Food Studio - Voices of Regen #3: Cecilie Dawes

By Jaari Heyes, Photos by Food Studio & Alex Benjaminsen

Sharing food is “one of our most basic human needs, this need for belonging and connection.”

Cecilie Dawes’ relationship with food is more than just mindful gathering and eating. For Cecilie, sharing food with others is an experience worth cherishing and properly slowing down for. Good and honest food has the ability to not only make our stomachs full, but our hearts too.

After personally experiencing major health and wellbeing benefits from transitioning to a holistic diet, Norweigian slow entrepreneur, Cecilie Dawes became aware of a collapse in today’s fast-paced food system.

“Food as medicine has been a part of my journey on a more personal level,” said Cecilie.

“I was introduced to the anti-inflammatory diet, [which was] an awakening moment, seeing how much food is related to health and the body, and realising how little the western [health system] talks about this.”

Seeing a window of opportunity, Cecilie began to visualise ‘Food Studio’, a food experience business based in Oslo. The business’ intention is to positively benefit the health of the environment and community, using food and food education as a platform. ‘Food Studio’ was Cecilie’s chance to challenge the way society views food, by involving people in the harvest, preparation and cooking of their own meals. All set in the gorgeous setting of Norway’s land and seascapes.

Prior to Food Studio’s establishment in 2011, while holidaying in Buenos Aires, Cecilie was invited to a pivotal pop-up dinner with people she hardly knew.

“There was this feeling of sitting around a table with complete strangers, but still feeling relaxed and nurtured on so many levels,” said Cecilie.

At the end of the night, “I felt like I was leaving dinner with close friends”.

Food Studio’s essence is strongly based around the notion of sharing meals, this humble heroine believes connection through food is embedded deep within us.

“We used to be a part of these villages, and sharing meals is the ultimate connector in a way,” Cecilie said.

“It instantly makes us relaxed, and opens our senses.”

As a seasoned entrepreneur in holistic food education, Cecilie reminds us that businesses will thrive as humans stop overexploiting Mother Nature, and instead encourage natural regeneration of resources for the future.

“We are pushing ecosystems [to the brink],” said Cecilie.

“The big theme for me at this moment is resilience, and how we can create a life with businesses that are in healthy ‘soils’”.

“We need to change our egocentric individualistic focus into an ecocentric understanding”.

Somehow transcending the COVID-19 pandemic, Cecilie will continue to revolutionise peoples’ relationship with food. In fact, the Norwegian government’s new requirement for sustainable development and life skills is an affirmation. These skills are now being seen as an interdisciplinary part of the whole curriculum, suggesting a widening (mainstream) market for this pioneer’s expertise.

“The most valuable skill that I and Food Studio have is the ability to connect and share knowledge about sustainability”.

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