Nourishing Body, Mind, and Spirit

Drawing on influences from the local harvest in Boone to Bombay and even the Caribbean, you’ll enjoy deeply satisfying vegetarian meals. Ayurvedic principles tell us to eat nature—real food grown by sun, soil, wind, and water that is full of nature’s prana, or life force. The chefs at the Art of Living Retreat Center know this, and they know that food prepared with love of the planet and of the person being fed is the best food. ⁠

Our Food Philosophy

We are committed to serving nourishing food which creates balance and harmony for the mind, body, spirit, and planet. We seek to promote a sense of well-being with the choices we make. 

The principles of our food philosophy guide our menu creation and kitchen ethos, our community’s enrichment, and our guests’ satisfaction. Our intention behind everything we serve is to support our guests and staff in having a peaceful and joyful retreat experience. 

These are the five foundational principles of our food philosophy: 

  1. We are a vegetarian, mostly whole foods kitchen. We believe that removing most animal products and processed foods from the diet promotes health and well-being and leaves a smaller ecological footprint. Therefore, our menus emphasize vibrant fruits and vegetables, whole grains, plant-based proteins, healthy oils, and unrefined sugars. 
  2. The ancient science of Ayurveda inspires us. We are committed to creating balance and harmony through food—a central idea in Ayurveda. Per Ayurvedic guidance, we avoid onion (including leeks, shallots, chives, scallion, etc.), garlic, mushrooms, eggplant, and eggs as they are considered to have negative prana. 
  3. Our menus are welcoming, inspiring, and accommodating. We understand that people come to us from all walks of life and with varied dietary needs and preferences. For these reasons, we seek to satiate their palettes through delicious dishes, familiar flavors, and an aesthetic presentation. At the same time, we aim to inspire our guests to expand their minds and embrace vegetarian cuisine if it is new to them. We also provide varied options for vegan guests and those with food allergens and sensitivities, such as nuts, dairy, and gluten. 
  4. We have the utmost respect for our community and planet and are mindful of the impact of our kitchen. For these reasons, we aim to source organic, seasonal, and local products whenever we can. In addition, we keep sustainability at the forefront of our decision-making process when sourcing ingredients, planning menus, preparing meals, and handling food waste.
  5. Love is at the core of all we do in our kitchen. Because the emotions and energetics of the person preparing the food influence the food, we lovingly feed our guests with an attitude of service. We want them to leave with happiness on their faces and love in their hearts.

Sample Menus

Just a little preview to get your taste buds going…

Warm Up
Northern Rosemary White Bean Soup Semolina Cakes with Apple Mint Chutney and Mango SaUce Brazed Cabbage Hummus & Tabbouleh with Pita Chips
Fall in Love
Pumpkin Soup Waldorf Salad Braised Parsnips Bean and Lentil Cakes with Fresh Fennel and Cranberry Compote Greens from our Garden
The Savory Sage
Sweet Potato and Sage Soup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Kale and Orzo Salad Roasted Roots Salad with Apple Mung Bean and Rice Pilaf House Salad
Cool as a Cucumber
Chilled Cucumber Soup Black Bean Salad Rosemary Polenta Cakes Braised Zucchini House Salad
My Favorite Things
Zucchini Soup Avocado and Couscous Salad Chickpea Stew Honey-Dill Glazed Carrots House Salad
Sweet Dreams
Coconut Mango Rice with Cilantro & Fennel & Raisin Compote Warm Tuscan Bread Salad with Sundried Tomato Pesto & Parmesan Sauted Mixed Vegetables Apple & Potato Bisque with Fennel Compote Salad Bar
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Main Dining Hall

The views from our Dining Hall and deck, combined with the food we serve, are feasts for both the eyes and the belly. Some of the most raved about guest experiences take place right here.

Meal Times

Breakfast 7:30–9:30 am
Lunch 12:00–1:30 pm
Dinner 6:00–7:30

Our Garden

We grow a variety of fresh and delicious fruits, vegetables, and flowers right here at The Art of Living Retreat Center. Our garden is as much a place for nourishment of the body as it is a place of nourishment for the soul. Walk the paths as many staff, volunteers, and journeyers have before.

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TripAdvisor
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Yoga and meditation classes were really great. They really energized me and I’m looking forward to returning. The vegetarian menu was quite a treat. A great experience.

Small Group Inquiry Request

Note: You will receive an email confirming our receipt of your inquiry.

Our peak season runs April–November, so space fills up quickly during that time.