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Veganising Everything with Kinga and Maciek from 'eat.co'

12 Dec

During their two year travels around Asia, Kinga and Maciek took part in Agama level one in Rishikesh, India. Little did they know, that this would be the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.
After some further travels, running short on savings, they decided they wanted to come to Koh Phangan to visit some Agama friends and check out the island vibe.

"Initially we didn't like it at all, and left after a month, not planning to be back. We already were thinking about opening a little vegan place, but couldn't find anything that would suit our vision.

Just when we left, our friends mentioned that Andrea, whom we knew very briefly, was looking for someone to run a restaurant in a space he created over a year ago.
After contacting him, we found out he already had someone lined up for the gig, so we went back to India, in a hope to attract another opportunity. Long story short, a few weeks later he contacted us back asking if we still interested, so we said -fuck it, lets just give it a go."

After a few more hiccups and obstacles on the way, they were back on the island preparing for this exciting and super challenging task.
Kinga had never before cooked for strangers, but her newly discovered passion for veganising anything she could, it pushed her to try and share what she can with the world.

"We arrived to a fully equipped restaurant with an amazing decor and atmosphere. Andrea did an amazing job with this place, and for us it was like a God given gift. Now we just had to create all the rest: design the menu, create the dishes and open up the resturant.
We put all of our energy into it, and decided to dive deep without any major expectations, except just do what we wanted.
The feedback we got from the very beginning was just overwhelming, we were even told that our food should be more expensive, believe it or not. Now, exactly one year later, we still can't believe how amazing this experience is. And it's only the beginning".

On behalf of Andrea, what was the original concept behind eat.co?

The concept initially was the website. Eat.Co stands for Eat Consciously. Andrea along with a few friends wanted to create a space for people who had a passion for food and a conscious approach to it,  to share interesting food stories, exciting recipes or useful health tips.

Then he decided to create a physical space here, on the island, as it was his home, for people to meet, eat good food and maybe hold small events in the yoga hall, or buy good quality products in the small shop.

That's how Eat.Co was born, with a Sunday buffet in the evening every other week and some events in the yoga hall.
Then we found each other and expanded the family taking it to another level.

What can people expect from the restaurant?
It’s an experience.
We never created this to make money, we just wanted to share the passion we have with the community and show people that it is possible to create vegan food that tastes really good.
Our approach is to create vegan comfort food, that would satisfy any taste bud, not only those on a plant based diet.

(Andrea founder of Eat.co)

Have you ever changed a meat eaters perception of vegan food?
Many meat eaters come and are apprehensive at the beginning, but then we convince them to try our kebab which tastes like meat, then they say ‘I have to try the vegan thing more’.

If we can inspire at least one person to begin to make small changes to their eating habits, we are already winners.

Where do you get your inspiration for the food?
I started from pinterest, and other online sources, I saw pictures of some dishes and was like ‘wow, that looks amazing, I have to try this" Then I experimented and played around with different ingredients. I try to create something new, something that I would like to eat myself. If I liked it, let's hope others will to"

What’s one of your most popular dishes?
We became very popular for our meatless Iskender Kebab and Beetroot Burger and recently our extensive selection of homemade cakes and sweets are attracting more people every day. There must be something in the air, especially in SriThanu, people seem to be craving sweet stuff all the time. So we are offering guilt free, refined sugar free goodies on a daily basis.

(Baked Vegan Cheesecake)

Where do you source your ingredients?
We try to use as much of the local products as we can, but as some of the stuff cannot be sourced locally, we have to use supermarkets and other channels.
In the future, we would like to create an organic garden, a cooperative space to support ourselves and the community here
We also believe in creating opportunities for people who are passionate about food, and offer a volunteering scheme. At the moment a young couple from Argentina joined our team for the season. They are both super eager and excited to be a part of our little family, and we are thrilled to have them here with us. In upcoming weeks Eat.Co will begin to serve breakfast, and these two will be in charge of this, so watch this space.

The Yoga studio hosts many workshops, tell us a bit about how this works?
Yes, our beautiful yoga hall is available to anyone that would like to share their skills with others, whatever it may be. The variety of workshops and classes we had hosted is amazing, from simple meditation to erotic dance or vocal training. We love the concept of creating this diversity and would love to continue to attract more creative souls to use our space.

We charge only twenty percent from whatever the host will make on the event. The hall is beautifully decorated, there is very special vibe there, that people really appreciate.
To make a booking please contact us through booking@eat.co or come to the restaurant and talk to us directly.

(Beautiful Yoga hall during Rafa's Network of Love workshop)

What are the future projects for eat.co?
Growth and expansion. Although we have stopped planning for now as life throws a lot of obstacles and surprises. So for now we are taking it as it is, one day at a time, enjoying the process and trying to have as much fun with it as we can.

Why do you think Koh Phangan attracts such conscious people?
It's like a mecca for evolution. There are so many yoga schools, healing centres, workshops, and now the vegan scene, it's no wonder that more and more people come over to the island in a search of new life views. On top of that, the healing properties of the island itself I guess create a lot of changes in peoples awareness.

What do you enjoy about the island in your free time?
It’s simple things like riding the bike without rushing anywhere, going to the beach, sauna, catching up with friends, eating out (for a change) and taking it easy. Sometimes attending workshops or other events. Whatever we feel like doing.
The island is so healing and chilled out so enjoying every moment is the best thing you can do.

Why should people come see you at eat.co?
Because it’s Cool! It’s an experience
The place, the atmosphere, there’s always laughter and always someone interesting to talk to, locals, travelers, people exchanging stories, it’s amusing. Eat.co is not only a restaurant.
We have extensive selection of amazing books in our in house library,  tons of cool stuff in the shop. You'll never get bored with us.

(One of the Sunday lunch specials)

Eat.co team is always looking for people to contribute to the website with articles and recipes related to conscious living, so if you like writing and have something you would like to share with the world, please contact us on foodstories@eat.co. Please check our Facebook page for info on all events and special stuff.

FYI, every Sunday you can enjoy our Special Lunch set for 170B, which includes 3 dishes, drink and a dessert.

We're open Fri till Wed, 12pm till 4pm, then back at 6pm until 10pm.

Closed on Thursday

In upcoming days we will also open for breakfast from 8am till 11.00 am.

Our website offers a variety of interesting articles, and recipes, so please check it out in your free time

www.eat.co

(Flor and Juan - volunteers from Argentina)


(Famous Iskender Kebab)


(Mushroom BBQ Burger)


(Couscous Salad)

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