Academy of Cooking & Other Pleasures

Paraty, Brazil


Our tour combines extensive cooking classes with the pleasure of visiting some of the local ingredient producers we use in our dishes. Below, we describe the activities in the three day

version of our tour. If you'd like a variation, we can work with you to create it.

In addition to the pleasure of its village life, Paraty is at the center of  some of the most varied ocean and forrest beauty in the world. So, morning until mid-afternoon we board a schooner  to visit the beautiful bay with its emerald green waters dotted with islands and white sand beaches. Bring your swimsuits.

The first day begins mid-afternoon with a guided tour of the historic center of Paraty,  a seventeenth-

century colonial village with cobblestone streets, sounds of children playing, no cars in its historic center, and the clip-clop of the horse-drawn carriages that regularly tour the village. In 2017 Paraty was honored by UNESCO as a world Creative City, with a focus on food culture and traditions.

Next is the cooking class with Yara Roberts and her team. The class, begins with Richard Roberts teaching his special way of making caipirinhas. In each day's class Yara  introduces you to traditional dishes and ingredients from the four regional cuisines of Brazil we celebrate: those of  Amazonas, Bahia, Minas Gerais and the Cerrado.

The evening's dinner consists of the dishes we learned to make in the lesson earlier.  Chilean or Argentinean wine complements it. Yara tells stories that link each of the ingredients to parts of the country's history.

Then we return to Paraty for the second cooking class and dinner.  And Yara continues her journey relating ingredients to history and customs. Dinner concludes with Brazilian coffee and a tasting of aged cachaças.

In the morning we visit a cachaça distillery that produces one of the best cachaças in Brazil. It is set on a charming property at river’s edge in the lush green of the first growth Atlantic Forest. During this exclusive guided tour you learn about the rich traditions of cachaça making and aging, along with the variety of tastes and qualities available. Later we will use cachaça in a recipe for our third class and dinner.

Day 2


The three day program includes, 3 cooking classes, 5 meals with accompanying drinks and all the trips and activities. It does not include hotel accommodation. There is a wide range of lodging choices.  If you first consult, we'll be happy to add our thoughts.

On the schooner Yara prepares and serves lunch dishes in the indigenous tradition like fresh fish roasted in banana leaves.

Day 3

Our Tour

We then visit a 17th century restored sugar cane farm, a historical landmark. It’s right on the historical Gold Road where the precious metal was transported from Minas Gerais to Paraty on its way to Europe in the 1600s. Here you will see centennial and rare trees, like the acai, the juçara and pupunha hearts of palm tree.

Once back to Paraty you may enjoy an optional visit to the beautiful Shambala Spa for a relaxing massage. Then, we return to the cooking school to start the evening class where you and Yara prepare dishes using traditional Brazilian ingredients in contemporary recipes, like mousse of caipirinha for desert.