Posts tagged with Bolivia

  • 21 February 2014 - Bolivian Story: Vanessa Vargas

    I met Vanessa when she was heavily pregnant with her baby, Rafaela. She was working at her partner’s restaurant, Red Monkey, as well as producing natural products for her business, Moi. Moi makes handmade cosmetics and personal care products based on natural and organic ingredients, without the use of preservatives, artificial colours or synthetic fragrances, being careful not to degrade our bodies or the environment. Vanessa never stops. I was surprised to see how busy she was whilst heavily pregnant and even since having her little girl it is not uncommon to find her in her workshop making products with her baby strapped to her or sleeping nearby. She’s a strong woman with diverse skills who I have admired greatly for her energy and constant creativity. I’ve been grateful for our time together, discussing all things from motherhood to design to business. She supports those around her with … Read the rest

  • 11 February 2014 - Bolivian Story: Gabriela Rebeca Santa Cruz

    We met Rebeca the same night as Pablo, at Red Monkey, the only vegan vegetarian restaurant in La Paz. Rebeca was behind the bar mixing unusual cocktails that combine typically Bolivian ingredients like huacataya and locoto with fresh juices and of course, alcohol. When I turned up at Red Monkey for my first day volunteering in the kitchen Rebeca showed me around their food production garden, which is her baby and love. As we talked it became clear to me that she was feeling overwhelmed as the only person working in the garden, so I suggested I come one day a week to help out. It wasn’t a completely selfless offer, I have to admit. As much as I was loving our indoor apartment garden, I was missing gardening outdoors and craving sharing that experience with someone too… and so it started, our weekly gardening day together … Read the rest

  • 5 February 2014 - Bolivian Story: Pablo Santa Cruz

    We first met Pablo in his restaurant, Red Monkey. Within weeks of it opening we were there – eager to try some healthy, vegan food in this city of meat and fries! Looking down the menu I was impressed to see kombucha listed and gave a little shriek. I thought we were the only ones in La Paz to be making kombucha :).  Pablo came over to our table, curious about my enthusiasm, and before long I was sharing our culinary images from Making Sense Of Things and Pablo had invited me to do a ‘guest chef’ evening there. Whilst I haven’t had the confidence to take up his offer, I did start volunteering regularly in their kitchen, learning from them and sharing my recipes too (my sourdough bread has been particularly popular!). I remember my first day there I felt like a ball of stress as I made … Read the rest

  • 29 January 2014 - Bolivian Story: Pablo Antelo

    One day, whilst volunteering at vegan restaurant, Red Monkey, I met Pablo Antelo. He had been asked to help out in the kitchen for the day since the chef/owner of Red Monkey was a little tied up with welcoming his baby girl into the world. That day I was so surprised and happy to see this young man, laid back but enthusiastic, never idle, taking initiative and working hard. He impressed me. I loved his attitude.

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    I told him about my friends who were opening a wine bar, called Hallwright’s, which would be showcasing Bolivian produce. I explained that they had asked me to make some products for their platters like dips, gluten free crackers and chutneys – things I usually make at home that they had enjoyed. I asked him if he’d like to help me, eventually making it his business since I would be leaving Bolivia … Read the rest

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