Become a Certified Raw Food Chef! Take a deep dive into the holistic and nutritional benefits of the foods we eat while discovering a plethora of delicious recipes! Explore advanced culinary themes and develop your unique style as a chef and educator.
The basics
Food, Healing
Lessons or coaching
Airport transfer
Typical Pickup: Wanderlust Utopia, Nicaragua
Flight search assistance

The Destination

A geographical marvel and jungle paradise in its own right, Ometepe is formed not just by one, but two volcanoes. Volcan Concepción, active and fiery by nature, is energetically and cosmically balanced by Volcan Maderas, a dormant volcano, blessed with a crater lake that brings us the element of water. Just like its geographical home, Wanderlust Utopia is a creation that could only be brought to life under the perfect conditions of fate and timing. The people of Ometepe are kind, friendly and helpful. This is an island of peace and tranquility. Consciously crafted on two acres of Lakeside land, the property Wanderlust Utopia called home was once a burned out, almost lifeless piece of old farmland. Five years later and a lot of love and labor, Wanderlust Utopia is now its own diverse ecosystem. Dust and weeds have been replaced by an organic pool, tropical flowers, live fencing, super-food trees, plants, herbs, birds, frogs, and even visits from wild horses and neighboring cows, goats, pigs, and chickens. Simple, sustainable, and eco-conscious, With six lakefront private rooms, each with queen bed and private toilet, a host cabana for three, and a 12-person shared accommodation bunk house, the house can sleep 18 comfortably or 26 if queen beds are shared and host cabana is utilized.

The Experience

Our two-week Living Foods Master Chef immersion courses will take you from the beginning – taste balancing and plant-based nutrition education to the advanced—learning how to create and refine your own signature recipes. We will guide you through everyday food preparation skills, how to prepare nutritious meals and shift your lifestyle towards abundant health. Come to Ometepe Island, Nicaragua and Dive Deep into the Plant-Based Lifestyle!

Explore advanced culinary themes and develop your unique style as a chef! Join the most significant food revolution the world has ever seen!

2021/22 Course Dates:

November 6th – 22nd, 2021 January 2nd - 18th, 2022 November 5th - 21st, 2022

Week one You will begin your journey to optimal health and wellness through the practical application of a plant-based lifestyle. Discover the nutritional benefits of whole foods and how they can support total body wellness. With hands-on kitchen time and recipe creating, this course will provide a basic understanding of a plant-based, whole foods diet, the skills how to make gourmet recipes, and the foundation of a nutrition education for life.

This course is an introduction to the organic lifestyle, kitchen skills, and detecting when a food is approaching rancidity. You will cover basic knife skills, kitchen set-up, the ins and outs of a raw food kitchen, and all the ingredients used and how to use different kitchen equipment.

You will practice how to taste balance and discover flavor combinations using spices around the world. You will learn techniques such as how to ferment foods, such as cashew sour cream and kimchi, and how to grow your own sprouts. This course guides you through transitioning towards a plant-based, raw food diet, staying active, and how to source your macro-nutrients sustainably.

Week two You will deep-dive into techniques and concepts touched on but not thoroughly discussed in the Basic Raw Food Chef Certification. This course will cover advanced raw food chef skills, such as refined food styling and plating, food photography, and converting cooked recipes to raw by using different dehydrating, fermenting, and marinating techniques.

You will dive into health and nutrition to aid different stages of your lives, from childhood to the senior years, as well as support for fertility and pregnancy. You will study different adaptogens and other powerful super herbs and their role in health as well as culinary uses, including cacao! You will practice autonomous recipe development with a personalized dessert and expand recipe writing to include health benefits, history, and origin of the ingredients or cuisine.


Comprehensive Living Foods Chef Training Food combining, and sustainability and ethical choices Foundation staple foods and key components of a nutritious diet Superfoods and raw chocolate, and gourmet raw vegan meals Medicinal mushrooms and vegan cheese making Plating presentation and food photography 15 nights accommodation Daily morning yoga

Daily Schedule

Morning yoga and meditation Raw superfood breakfast with juices and smoothies Culinary and holistic nutrition classes and plant labs Raw lunch and superfoods Raw gourmet dinner Culinary projects and evening discussions

Delicious Meals

Week One: Granola, nut milk, pad Thai salad, red beet Borscht with sprouted wild rice and lentils, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, kaffir lime carrot soup, energy soup, wheatgrass, kale caesar salad, sushi salad, lentil dippers with curry mango mustard, miso kelp noodle soup, raw chocolate truffles.

Week Two: Oatmeal raisin cookie smoothie, marinated broccoli and yams with wild orange ginger vinaigrette, maca carrot cake and lemony frosting, chocolate cardamom cake, sweet and sour jerky and banana passionfruit fruit roll-ups, The cracker formula, raw pizza crust, cinnamon maca energy gel, and electrolyte sports drink with ginger, street tacos, sun-dried tomato burgers with smoky fermented cashew cream, Korean jap jae noodles.

The following meals are included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for: Vegan Organic Raw food

Topics Covered

Foundation Staple Foods and the Raw Food Lifestyle Key components of a nutritious diet Knife skills Flavor balancing Soaking and sprouting Cultured and fermented foods Sustainability and ethical choices Food combining Tips for good digestion Detoxification and your ph Foods the promote digestion Tips and tricks for healthy detoxification Global cuisine around the world Superfoods and raw chocolate Gourmet raw vegan meals Healing herbal soups and adaptogens Raw desserts and superfoods Raw food and essential oils that heal Dehydrated foods Whole foods for athletes The doctrine of signatures Medicinal mushrooms Vegan cheese making Plating presentation and food photography

No need to look further. Best price guarantee.

Moderate cancellation policy. Don't wait with the booking as spots are limited – secure yours well in advance.

Flight search support.

Direct communication with the host.


Your Host: Danielle

Member since March 2021

Danielle is your host for this experience and will provide you with all the information needed.

Danielle Arsenault is a certified Raw Food Chef and Plant Based Nutrition Educator, author of 6 cookbooks, TV show host, outdoors enthusiast, musician, mama and founder of Pachavega Living Foods Education and The Raw Food Chef Alliance. Danielle inspires and empowers women to heal their bodies and ignite their spirits with the power of plant-based whole foods through her life-changing Raw Food Chef Certification courses online and in-person. She makes really healthy food taste really delicious and wants to share her secrets with you! She is also the co-founder of Wanderlust Utopia, a conscious, sustainable, socially responsible, eco-modern retreat center for yoga teacher trainings, wellness events and private functions on Ometepe Island where she resides half the year.

Tell us more about what brought you to the path that you're on, the "why" behind your business and your offering(s), what excites you most about the work that you do, etc...?

Danielle received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Drama Education and a post grad degree from the Master of Teaching Program both from the University of Calgary, a Living Foods Lifestyle Education Certification from the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico, a Raw Food Educator Certificate from the Raw Foundation Culinary Arts Institute in Vancouver and is also certified as a Colon Hydrotherapist. Her professional career includes a stint as professor at Pacific Rim College in Victoria BC, Canada where she developed and taught several plant-based nutrition courses, a Raw Food Chef and Nutrition Consultant at Aqua Wellness Resort in Nicaragua where she redesigned their menu with a new focus on healthy, gourmet, plant-based meals and the host of her own TV show, Heal and Ignite Across Canada, a travelling culinary adventure series currently in pre-production. Danielle has been a contributor in several popular health blogs and magazines, including,, elephant journal, zhou nutrition, Edible: Vancouver Island, Calgary Alumni Magazine, and earth therapy as well as regular contributor to the popular Canadian fitness and running magazine, Impact magazine. She has also appeared on many podcasts including; The Game Changers Mentality Podcast, Dirt in Your Skirt, The Vegan Troubadour Show, Power Plant Body Podcast, Think Plant Based, Mindalia TV in English and several online summits. Her TEDX Talk, “The Power of Plants” has over 37,000 views on YouTube. In 2011 a near-death rock climbing accident changed her relationship with the world and life as she knew it. It gave her the realization that we are truly blessed to be alive. We can achieve anything we put our minds to and we have the ability to make our dreams come true. Always with an eye for fresh foods, Danielle has discovered endless combinations and hidden secrets in nutrition – especially in raw, living foods. After the accident, she found herself rapidly healing with no lingering pains whatsoever. She attributes this vitality to the food that she eats and this sparked her passion to share this lifestyle with the world. She knew it was her calling to educate herself in depth about the healing power of whole foods and a healthy lifestyle. It is her calling to educate the world about the healing power of plant-based whole foods and a healthy lifestyle rooted in compassion for the planet. For almost 10 years, she travelled the world and discovered isolated corners of over 25 countries (and counting). The subsequent 8 years, she lived in a van. Minimalist and free. (She eventually upgraded to an RV). While living in South Korea, she collaborated with the lovely Jessica Perlaza by co-creating a vegan, gluten-free cookbook series inspired by seasonal, whole foods. They call themselves the Kitchens of Pinch and Dash and wrote four books together. Danielle has also published her own recipe book, Heal and Ignite; 55 Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Heal your Body and Ignite your Spirit. Looking for some grounding roots, Danielle founded Pachavega Living Foods Education in 2013 to inspire people to take charge of their happiness and health by eating mindfully. She offers whole foods, plant-based catering, nutritional consultation and runs a vegan culinary school that teaches international raw food chef certification. Since 2013, she has graduated over 150 students in the art of plant-based culinary mastery. She is also the founder of Pachavega Culinary Arts Institute Online, offering unique plant-based nutrition fundamentals courses and advanced living foods chef certifications online. Danielle is also the co-founder of Wanderlust Utopia, a eco-modern retreat center for wellness events and private functions on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua where she resides half the year with her beautiful daughter, Indira. It is here that Pachavega calls home.
Danielle has been selected as a host by nourish. We only accept hosts which are trustworthy and have a great quality in service to make sure you get the best experience possible.