When I first set eyes on the Andes, the majestic mountain range that stretches along the South American continent from Venezuela along the Pacific Ocean to the tip of Chile, everything about it was new and bigger than life -- the colors, smells and foods. As a public health nutritionist, I arrived expecting to help people improve their traditional diets, but instead I learned so much from them about the value of these ancient customs. I found a people rooted in their traditions, grounded in their Andean soil. I learned that authentic food from the Andes was nutritious, full of flavor and variety, and I discovered a whole new culinary culture. I vowed to dedicate my life to the pursuit of such pleasure.

Through my decades of work in the cities and in the countryside of Ecuador, I have participated in many food feasts, partaken of fascinating street food, wandered through markets galore and cooked with family matriarchs, learning their family secrets. Often on steep plots of land, we have harvested corn or potatoes or beans, which in the gnarled hands of the grandmother and all of her helpers would become the most superb food I've ever had the opportunity to taste. Or down the slopes, in tropical heat, my hosts have harvested plantains and coconuts, which when paired with seafood opened my culinary horizons. Simple preparations based on the purity of ingredients helped develop my palate.

The food and folk of the Andes have been my continual teachers. With their help, my life has become a life of flavor. Today, I am considered an expert in promoting Andean food and a lifestyle that is delicious and healthy for you and for our planet.

Now to awaken your taste buds, I offer best-selling cookbooks, hands-on workshops, cultural cooking for small groups, and consulting for NGOs and governments. I also offer restaurant consultancies and recipe development. I love my life full of flavor in the Andes, where every day brings me something new to taste and share with you.