Buen Provecho partners Denise Elliott, a professional Chef/Instructor, and Renée Lagloire, a Social Anthropologist, have all the ingredients to keep you engaged in Mexican culture and cuisine.
How did it all get started? For more than 40 years these two lifelong friends have connected time and again through travel, study, teaching, and camping in Baja (among other places). Denise studied Spanish at Se Habla … La Paz, met Juli, and brought Renée into the mix. Together, they talked about the possibilities. Slowly the seed of an idea began to develop—and now it’s budding into a unique Mexican cuisine and culture program about to break ground in La Paz in the new year.
Juli is excited about promoting the new program. “I have been looking for an exceptional Mexican cooking program for years to complement the language classes! And until Denise and Renée came along, I didn’t think it would be possible for our school to introduce this program that so many of our students have asked for!”
Denise and Renée each bring their unique knowledge and experience to the table. Denise first won a scholarship to the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York—then became a chef and pastry chef in restaurants, resorts and large hotels before launching a high-end wholesale bakery, which she ran for 20 years in Sonoma, CA. She has also taught at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and regularly consults with various clients on product development. She is an adjunct Chef Instructor in the Culinary Department at Santa Rosa Junior College, where for the past 25 years, she has been teaching all aspects of cooking to professional chefs, home cooks and beginners.
Meanwhile, Renée studied, traveled and worked among various ethnic and indigenous groups throughout the Americas enjoying a 25+ year career as an anthropologist. She received her M.A. from UCLA’s Applied Anthropology program after living for months in a fishing village along the trans-peninsular highway in Baja California Sur. She spent hours in kitchens and in conversations that kept coming back to food and food preparation. That experience, as well as similar ones during stays with the Mapuche of Southern Chile and the Maya of Guatemala, helped sharpen her keen interest in culinary anthropology.
Eventually the friends decided to merge the highly participatory cooking style that Denise provides with conversations about the cultural context within which the ingredients and the foods fit. “Our mission is to have fun, to continue to learn, to teach others what we know, and to enjoy amazing foods with interesting people from all over the world,” explains Denise—to which Renée adds, “Our students will be working with local ingredients and learning about their origins, their uses, and how to handle and store them.” The classes can be in English, French, Spanish (or all three) — and will highlight Spanish vocabulary for the Spanish learners.
The idea of offering cooking classes that began in conversations with Juli Goff of Se Habla… La Paz Spanish Language School has blossomed into a program that will keep Paceños saying “Buen Provecho” for years to come.
Please stay tuned for more information about the classes, which will officially be launched in the afternoons starting December/January. Be sure to check www.BuenProvechoLaPaz.com for additional information about course content, fees, and a calendar of classes. Registration and payment for classes will be through www.SeHablaLaPaz.com.