Academy of Cooking & Other Pleasures

Paraty, Brazil


Cooking together in Brazil

It's eight in the evening,

curtain time.

Then Yara and guests move to the kitchen to cook together - or just to watch with caipirinha in hand. Participants don aprons, wash hands, and start on their parts of the preparation. They will produce dishes that are based on the main regional culinary traditions of Brazil: Amazonas, Bahia, Minas Gerais and the Cerrado.

Now a sense of play begins to animate the participants, and It doesn't take long for the fun and learning to start. And that fun includes for families with children.

All the food Yara prepares with our guests (including vegetarians) uses pure Brazilian ingredients. Her recipes are traditional, adapted by her or wholly created by her — and served in a beautiful setting.  

During dinner conversation flows freely and ranges wide. We've entertained people from 104 different countries - still counting. We're fluent in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French, so we can host in any of these languages.

Our guests come from a wide variety of backgrounds and interests including: vacationing businessmen touring Brazil on motorcycles, backpacking students staying at hostels, a prince, a king and queen, nobelauriate authors, artists, professors, chefs, couples with children, grandparents, the young and the old.

We call what we do here in Paraty the Academy of Cooking & Other Pleasures. And by evening's close when some guests inquire what the "other pleasures" are, they understand what we mean when we answer:

Learning to make Amazon style baked fish  

Learning to make Bahia style acarajé

“you are” !

Brazilian chef and author, Yara Castro Roberts, is your  host and frames the cultural and culinary experience to come.  

Photographer and multi-national executive Richard Roberts is co-host, and we introduce the evening with Richard showing you how to make a delicious caipirinha that we enjoy together.

Those who are new to Brazil often question both of us about what it's “really” like to live here, and we answer frankly according to their interests. We love Brazil, and we can identify and communicate  what we love about it, namely its people and its beauty.

In a few minutes, a group will arrive at our house for dinner.

Learning to make Minas Gerais style colonial pineapple

We don't know them and they don't know us - yet.