Posted by: Jacques | October 21, 2010

Chef Jacques’ Cooking Class

This winter I will start teaching an occasional cooking class at Ger-Nis Culinary & Herb Center. My first class will explore Pre-Columbian Cuisine. It will be held on the evening of Friday, December 10th.

Read on for more info:

Indigenous Foods of the Americas

What better way to study history and culture then through food?

At times I have described my restaurant, Palo Santo, as an anthropological study of the Hispanic Diaspora through the eyes of a culinarian. We serve an eclectic, daily changing menu which features between ten and sixteen dishes of varying levels of ethnic authenticity. In preparing these dishes we often apply a great deal of artistic license, but many dishes that appear on the Palo Santo menu have deep historical roots –Turkey in Green Mole for example. I would argue that turkey is far more authentically Mexican than chicken which was brought to Mexico by Europeans. In fact, unlike Mole Poblano which incorporates many ingredients that were not indigenous to the American continent, Mole Verde is made from a base of tomatillo, green chiles, and pumpkin seeds –all native foods.

What else was eaten by the indigenous peoples of the Americas? That is a question that has been of great interest to me for years. I’ve read books on the topic and conducted independent studies while eating my way through Latin America. With this class I will set out to prepare three authentic dishes from three distinct cultural regions of Pre-Colombian America.

The Menu:


North America / Eastern Seaboard

Whole Grilled Fish

Stewed Clams / Pumpkin Succotash

Mayans / Aztecs

Central America / Mexico / Guatemala

Turkey in Green Mole

Hand Ground Tortillas / Nopales / Epazote

Quechuas / Aimaras / Incas

South America / Peru / Bolivia / Equador

Seco de Venado (Braised Deer)

Chunos / Quínoa / Chicha Morada


Click Here to Sign Up for the Class



  1. Hi, do you have any upcoming cooking classes planned? I would like to learn some south and central American cooking skills and understand the cuisine better – and cook for my own pleasure and that of my family and friends! Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: