EXPOLORING THE Q'EROS NATION OF PERU APRIL. 2-10 2016 REGISTRATION THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016

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EXPLORING THE Q'EROS NATION OF PERU APRIL 2-10 2016 REGISTRATION THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016

 

 

We’re launching our new workshop series, This is The Wanderlust, in the Andes Mountains of Peru! We’ll trek to the indigenous Q’eros Nation in collaboration with Hannah Rae Porst of Willka Yachay from April 2 to April 10. The Q’eros people are the wisdom keepers of the Andes. They are subsistence alpaca herders, potato farmers, weavers and musicians who live among the clouds in remote villages at 14,500 feet in the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcanota range, the highest mountain chain in Southeastern Peru. Considered to be the last Inkan community, the Q’eros strive to preserve their indigenous ethnic identity.

We’ll start our journey in Cusco, meeting at a beautiful colonial Bed and Breakfast to acclimate and introduce ourselves to one another before an evening meal. The next morning we’ll visit the markets, the bohemian art district and the spiritual center of the Inkan Empire. After a day of exploring, photographing and accustoming ourselves to the altitude and the sheer exuberance of the place, we’ll hit the streets for an evening photo demonstration. Cusco is luminous. We leave for Q’eros after breakfast. It’s a demanding, astounding and exhilarating journey. We’ll photograph along the way before stopping in a small village at the foot of sacred mountain Ausangate, where we’ll meet and photograph local weavers and participate in a Despacho offering by an Andean paqo. We’ll show you how to work with available light and a few improvised tools for location shooting and travel photography. We will take an early evening visit to local hot springs where you’ll have a chance to relax before an evening lecture and watching cloudscapes.

After leaving Apu Ausangate we ultimately make our way, led on horseback, to the remote hamlets of Q’eros, where we’ll stay with local villagers in cozy stone huts with thatched roofs. We’ll sleep on earth floors covered by llama and alpaca pelts, far removed from modern day amenities. One night we’ll camp out under the deep Peruvian night sky and try our hand at photographing more stars than we’ve ever seen before. Q’eros guides, cooks, wranglers and families will smooth our way, and share their lives and love.

Other photographic opportunities over the course of our time in the villages will include: trout fishing with nets, alpaca herding and shearing, a natural plant dye workshop, weaving demonstrations, earth oven cooking, gathering native medicinal plants, coca leaf readings, optional visits to Andean Paqo healers, and portrait photography with home visit families. We will also photograph hat making artisans and an intimate textile market where Peruvian weavers come together in the fields to display and sell their timeless work. This workshop will be a combination of photographic demonstrations as well as shooting with us side by side. We will teach a hands on holistic approach to travel photography, covering still life, reportage, landscape and portraiture. We will immerse ourselves in the culture of the mountains by connecting to the people as well as sharing creatively and learning with one another.

This workshop will be a creative reboot for those with a strong sense of adventure. This is a land of footpaths, far removed from the world as you know it. Lack of internet, roads and outside communication will only enhance our experience.

Workshop registration will be announced February 1st, 2016. This workshop is limited to 12 participants. Please see below to put your name on a mailing list to receive the announcement via email.

Most dietary preferences can be accommodated by our local cooks.

Hannah Rae Porst

Hannah Rae Porst, founder and director of Willka Yachay, has been living in Cusco and working with the indigenous people of the Q’eros Nation for five years. She founded Willka Yachay (Quechua for sacred knowledge) to develop education that enables young Q’eros to know their history and rights, preserve their culture and language, and develop their communities sustainably. Hannah has been leading mountain expeditions to Q’eros since 2012. She is a graduate of Bates College. @hannitarae

Willka Yachay

Willka Yachay is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping indigenous communities thrive in the modern world. We are empowering the next generation of the indigenous Q’eros Nation of Peru to become leaders who elevate their standard of living, guide their community toward sustainable modernity and revitalize their cultural identity. Together with the Q'eros, Willka Yachay builds and sustains culturally and ecologically based schools high in the Andes. Willka Yachay currently supports nine schools: three pre-k, four primary schools, one high school and one adult school. Willka Yachay collaborates with Q’eros parents and elders, acts as a school system administrator, creates and coordinates curriculum development, hires and supports culturally sensitive teachers, provides all supplies, nutritious food and educational national and international field trips. Willka Yachay also implements solar light, music and cultural preservation, food security, and mother and infant care projects, as well as the first health center and weaving cooperative in the Q’eros Nation.   

www.willkayachay.org, @willkayachay

WORKSHOP PRICE 5000 USD

THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2016. IT IS CAPPED AT 12 PARTICIPANTS. ALL LODGING, MEALS, DEMONSTRATIONS AND GUIDES ARE INCLUDED, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF AN OPTIONAL SESSION WITH AN ANDEAN PAQO HEALER AND TRAVEL INSURANCE. AIRFARE TO AND FROM LIMA AND CUSCO IS NOT INCLUDED. FULL PAYMENT IS REQUIRED FOR THIS CLASS TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT. THIS WORKSHOP IS NON REFUNDABLE.

THERE IS A THREE DAY MACHU + PICCHU SACRED VALLEY EXTENSION WITH HANNAH RAE PORST APRIL. 10-13 COST + 1400 USD PARTICIPANTS INTERESTED IN THE 3 DAY EXTENSION CAN EMAIL HANNAH DIRECTLY AT hannah@willkayachay.org

 DUE TO THE REMOTE NATURE OF THIS WORKSHOP WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THEAT EACH PARTICIPANT OBTAIN THIER OWN TRAVELER'S INSURANCE.  FURTHER INFORMATION ON TRAVEL INSURANCE WILL BE IN THE INTRODUCTORY PACKAGE. ALL PARTICIPANTS WILL BE ASKED TO SIGN A LIABILITY WAIVER.

THIS WORKSHOP WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE THE FIRST WEEK OF FEBRUARY 2015

We are pleased to announce our upcoming photographic workshop in Andean Mountains of Peru through our newly launched workshop series This Is The Wanderlust in collaboration with Hannah Rae Porst of the Willka Yachay Organization in the beautiful Q’eros Valley. The expedition will take place2-10 April 2016.

 

ABOUT THE Q'EROS

The Q’eros people are the wisdom keepers of the Andes. They are subsistence alpaca herders, potato farmers, weavers and musicians who live among the clouds in remote villages at 14,500 feet in the snow-capped Cordillera Vilcanota range, the highest mountain chain in southeastern Peru.Considered to be the last Inkan community, the Q’eros strive to preserve their indigenous ethnic identity. Q’eros live a hardworking life at one with nature. They perform offerings to Pacha Mama, Mother Earth, and to the Apus, mountain spirits. Worldview concepts of ayni, the importance of reciprocal sharing, and animu, awareness of an animated essence in all things, shape their interactions with each other and their environment. Those who are invited to travel to their out-of-this world beautiful valley and meet them carry luminous images home.

THE JOURNEY

 We will start our journey in Cusco, meeting at our Colonial Bed and Breakfast to acclimate and introduce ourselves to one another before the evening meal.The next morning we will explore the markets, the bohemian art district and the spiritual center of the Incan Empire. After a day ofexploring, photographing and acclimatizing we will hit the streets for an evening photo demonstration. The next morning after breakfast, we will make our way towards Q’eros, photographing along the way before stopping for the night in a small village at the foot of the sacred mountain Ausangate where will we participate in a Despacho offering and visit and photograph local weavers. We will show you how to work with available light and a few improvised tools for location shooting and travel photography. We will take an early evening visit to local hot springs where you will have a chance to relax before an evening lecture.

After leaving the sacred mountain we will make our way, led on horseback, to the remote hamlets of Q’eros, where workshop participants will pair off to have home stays will local villagers in centuries old cozy homes. You will sleep on the earthen floor on llama and Alpaca Pelts far removed form modern day amenities. We will camp out all together one evening under the vast Peruvian night sky and try our hand at photographing the stars. Other photographic opportunities over the course of the next few days will include: trout fishing with nets,natural plant dye workshop, alpaca herding and shearing, earth oven cooking, optional visit to Andean Paqo healer, portrait photography with home visit families and gathering native medicinal plants. We will photograph hat making and artisans and a visit to an intimate textile market where Peruvian families come together in the open fields for you to peruse and purchase their beautiful work.

This workshop will be a combination of photographic demonstrations as well as shooting with us side by side. We will teach a hands on holistic approach to travel photography, covering still life, reportage, landscape and portraiture. We will immerse ourselves in the culture of the mountains by connecting to the people as well as sharing creatively and learning with one another.

 

This workshop will be a creative reboot for those with a strong sense of adventure.This is a land of footpaths, far removed form the world as you know it. Lack of internet, roads and outside communication will only enhance our experience. 

Workshop registration will be announced February,1st. 2015. This workshop is limited to 12 participants.  Please visit www.thisisthewanderlust.com to subscribe and get your name on a mailing list to receive the announcement via email.

 

*Dietary restrictions can be accommodated by our local cooks. 

buvette and chef jody williams profiled on dara artisans.

Below is recent profile of  Chef Jody Williams of Buvette and the soon to be open Via Carota.

I love this layout and interview pulled from Dara Artisans Journal using our photos from the Buvette book.

Thank you Dara

Tastemaker : Jody Williams

“I never wanted a restaurant,” declares Jody Williams, chef and owner of Buvette.

She’s turned her attention to our surroundings, to the dining experience she’s coined a gastrothèque. The charmingly snug space—wooden tables are squeezed convivially together, while aproned waiters breeze by with small plates—glows in the late afternoon sun. “With restaurants—particularly in New York–you have these formalities. I hate it—it’s not good for food, and it’s not good for creativity.”

Williams’s neologism feels justified. Both in New York City’s West Village and in Paris, where she opened her second Buvette one year ago, her gastrothèques remains distinctive. A place abundant in good food and creativity, Buvette is a “collage” of Williams’ experiences living abroad, which buck expectations of what a restaurant should be.

The desire to forge connections through hand-worked, artisanal touches is everywhere, like in Buvette’s drink menu, which is filled with charming illustrations and engaging descriptions, such as how to make the perfect martini. (Created with designer Max Poglia’s help, it’s inspired by Williams’ collection of vintage chapbooks and a desire to create a dialogue with her customer). That attitude persists at the bar, where a barman pours aperitifs just under our noses—Buvette’s bar is intentionally six inches narrower than most, quite literally breaking down the distance between wait staff and patron. It’s particularly palpable at brunch, where the tight seating and mutual delight in the food forges an unheard-of camaraderie among neighbors.

“Do you want a piece of our walnut-cranberry bread?” I ask. They beamed as I passed the basket.

It’s during experiences like this that I remember one of Williams’s comments: “I’m not sure I could point you to another place that feels just like this.”

Buvette is a deeply personal place—a uniquely Jody Williams creation. Physically, there are signs of her everywhere. To scan the room is to see her assemblages of curios and bric-a-brac artfully arranged throughout the room: The wall of presidential paraphernalia is a tribute to her sister, who was born on Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Williams a self-admitted collector of antiques, counting Limoges porcelain plates, latte bowls, silver teapots, glass fruit presses, vintage toys, and old bee jars among her assemblies. “I’m a character that yearns for nostalgia all the time,” she says. “I think that’s why I try and create it in my places.”



The space also channels Williams’s experiences of eating and drinking throughout Europe. Whether squeezing in shoulder-to-shoulder for cicchetti (“small bites”) in Venice or wiling an afternoon away at a vineria in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori, these experiences shaped Buvette’s philosophy of providing an outstanding gastronomic experience within a casual setting. “At Buvette, I look to do high and low, all in a comfortable, non-judgmental environment,” Williams says. “I want you to be able to get a great bottle of Champagne on one night, and croque and a beer the next.”

Her welcoming attitude—which, in Williams’ words, “offers the guest a sense of freedom to come in”—permeates the space. There’s a tangible sense of being “at home” here, which, unsurprisingly, Williams has an expression for: “It’s what I call the ‘kitchen table effect,’” she says. “When you sit here, you’re almost at your kitchen table. You see the products around, and that’s the point. So if you didn’t have a menu, you’d know there’s coffee, wine, prosciutto. We orient our guests; you feel that invitation to grab a plate, pour your water, share in the mise en place. Part of the success of something is stepping back and letting it be.”

Williams’s appreciation for an experience that feels blissfully off-hand does not mean her approach to her work is similarly casual: Williams works with tremendous intention and a shrewd attention to detail. Everything at Buvette has a place and a way: During our conversation she shares the proper method to install a toilet paper roll, opines on how to arrange glassware behind the bar, and points out why her collection of straw baskets is hung right there. When we arrived, she was up on a ladder, fussing with a light bulb. “I love to get into the minutiae of everything, from the fabric of the aprons to the menu’s paper,” she says. “I know what I want, so I tend to be very involved.”

Williams has found a formula that not only works, but one she brought to France, a concept that’s confounded many fellow chefs. With the success of the New York Buvette, plus some formative experiences and friendships along the way, Williams decided to expand to Paris’s Pigalle neighborhood. Given Buvette is a French restaurant in New York, the decision seemed both logical and risky—would the discerning French appreciate the idea? Moreover, would hergastrothèque feel as a distinct in this setting—in some ways, its native one?


The response has been a resounding yes. In Paris, Buvette feels standalone, yet for different reasons. “What Parisians love is that we’ve dropped some of the formality,” Williams says. “Where restaurants there are like, you don’t eat after three o’clock, or ten o’clock, we say, come in to Buvette anytime you’d like and eat whatever you want.”

Williams now attempts to spend several weeks in Paris every couple of months. Below, she shares her favorite spots in the city, with a focus on her newest place to call home: Pigalle.

________

Jody William’s guide to Pigalle

Shop

Causses ( 55 rue Notre-Dame de Lorett) is just fantastic. They have everything: foie gras, cheese, smoked slat, green almonds and hazelnuts, fresh-squeezed orange juice, wonderful butters . . . I love it there.

I also love L’Objet Qui Parle (86 rue des Martyrs), which is nearby. It’s an old vintage flea market store. In Buvette Paris, we have a collection of vintage latte bowls in blue, all mixed and matched.

Le BHV Marais (52 rue de Rivoli) is a big department store in the Marais, and I enjoy visiting the basement there, which is a hardware store. There you will find all the materials to fix your own shoes—leather, soles, hammers—[plus] beautiful blue enamel, tons of gorgeous stuff.

Stay

I actually cannot tell you my very favorite hotel because then everyone will know about it and it’s my little secret! But the Hotel Armour (8 rue Navarini), I really enjoy, too—and it’s just around the block from us. It’s got great outdoor patio for aperitifs, and inside it’s very modern and cool.

Eat & Drink

Oh, so many. In the neighborhood, we love going to Le Pantruche (3 rue Victor Massé) or Rose Bakery (46 rue des Martyrs) for lunch. La Fontaine de Mars (29 rue Saint-Dominique) is another spot, near the Eiffel tower—the owners also visit us at Buvette. For something more “old school,” I like going to Chez Georges (11 rue des Canettes). Picture a big pot of terrine on the table with your pickle. I’ll eat some Dover sole there.

If it’s later at night, we’ll go up to Montmarte to La Mascotte ( 52 rue des Abbesses). They do these great fruits de mer, so we’ll get couple of bottles of Sancerre and some oysters and hang out. For drinks, we might head up the block toGlass (7 rue Frochot) or Dirty Dick (10 rue Frochot)—there are so many bars in Pigalle.


nepal. kathmandu valley.

Last spring we were sent by Condé Nast Traveler to cover the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. Like the infamous power lines that clog the sky like massive bird nests, the valley is a place full of chaos. It is a wild and beautiful jumble of smoke, soot and ash, brilliant colors and absurdly beautiful faces. The challenge with this job was that we were on the ground for six days; this is a short amount of time in the scope of a travel job. We usually have more time but we only needed to cover three towns so it was booked as a short trip. Honestly we could have spent a month. There was a photograph around every corner and alleyway. We love shooting travel and are so thankful that Traveler continues to send us on such extraordinary adventures. We have been around the world for them and it feeds all of our other work. The things we see always provide new inspiration. Each time they send us, we get to reconnect to what initially drew us to photography. Shooting travel takes us back to photography as a personal experience. We are alone with our cameras in hand, we often split up (at the crack of dawn) and dash off to cover whatever we may find coming back together periodically to share what we have found. It becomes just us alone looking through the viewfinder... searching and searching and searching. Most days in New York we spend our time in the studio around a monitor collaborating with art directors and stylists. Travel assignments are different from this kind of collaboration in that they are a solitary adventure and that is what makes them unique. Our assistant is usually somewhere between the two of us keeping notes and staying organized which is no small feat when shooting reportage. There are moments when I am at a market foraging produce for a still life and I look up only to see my husband cantilevering off a roof somewhere above us. He is famous for hanging out of car windows or tying himself to the side of a truck. He will go to all lengths to get a shot. (Think MacGyver) There are of course moments on these assignments when we are side by side shooting the same portrait but for the most part we come back together to load cards and see how the story is shaping up. There is a bit of competition between us but it only fuels the process, in the end we don't remember who took what picture.

It is a collaboration of a different sort.

I wanted to share some out takes from Nepal. You can see the full story in the August issue Condé Nast Traveler.

Hope you enjoy, the chaotic frenzy. xx