The Renaissance Chef and His Awakened Menu

by Christopher Seelie

  • He has been cooking professionally since he was 16 years old.
  • He is classically trained as a French chef and apprenticed with a master sushi chef.
  • He has managed kitchens in Big Sur, Crested Butte, and a Zen monastery.
  • He has cooked for Joe Montana, Billy Idol, George W. Bush, Wonderwoman (Linda Carter) and MacGyver.
  • He meditates Zazen style, and he studies Gestalt and hypnotherapy.
  • He practices the Korean martial arts of soobahkdo and the sword discipline of kumdo.

One thing is certain: Squire Davidson is a Renaissance man.

And he has returned to SMC to manage the kitchen. Squire previously held this position from 2000 up to the Stupa’s consecration. Nowadays, he is reorganizing the kitchen to make the most out of his diverse and talented staff. Much like Shambhala itself, Squire and his staff bridge the gaps between East and West, manifesting in the most universal of containers: the dinner table.

You can taste the results any day in the Peruvian ceviche and sweet potato chips, the sesame chicken or green curry, hummus and spanakopita, mac n’ cheese, shepherd’s pie, rack of lamb, or the ever-present salad bar. It’s all basically good, including the vegan/vegetarian/gluten-free alternatives prepared for special diets and programs.

Just don’t try telling a French chef that garlic obscures the mind.

Recipe: Best Granola Ever!

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbs. oil, vegetable or canola
  • 2 Tbs. water
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbs. molasses
  • 4 Tbs. maple syrup
(Or you can just use 1/2 cup of maple syrup and omit the molasses)
  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 4 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbs. ground flaxseed
  • 2/3 cup coconut
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds (sunflower seeds can be substituted)
  • 2/3 cup almonds (chopped or whole)

Adjust oven racks to middle positions. Preheat to 275 degrees. Coat two metal cookie sheets with cooking spray or oil and set aside.

Bring oil, syrup, molasses, cinnamon, water to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.

Mix oats through almonds in a large bowl. Pour oil/maple syrup mixture over oat mixture and stir to combine.

Pour mixture onto two prepared cookie sheets. Working a handful at a time, squeeze granola to form small clumps.

Bake for 30 minutes. Stir and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes longer.

Let cool. Granola can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Enjoy! Makes (roughly) 2 quarts.



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