About Us


Academy of Cooking & Other Pleasures

Paraty, Brazil




Private Chef Training

Yara was born in Belo Horizonte, Brasil. Her mother directed a catering business and her

father was a journalist. Yara's professions range from dancing and teaching ballet in Brazil,

to child development specialist with a degree from the Sorbonne and practice in Paris and

the United States. Then twenty years ago, with formal training at Boston University, she

became a chef.

The first press coverage of Yara as chef occurred when Nancy Jenkins wrote a four page

article about her in The New York Times. Yara went on to do a televised cooking series for

WGBH in Boston that won one Emmy and was  nominated for another Emmy.  

Then we moved to Brazil and immediately started our school in Paraty. The press has

continued to be generous: with  features in newspapers, magazines, and travel guides

in the United States and Europe.

Richard is an American, born in Paris and raised in New York. His french mother directed art

galleries in New York, and wrote reviews for art magazines in the U. S. and France. His

american father, led technical operations for great engineering companies in Europe and

the United States.

Richard went to university and graduate school at Princeton and Yale. He made a career in

industry, rose to head divisions of large multi-national companies in the U. S. and Latin

America. Then he launched a strategy consultancy where his experience led him to arrange

the $2.5 Billion merger of two companies in the pharmaceutical industry.

Now he again devotes full time to photography, his constant love. His images have been

honored in Brazil with three one-man shows. The latest exposition was at Paraty's cultural


Both Richard and Yara grew up in homes where dinner was sacred, conversation celebrated,

and where guests were always welcome. Given our lives, we're likely to find something in c

ommon with almost everyone. So we're able to draw out our guests, and never leave anyone


Most important to the pleasure of our life in Paraty are its residents. They are a friendly and

talented group, including families who have lived here for generations. a true sample of Brazil,

as well as many artists in various media. It's because of the atmosphere they created that we

bought a house in Paraty decades ago.  After completely rebuilding it, we started living in it

twelve years ago, and we now spend nine months of the year here.

We write of Paraty with gratitude because its caché attracts a broad range of interesting

people who can join us as guests. It's the guests that makes it fun to host the way we do.

And it's what inspired Yara to write her award winning book “The Brazilian Table”. The book

was commissioned and published in the United States by Gibbs-Smith and is now in its third printing.

About Us

Television coverage continues as well:

Here the popular presenter, "Angelica", is filming us for the national Brazilian television  network,TV Globo.

National Geographic TV filming us for presentation on PBS as one of the top ten cooking schools around the globe, and for viewing on American Airlines flights.  presenter.