Indulge your passion for good food and fine wines

Ruth Van Warebeek

Foto-Ruth-Napa-hrChef Ruth Van Waerebeek (Chef Ruth, for short) combines a love of travel, adventure and the culinary arts with a talent for communicating those passions verbally and in print. Born in Ghent, Belgium, Ruth learned to cook, as so many do, at the side of her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. This accumulated wealth of generational wisdom would eventually lead Ruth on an extraordinary expedition around the world, one that continues to this day.

In 1985 Ruth, then 25, set out on the adventure of her life, sailing the Atlantic on a small two-man yacht. During stops in Africa, South America and the Caribbean, Ruth supported herself through work in restaurants and exclusive resorts. In every location she made a point of studying the local culinary traditions, in addition to enjoying the unique culinary experiences each had to offer.

On her return to Belgium, Ruth found work as a chef at the trendy Dona Flor restaurant in Brussels. From there she went on to assume the position of Head Chef and Manager of the kitchen in the Hotel Mount Nevis, in Nevis, West Indies, before moving to New York, where she worked for a number of years as Executive Chef at the corporate headquarters of Joseph E. Seagram & Sons and taught at the former Peter Kump’s School of Culinary Arts (today known as the Institute of Culinary Education).

It was during the time spent in New York Ruth became captivated by the vibrant flavors and novel ingredients of  “Nuevo Latino Cuisine,” then a newly emerging culinary movement whose leading exponents included chefs Douglas Rodríguez (New York), Norman Van Aken (Miami) and Guillermo Perron (Philadelphia). Thus it was that Ruth first came to experiment with a hybrid of classic French cooking techniques applied to fresh, natural and exotic produce from the Americas.

After a decade in New York, Ruth headed south, eventually settling in the provincial town of Melipilla in Chile’s Central Valley, where she founded a small restaurant with the assistance of Chilean friends. In Chile Ruth swiftly acquired an even greater appreciation for Chile’s natural abundance of produce and seafood, and a newfound awareness of the country’s exceptional array of fine wines. Since 2000, Ruth has served as consulting chef and culinary advisor to Concha y Toro, the preeminent name in fine quality Chilean wines..

More recently, Ruth opened her spacious and welcoming adobe-style home in the foothills of the Andes as a guesthouse and cooking school. Here at Mapu Yampai (meaning “Land of Resplendence” in the language of Chile’s native Mapuche Indians) guests can relax and savor firsthand Ruth’s culinary creations, enjoyed with fine wines from Concha y Toro and other wineries from the region.

In addition to the cookbooks below, Ruth has written for Food & Wine magazine and is a regular culinary contributor to Paula, a Chilean women’s and lifestyle magazine.

  • Everybody eats well in Belgium Cookbook, Workman, 1996
  • The Chilean Kitchen, HPBooks,1999
  • Everybody eats well in Belgium Cookbook, by Workman, 1996
  • The Chilean Kitchen, HPBooks,1999

FFor further information on Ruth’s guest house visit: www.mapuyampay.cl