We consciously pick retreat centers and locations with gourmet cuisine. The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is no exception. It is the location of our August 11-18, 2012 retreat. Here is why we love our chef there.
Marcella Dirks – Chef
Compassionate cooking is of particular interest to Marcella, her way of celebrating and honoring life by emphasizing vegan gourmet cuisine influenced by her intrigue of and play with the elements as well as her many travels and love for bounty and culture. For her, there is a great pull to not only accept and embrace but to celebrate the temporary nature of life – food is a great medium for this As in all her creative expressions, she continues to follow the call of evoking poetic yearning in relationship to Mother Nature and beyond.
Born in The Netherlands and raised on the Caribbean island of Curacao, Marcella has made the world her oyster since childhood, living and traveling the globe over. With a background in Fine Arts, she soon realized her interests didn’t lay in a pretty picture to be framed but rather in the pursuit of the art of living. As a vegetarian for more than 20 years, this journey has led her to Vipassana meditation and formal studies and work in natural therapeutics and massage.
She studied at the New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics and is a graduate of the Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist program at the California College of Ayurveda and the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York. Her experience working at the Chopra Center for Well-Being enriched her with a deep connection to food and the ability to impart love into the process of cooking. Her work as a private chef and caterer in San Francisco ranged from providing nourishing meals for post-partum women and their families, to artistic culinary expression at high-end special events.
Following her muse of the leaf (including spice, herbs, edible flowers, aphrodisiacs and tea) and her love for the journey of the senses in a single bite, she became a Certified Tea Master and gourmet Chocolatier. Chocolate took her to Paris, where she studied at the prestigious L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat Valrhona, to New York and Vancouver, after which she created her own line of vegan aphrodisiac bonbons. Yoga and meditation eventually caught up with her, instilling an inner journey to be deepened in the Costa Rican jungle at The Sanctuary at Two Rivers.