I hope you're all having a great Fall season.
I went for my second Burn at the Burning Man Arts Festival in Nevada, and it was the best - despite all the dust storms and physical inconveniences! I loved it and had a great time volunteering with our Krishna kitchen crew, who cooked for and camped with the Opulent Temple Camp this year. I'm so grateful I got to serve with the wonderful team we had!
We cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner for approx 200 people for more than a week (because KK also did some pre-burn service). I will introduce our KK crew 2012 with photo's below, since a picture speaks a million words better than I can! :-) Thank you to Gina, Bhava, Mandali, Jagadish and anyone else who provided photos. :-)
Our head chef, Nate, an empowered hard core cook, kind, wise father and friend to all - from Washington D.C. Because of him I was able to come and serve at this years Burn. And he generously offered Mandali and I the facility of his A.C. truck and took up austere quarters elsewhere, just so we would be comfortable. I'm grateful to him for being such a selfless gentleman.
In a sincere, humble mood of rendering devotional service, every day before entering the kitchen door he would reverentially touch his head to the earth, seeking the blessings of Sri Radha - Who, according to Bhakti yoga - is the embodiment of the divine feminine energy, and is in charge of the kitchen. So dear Burner friends, now you know why your food tasted so great!! :-) He got a huge round of applause every single lunch time for the nutritious tasty meals he cooked.
Mandali - beloved wife of the late Nitai (Krishna kitchen founder), bhakti yoga mystic, fashion designer, and our strong, inspired, divine priestess and friend - from New York. We all came to Burning Man this year because of her determination to do it for Nitai! And we felt his presence in everything which so magically flowed in happy service beyond our best hopes.
Dynamic Rasikananda - our enthusiastic, bold, 'jack of all trades' and graphic design genius from Tennessee, whose deadpan humor will keep you laughing all the way home! He was an empowered, inspired soul in making it possible for our Krishna Kitchen to even be able to do the Burn this year.
Here he is holding the Divine Yajna Narayan - the "Original Burning Man" from Orissa, India! :-)
3 of our lively kitchen Ninja's:
Delightfully quick witted Radhanath, our photographer, upbeat trooper and kitchen helper - from Florida
Our amazing kitchen genie Mike, maker of salads, musician, open-hearted friend and food outreach monk - from San Antonio, Texas
Full of zest for life, Nitai, our focused kitchen assistant and cook, deadly fryer of frog fritters, who inspired us all with his enthusiasm to come to this Burn - all the way from Australia!
Mike with Yudhi - our kind, caring, sincere and hardworking cook, facilitator and on site KK manager with a big heart - from Laguna Beach
Advaita - our wonderful, inspiring "60 second meditation" monk, musician, artist, soul-gazing pied piper and kirtan night owl, an all round caring, supportive friend and stoic kitchen helper - from Croatia
Jagadish - our gentle, humble distributor of Nitai's burfi gifts, a nurse, and bhakti yoga practitioner. He was also Advaita's evening meditation side kick and unassuming serve-out / kitchen support man - from Pittsburgh
Nityodita - Nitai's Uncle, a dedicated kirtan man, senior bhakti yogi mystic, supportive presence, and all round kitchen helper - from Pennsylvania
Rare occurance! Our Krishna Kitchen crew actually having a meeting all together over dinner!
Yours truly - side kick to Nate and support to dear Mandali, artistic dessert and salad dressing creator and designer - from Ireland
And behind the scenes:
Tuka - our manager of Krishna Kitchen - the mover and shaker who stays in the background, strong, supportive and expert, the powerful voice of big brother checking in on you over the phone - from California
Sweet, friendly, caring Gina - with our boys, now part of the Krishna Kitchen family - she was another special angel with Opulent Temple
April - our wonderful, enthusiastic, cheerful patient driver and all round helper, a beautiful friend and sister with smiling eyes
Big hearted Anna - our kind host and Auntie to all of us, and patient driver who goes the extra mile to serve. Together with her husband Wayne she is caretaker of Krishna camp art and supplies
Nanda - our long distance, off site menu planner and recipe supplier this year, she is an inspired cook and bhakti yoga teacher in Boston
Bhava and Govinda - incredible cooks who came and cooked an evening meal giving the regular KK crew a break. :-) Thank you, I still remember that fantastic creamy coconut kofta sauce you made - I want the recipe!