About Us

As the largest macrobiotics centre in the UK, we are able to offer a range of courses that can satisfy any level of interest. From a range of self-help courses and ‘dip your toe in’ workshops to a complete training in macrobiotic cooking and giving health consultations – you can find lots of ways to improve your own inner balance and help others with their well-being too.

Our School is located in the beautiful Devon countryside amidst the grounds of an 18th century farmhouse. The main house provides a perfect space for learning and accommodation, the garden adds both tranquility and fresh produce whilst the modern, airy, light and spacious teaching kitchen gives you amazing facilities to develop your skills and knowledge.

Learning To Walk The Talk, With Our Full Support

When you enrol for a course with us, you’ll be supported to make the changes that will enhance your wellbeing and give you the tools to create a dynamic, creative and fulfilling life. For us macrobiotics is an inclusive way of life that can work whatever your circumstances or beliefs – and this is reflected in everything we do in our courses.

Our professional courses are the longest and most in-depth training in macrobiotics in Europe, leading to qualifications which are internationally accredited. If your career aspirations are health or food related then we can help you achieve your goals.

Over many years, we’ve developed a programme of short courses that work if you want a good introduction to macrobiotic eating and living, to learn about a specific health issue, particular aspect of macrobiotics, special areas of interest or develop cooking and menu planning skills. We’ve also developed a range of online courses, so you can benefit wherever you are located.

Our longer training courses also offer flexible part-time learning with intensive and one or two year-long trainings available in a modular format. Beyond that we also have courses designed for our graduates – thus helping with every stage of the learning journey.

Experienced, Knowledgeable, Empathetic Teachers

With over 40 years experience of macrobiotics, plant-based eating, shiatsu and oriental medicine, the founders of the School Oliver Cowmeadow and Marijke De Coninck are leading figures in the macrobiotic movement in Europe. The School also has a range of highly experienced and capable teachers – all of whom will support you on your learning journey with us.

What our students say

Melanie Hubbard – yoga Instructor, cooking teacher, and macrobiotic nutritional consultant based in Hertfordshire.

“I believe that when we live in harmony with basic laws we can experience good health and ultimately the ‘freedom’ to live life to our full potential. My in depth study of macrobiotic principles involved many inspiring teachers and enhanced my work as a yoga teacher and has enabled me to work more deeply with others on their healing paths.

The training offered at the International Macrobiotic School is unique in that it integrates emotional healing along with the physical, mental and spiritual levels. It provided a deeply held support structure for me to develop personally in order to take this level of healing out in the world on a professional level. Since qualifying I regularly return to the school for further support and advanced training which is offered from some of the most experienced international teachers. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities the training has given me and I now feel I have the roots to hold and the wings to fly.”

Melanie’s practice, Nourishing Life includes teaching yoga, as well as working as a lifestyle coach and cooking teacher using the skills she developed at the school. She works with groups and individuals to inspire others to cook and enjoy delicious food based on a natural diet, which is deeply nourishing and environmentally sustainable. She also works at retreats in the South of France for people with cancer.

Silvia Bifaro – plant-based chef and food styler based in London.

“I worked as a designer in Italy and then slipped into holistic nutrition when I moved to the UK where I attended the full programme at the International Macrobiotic School. I write recipes and I style food photos for an Italian blog, as well as my own. My core interests are vegan sugar-free fine patisserie and children’s nutrition. My coming projects are workshops for children and mums, based on my own experience as the mother of two very little people, and my interest in Montessori education.

My journey into macrobiotics has been not only about food. It has been a holistic approach to a new self. Oliver Cowmeadow is the most dedicated person I have ever known and I owe him more than just the immense knowledge I have gained.

In Italy we have an old saying that can probably summarise what I mean: ‘When I was hungry, I was given not only the fish, but I have been given the tools and the knowledge how to fish for myself, so I will never be hungry again’.

The empowerment and self-awareness I gained during these years have made me a new, happier person. It is a life changing programme, and a very nourishing experience. The subjects are various so at the end of the three year course you have gained a proper picture of what a client would need. I cannot recommend it enough!”

To find out more about Silvia and see some of her stunning work, visit salvialimone.com

Bini Sharman – Macrobiotic natural foods chef, nutritional consultant, and shiatsu therapist.

“Coming from a background as a chef, this training programme helped to expand my repertoire in holistic vegan cooking. I discovered tremendous variety in cooking with whole foods, learning how to use every bean, grain, and protein that exists. I also enjoyed mastering the art of making quality vegan sweets and treats. It has been so exciting for me to work with the Five Transformations and discover how to combine them to create nourishing tasty food. Balancing different ingredients for optimal nutrition, I adjust meals according to the seasons and the local availability of fresh ingredients.

On a more personal level, I was also able to connect more with who I am, discover my talents, find ways to deal with my emotional challenges and grow in confidence. Studying at the International Macrobiotic School helped me to continue on the path I wanted to take and establish myself in my life and profession.”

Currently based in the Netherlands, Bini supports individuals and groups that want to make healthy changes in their lives. She also offers holistic health retreats in France and the Netherlands, providing introductory courses to macrobiotic cooking and theory, and as a retreat chef at Puyssentut centre for people dealing with or recovering from cancer.
Bini has recently developed her own line of Bini’s Balls, bite-sized healthy snacks, which she sells in health food shops in the Netherlands and ships on-demand.

Anna Freedman – author of Pure Baby and founder of London cookery school Wholefood Harmony.

“I gained a rich experience with macrobiotics from the training at the International Macrobiotic School. I immersed myself in the study of macrobiotics and developed skills in cookery, life counselling, natural ways to health for so many conditions, oriental diagnosis and so much more. I found a great affinity with pure food and it’s creation, styling, teaching, menu design, art of making balance and full flavours.

The school enabled me to realise a path with natural food cuisine and expand health for many others, which is hugely fulfilling for me!”

Wholefood Harmony offers personal or online training, as well as offers food and health coaching, public and private cookery courses and catering. For more information, visit wholefoodharmony.com.

Suzy Saunders – runs a holistic retreat centre in the Lake District, which includes wholefood and macrobiotic cookery workshops.

“Since beginning studies and graduating from the International Macrobiotic School I have found my life flowing into its true direction. On graduation it felt like the rest of my life was ready to unfold, I knew who I was and where I wanted to go. Since then it just keeps unfolding from this firm foundation.

I have created my dream of being able to offer a place where people can come and learn how to empower themselves by caring and cooking in a holistic way. I am living my dream.

This creation, Sunny Brow Holistic Retreat, is situated in an idyllic spot in the heart of the South Lake District, surrounded by beautiful English countryside. We offer holistic holidays in our converted barns, a selection of fantastic retreats, and a heart opening space for special ceremonies such as weddings, naming ceremonies and other key life events. The course for me set me firmly on my soul path and I am eternally grateful to all who shared and facilitated this for me.”

Gilly Webber – proprietor at Hut Therapy (Bed & Wholefood Breakfast).

“The school’s course revolutionised my approach to food. It elevated my understanding of food and cooking and my skill level immeasurably. I have mastered how to create a balanced plate of food using the Five Elements – a plate that is delicious and satisfying to eat, visually attractive, and leaves my guests smiling after they have left the table.

However, this course is definitely not just about food – I made valuable connections at a physical, emotional and spiritual level during my time in Devon, and whilst previously I had led my life in a fragmented way, I was helped to reconnect and live my life in a healthier, more authentic way. The philosophical teachings, specifically the 12 macrobiotic principles, have given me a much broader context with which to live life, to view change as a force for good (rather than fear) and have given me the tools for living a bigger, more fulfilled life.”

Hut Therapy is an unusual B&B serving macrobiotic quality whole food at East Chiltington, a small, rural hamlet at the foot of the South Downs in the South Downs National Park.

More from our current & past students