Published On: Thu, Jan 26th, 2017

Kirsten West Hosts Cooking Class to Benefit Jovenes Adelante

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Internationally acclaimed chef and teacher Kirsten West hosted a cooking class recently to benefit Jovenes Adelante, and participants learned, for instance that Mexican cuisine is the only cuisine that has receive a UNESCO World Heritage designation because so much of it is unaltered from pre-Columbian times.

“Chips and salsa are not authentic Mexican,” began West, who then used indigenous ingredients such as avocados, peanuts, chilis, tomatillos, amaranth, corn, pineapple and chocolate to create dishes accompanied by an abundance of information about each, including tips on how to select and cook them. This included three salsas which were used to season and enhance the prepared dishes which participants got to enjoy during the meal included in the class.


West shared generous doses of historic background and one-of-a-kind stories from cooking with great chefs including Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless, for whom Kirsten tested all of the recipies for three of his cookbooks at his test kitchen. She concluded with a humorous story about her adventures being personal chef for Mick Jagger, now a good friend.

Each participant learned how to make a tortilla from scratch and created delicious quesadillas from fresh masa with mushroom filling topped with one of the salsas, causing several to sigh, “Yummy!”  Thanks to West and her students for raising funds for local Mexican honors students to afford university and break the cycles of historic economic disparity into which they were born. For more information, contact JA President Robin Loving at 415 112 3413 (SMA), 925 476-81117 (US/Canada),, and/or


By Robin Loving



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