Mealtime at Sat Nam Fest offers many dimensions of nourishment. Of course there is the nourishment to the physical body, but also hearty fuel goes to all the other nine light bodies of consciousness, as well. When we come together to share meals in the dining hall at this festival, we like to approach the experience with the awareness, gratitude, and joy that is befitting a community of conscious beings.
Sat Nam Fest blog interviewed the leader of our food preparation and service team, Shivanter Singh. He shared his wisdom and experience regarding conscious enjoyment of food at the festival.
Sat Nam Fest: Can you discuss your first Sat Nam Fest experience or a memorable Sat Nam Fest moment from the past?
Shivanter: I clearly remember the first festival; it was called “Spirit “festival and it was at this very primitive camp facility in Virginia. It was by no means glamorous, but it was so full of love and prana that everything that took place was pure magic. I remember walking into the main event space and wondering: how the heck is this going to be a place to practice yoga and enjoy sacred music? Over the course of 24 hours, I saw magic created: the team came in, hung fabric, lanterns, sound systems. It was an amazing creative process. And then, WOW, it was a place of dreams and hope.
Sat Nam Fest: What do you look forward to about serving food at Sat Nam Fest this year?
Shivanter: The best for me is seeing everyone who shows up at the festival, people are such light beings. When these light beings have been doing yoga/mantras/meditating and then nourishing themselves with good healthy food, bam! Everything comes together so beautifully into the space for transformation. This is the closest I have to real community in my life. I feel all of us are so connected.
Sat Nam Fest: What is a meal that you feel most eager and happy to serve?
Shivanter: This year we are making the commitment to not serving any pasta. Everything will be primarily plant based, with some fermented foods, such as tempeh, brought into the mix. We’ll be serving our famous tofu scramble at breakfast, but we will also be mixing breakfast up a bit. We have heard some feedback about people wanting some different options, so here we go. You’ll see. We love feedback, it’s how we grow.
Sat Nam Fest: What challenges are you prepared to face regarding serving healthy, wholesome food to festival attendees?
Shivanter: The biggest challenge is making sure we don’t run out of food. We operate out of a kitchen that is designed to feed max 200 guests; but we gracefully manage to feed over 800 per day once we get rolling. Serving 3 meals a day out of this small space definitely presents its challenges, but boy-oh-boy do we learn to dance around each other! Hahahah!
Sat Nam Fest: Do you have a favorite mantra, meditation, spiritual practice, or aphorism that pulls you through challenges?
Shivanter: We play chants in the kitchen in the morning hours, so we are pretty much doing the Aquarian Sadhana at the same time everyone else is…and Wahe Guru Wahe Guru certainly gets chanted a great deal.
Sat Nam Fest: What is a strength of your food service team?
Shivanter: We are amazing group of professionals who have made the choice to not only create but live a life style of consciousness in all our choices. We all have a connection to each other as friends, coworkers, and dreamers.
Sat Nam Fest: What are your secrets to working well together?
Shivanter: Communication, communication, communication.
Sat Nam Fest: How can the festival attendees contribute to making their meal experience most pleasant?
Shivanter: By being mindful of the space, picking up after themselves, making space for someone who might still need to sit and eat, being aware that we are all together as one. Be aware of how each of our actions effects the larger whole. And, also remember that we are all really trying the absolute best we can. Remember the sutra Yogi Bhajan gave: “Recognize that the other person is you.”
Sat Nam Fest: Can you share a couple of easy Sat Nam Fest recipes that folks can prepare at home?
Shivanter: Everybody loves chocolate, so here is a recipe we will use for some of our items served in the Sat Nam Café this festival.
Homemade In Love Chocolate — deliciously easy, healthy and irresistible
1 ½ cup raw cocoa butter
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup raw cocoa powder
3 spoons Maple syrup
a pinch of salt
Your personal touch — add for example dried raspberries, or toasted pistachios or cashew, rose petals, etc.
Melt cocoa butter and coconut oil in a double boiler or a glass bowl on top of a small pan with an inch of water over medium heat.
When cocoa butter and coconut oil are completely melted, remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. Make sure all ingredients are well incorporated and smooth.
You can pour mixture into a lined baking sheet but for best results, use a silicon form or ice cube tray. In that case, first place your favorite ingredients (dried raspberries, toasted pistachios or cashew, rose petals etc.) and then cover completely in more chocolate. In this way, when you take your chocolate out of the forms, your favorite add-ons will be beautifully on top.
Keep it in the fridge for few hours until gets firm.
Quick Nori Soup
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
5 nori sheets
2 tablespoons daikon, grated
3 slices ginger
2 teaspoons umeboshi paste
3-4 cups boiling water
1. In a dry skillet, toast each nori sheet for 1-2 minutes on each side.
2. Tear or cut nori into bite size pieces.
3. Add nori, umeboshi, daikon and ginger to a pot of boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add chopped scallions just before serving. You can also try adding a grated carrot for a bit of a sweet flavor.
Sat Nam Fest: Finally, can you share any advice about bringing more mindfulness or heart to preparing and eating meals?
Shivanter: Preparing your own meals can be the most reverent meditation that you can do, buy from local growers, I really enjoy having high vibe music playing, mantras are perfect for chopping. Step into the realization that you are nourishing your temple – this gift from God – that provides us with the container to be in the world . . .serving not only ourselves, but the entire planet, recognizing the choices that we make and the impact those choices have, to all living beings.
Sat Nam Fest always takes great pride in the way the community comes together to share meals. We offer infinite gratitude and respect to Shivanter and his team for the way they gracefully hold space for nourishing and conscious mealtime experience. Enjoy every bite of food at Sat Nam Fest with the knowledge of the pure love that goes into every step of its preparation and service. To read more about food ticket options and our organic juicing add-on, click here.