I’ve long been a fan of Zen priest, author, and cook Edward Espe Brown. I still have a recipe book of his from the Tassajara Zen Center I got back in the 80s. The thing I liked about it best then as now, is that while he included some recipes in the book, he added ideas about how to be fully present with the food (especially vegetables) and create dishes mindfully and spontaneously. He even told a funny story about when he accidentally burned a huge batch of kale and was congratulated by his diners on the delicious barbeque taste. “How did you do that?” they wanted to know. Ah, the kitchen life. As my friend Martine Lussier says, “Peace Begins in the Kitchen.” I picked up an old copy of the Buddhist Review Tricycle from the fall of 2009 at the thrift store and found a whole article about mindfulness in the kitchen, with a quote from Brown’s Zen master Tenkei: “See with your eyes, smell with your nose, taste with your tongue.” Which reminds me of another fun quote from The Fantastiks: “Plant a radish, get a radish, not a Brussels sprout, that’s why I like vegetables, you know what they’re about!” Which brings me to the Living Light Chef Showcase: Hot Chefs, Cool Kitchen here at Living Light August 26-28. In three days, you’ll see 12 chefs, 24 raw food recipe demos and if you keep your senses focused, you’ll learn more than you can imagine about being fully present with the food.