  • Pizza bases
  • Sweet and savoury granolas
  • Snacks

Plant Based Proteins – Grains and the importance of texture

  • Fat sources and boosters
  • Dressings and pastes
  • Meal composition
  • Pantry staples

Chocolate and cacao – bean to bar

  • Desserts: Nut-based desserts and allergen-free alternatives
  • Sweet creams: nut-based desserts and allergen-free alternatives
  • Spices, herbs and superfood boosters
  • Snacks and drinks


  • Guest lecture by Jools Sampson, founder of Reclaim Yourself Retreats
  • Guest Lectures by Jennifer Earle /Chocolate/ Bernies Bakehouse Nicole Bernard/
  • The do’s and dont’s of retreat cheffing
  • Insurance, contracts and negotiating your day rate
  • Project: create your own menu
  • Research, development and ingredient sourcing.

Execution and presentation of the last project

Everyone will be given their end of course project brief on Day 1, which will outline the retreat type, venue, number of clients they will need to design and cook a menu for.

The project will require each student to implement what they have learnt over the week and present the final menu according to their project outline. This includes cooking a 3-course example from their menu brief.

Students will also need to demonstrate budgeting, menu planning (shopping list) ingredient sourcing and other skills necessary within the role of a retreat chef.

WINNER Announced for a Bettina’s Kitchen Retreat Placement

  • One student will WIN a placement on a Bettina’s Kitchen Retreat with the possibility of a placement at Jools Simpson Reclaim Yourself Retreat

What to expect

As a Retreat Chef Academy student you will:

  • Gain a full understanding of how retreat cheffing works from the inside out
  • Benefit from one on one coaching with Bettina for the full 7-day course, from 9:00am to 17:30pm each day
  • Receive access to a closed Alumni Members Facebook group for:
    • Exclusive opportunities to secure work on upcoming retreats and placements all over the world.
    • The invaluable ability to ask questions and have them answered while on a job.
    • Tips and technique sharing and long-lasting work connections.
  • Each day we will eat what we make together and go in depth with every technique.

The Space


Academy Dates

29th November 2021 – 5th December 2021

31st of January – 6th of February NEW 2022 Dates

An Investment in Yourself:

The course costs a total of £1950

Bettina's Kitchen

Retreat Chef Academy

Subtotal £500.00

Total Amount: £500.00

Not Ready? Contact Me

The balance can be paid in full or in 3 instalments:

  1. £500 deposit on enrolment
  2. £450 (8 weeks prior to start)
  3. £1,000 (4 weeks prior to start)

Please note: this does not include any flights, accommodation or private insurance you will need in order to attend. Deposits are none refundable and can be transfered to a diffrent date if you cannot attend for any reason.

Accommodation can be recommended. If there are more of you, we suggest renting an Airbnb together for the duration of the course.

Student Testimonials

September 2021

Bettina’s Retreat Chef Academy has been the best investment in myself on my journey and strong desire to make food my career! 

Both Bettina and Nicole were extremely committed to expand our knowledge and challenge us, whilst at the same time  keeping the atmosphere very casual and nurturing!

I literally can’t fault this course. Guest speakers, content, support, challenges – the whole experience is something that I will never forget and take with me on my way! Let’s not even talk about the amazing food we ate and prepared! My heart is full and my brain is buzzing with ideas. With Bettina’s tools on hand, one can only succeed! 

As an added bonus I was lucky enough to meet like minded wonderful foodie people that I know I will keep in touch with in the future! 

Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart. So grateful! 

Lots of love,


Andrea Hilgers 

September 2021

Just back from my week at the Vegan Chef Academy and I went straight to my kitchen and carried on cooking! This incredible course is guaranteed to get you inspired from Day 1. It’s a stimulating blend of fascinating theory, masterclasses and talks from visiting speakers plus hands on experience in a professional kitchen set up. I have come away feeling inspired to continue my chef’s journey wherever it may take me and, that’s all thanks to the fantastic teaching offered by Bettina and her team. Good teaching is an art but great teaching is a gift and Bettina is the real deal. Patient, generous, good humoured…oh, and she’s not a bad cook either!! Just book a place and let your journey begin! This is one decision you won’t regret.’

Thank you so much for the experience of a lifetime!

Helen Portas 

May 2021

The Retreat Chef Academy had been such an incredible experience. I can’t believe how much we learned in these 7 days, from making cheese, tofu and bonbons from scratch, to learning new recipes and flavour combinations, all the valuable tips & tricks. And not to forget the interesting guest lectures that give you so much insight information about products and the retreat industry. For me, the Academy certainly confirmed that this is what I want and has given me the confidence to pursue it. Thank you so much for this Bettina and Nicole x


Marjolein van Ooijen

“I just wanted to send you a huge thank you. I hate to use the word “life changing” but I feel that that is exactly what your course has done for me. When I started experimenting with plant based foods ten years ago it was all I could think about, I was ALWAYS so excited to try new food combinations/try new flavours/techniques that I hadn’t heard of before. Over the years I lost a bit of that excitement, and although I still wanted to create tasty/nutritious dishes I had lost the joy to experiment. This last week, you’ve truly reignited that fuel. I’ve been doing so much research since Sunday night, I’ve been jotting notes like a crazy person and I’m coming up with ideas that I haven’t had in a long time.

You have given me confidence in myself that has been tucked away for quite some time, and was even further buried after everything with work the last few months. Last night I applied for six job positions and have already heard back from two of them – which I’m going in for trials this week.

Although I thanked you in person, I feel you deserved another message of gratitude because you’ve lit a fire in me. I have so much love and gratitude for you, and I do think it’s important to spread joy. Okay, I am done being a sap now ?!”

​​​​​​Samantha, February 2020

“Bettina has this amazing gift of packing a huge amount into a day whilst keeping things very relaxed yet super focused. I can’t believe how much I learnt in 7 days from recipe writing, menu planning for different locations and making tofu from scratch to name just a few. The course was just so much fun and the project was a fabulous challenge that has up-skilled me in many ways. I have already started incorporating new techniques and become more experimental with recipes. Bettina’s book has many amazing plant based recipes that I have been able to use and adapt to my style. Meeting other like minded foodies on the course has been an added benefit so I now have a new group of friends to call on for all matters related to plant based cooking. ​​​​​​” Debra, September 2019

“Bettina’s Retreat Chef Academy has been one of the most fruitful things I have experienced! Feeling so grateful for all of the wisdom shared so freely and for the environment that was created for our group to gain the most out of every day. I have gained more knowledge and confidence going into the world of being a retreat chef. Such an honour to have experienced this magic! Thank you Bettina!” Cat, September 2019