Chef in Retreats

Ana Catarina is from Portugal and works as a Nutritionist and a Healthy Vegan Chef. As such she specialise in healthy vegan cooking, however, upon request, she also cook with dairy and fish.

She has two Bachelor’s Degrees, one in Health Science and the other in Nutrition Science. Additionally, she has been studying culinary arts for 10 years. She is fluent in Portuguese (mother language), Spanish and English.

As a chef she has plenty of experience cooking in yoga retreats, private events and caterings and it is her passion to create healthy, mouth-watering and nutritionally balanced meals for individuals and groups alike wherever they are in the world.

In 2014 she created her own brand, ZenCook®.

Besides the website , where you find more information as well as reviews of her work, she runs her own Instagram channel at as well as a Facebook page at and a YouTube channel at

Currently, Catarina works as a healthy vegan & vegetarian chef in retreats all over the world, and teaches healthy vegetarian/vegan cuisine workshops all over the world too – both one-to-one and group sessions – and she holds nutritional plant-based coaching sessions.

With her radiant appearance, flexibility and endless creativity Catarina is a beautiful addition to your retreat and she will, without a doubt, offer you mouth-watering food experiences.

What others said

“Some projects seem truly natural when we get to know who’s behind them: people whose energy, commitment and dedication are as nutritious as the healthy ingredients they use in their alchemy. The work and activities performed and developed by Zencook are characterised by their high quality and importance. They inspired us to be better and to change the world the way we’d like it to be. Its mentor is like a bright candle in the dark night skies of our lives and she opens our minds to experience food as a celebration of life and joy. We become, therefore, more creative and conscious. The dishes she prepares are an explosion of colours, textures and flavours, which merge in a nutritional and perfectly artistic way to offer you healthy, delicious meals. To say ‘recommendable’ is an understatement. It should be mandatory as it has the power to transform everyone’s life.”

Gabriel Mateus, Project Safira

“I was a participant on a Zencook workshop, organised by Catarina, and one thing that was pretty clear to me from the very start is that Catarina is Zencook and Zencook is Catarina – meaning that she puts her best in everything she cooks!

Those who have the chance of sitting at a table and eat food prepared with such love and commitment are aware that they’ve reached a different, higher level of understanding about the meaning of ‘pleasure of eating’, mainly in a healthy way. It was a truly feast of flavours, colours and textures all week long! I only recommend Zencook to those who are able to cope with someone with a permanent kind, sweet smile on her face and a tender look in her eyes, and to those who love eating healthy food.”

“Wow… simply Wow. Not only is the food amazing, but the heart of the owner is felt in all of her yummy creations. Highly Recommend. If I could, I would out bid anyone to make her my private chef.”

Retiro “Explosion of Love” Agosto 2017 onde estive como Chef Vegan

Tiger Singleton, Tigmonk

“Amazing, amazing, amazing. Catarina fed me for 9 days at a retreat in Portugal. I wish I could continue eating her food at home.”

Retiro “Explosion of Love” Agosto 2017 onde estive como Chef Vegan

Fanney Sigurðardóttir

“Catarina is an amazing chef. Time and time again she manages to prepare the perfect combination of flavours and the freshest, highly nutritious ingredients which are guaranteed to tickle your taste buds and feed your body and soul, just as nature intended.”

Retiro “Explosion of Love” Agosto 2017 onde estive como Chef Vegan

Patrick Meijer, Escape the Monkey Mind

“You are divine, your food is divine…!” Catarina is AMAZING. AND her catering creations are deliciously divine. Seriously, I wanted to hold another retreat just so we could enjoy her food!!!”

Participant inRetreat “Explosion of Love” August

Raaz Gatrad

“I loveeeee zencook. Good attitude and lovely cooking.”

Retiro “Explosion of Love” Agosto 2017 onde estive como Chef Vegan


“I followed a vegetarian cuisine course taught by Catarina. What can I say? A lovely morning, an amazing lunch and I’ve also learned a lot of new, handy things and tips. I totally recommend her courses…”

Pedro Nóbrega, Participant at the Workshop + Lunch (topic: ‘Summer Vegetarian Cuisine’)

‘I was Catarina’s assistant on one of the workshops imparted by her and I simply loved the experience! She cooked incredible delicious dishes! I remember it as a great, relaxed day, and I can’t forget the fine healthy food. Really healthy! I’m going to do it again – hopefully!…’

Carolina Enes, Workshop + Lunch assistant, May 20th 2017

You’ll find ZenCook has a soul, a heart and passion, and all three are present in the way food is prepared and served. It’s worth tasting it… time and time again.

António Barbot, Project VidaMacro founder

“Wow, three times ‘wow’! It’s second to none. Catarina is amazing… She knows a lot about food and nutrition and she gives awesome tips about food and how to cook it. She taught us several very good and easy to prepare options for breakfast and snacks. Not to mention how tasty it all was… so delicious! Thx!!!!”

Mariana Laranjeira, Participant in the workshop

“Good ideas for great dishes, the recipes being easy to follow by anyone”

Lídia Batalha, Participant in the workshop

“The website is beautiful, appealing and somehow shows ZenCook’s true essence – that is, enthusiasm, competence, and a good sense of humor. Catarina also has a great capacity to listen to others. Congratulations!”

Madalena Crespo, Participant in the workshop

“A lovely morning spent with Ana Catarina and Rita, learning the secrets of healthy vegetarian food. Thank you both for your kindness, availability and professionalism which were all an integral part of the entire workshop. See you soon!”

Ana Serra, Participant in the workshop

“A very interesting project that combines the expertise of a tasty and diversified vegetarian cuisine with the scientific knowledge, from both West and East, of a healthy and balanced diet. Good job!”

João Ferreira, Psychologist at Psi-Care

“You really have to try one of ZenCook’s workshops. Everything is amazing: besides learning a lot, you get to know lots of secrets and tips. Catarina is so sweet, kind and always willing to teach so many things about the ingredients: which ones are the best, where to buy them… Everything you need to know, mainly when you are a beginner – just like me. Thank you, Catarina, you know so much and, yet you remain humble.”

Daniel Almeida Santos, Participant in the workshop

“It’s never too late in life to learn new things and I’m really happy for accepting this challenge: it was deliciously unforgettable! Congratulations! And I have to thank Catarina for sharing her knowledge and creativity with a sense of professionalism, love, dedication and kindness. Everything was so very delicious! I wish her all the best and lots of success.”

Célia Lee, Participant in the workshop

“Yesterday I had the chance of participating in the amazing workshop given by Catarina. I simply LOVED it! I learned a lot, I got to know new foods I had never heard about, I took part in the preparation of several dishes. Everyone was sharing their own experiences, there was a very positive atmosphere. Dinner was DELICIOUS, with lots of different dishes. Dessert? It was simply divine! An experience I’d like to go through again, no doubt. I am sure Catarina has a brilliant future ahead her: she’s a very sweet young woman with loads of creativity. A great nutrition expert! THANK YOU, Catarina!”

Raquel Ferreira, Participant in the workshop

“ZenCook definitely changed my life! An extremely professional attitude, and fine quality products! I highly recommend!”

Nuno Esguelha, Customer

“Ana Catarina gave a private workshop at my home for my family, and it was amazing! Even the most skeptical participants became big fans. There’s nothing like giving it a go!

Her positive energy and good mood are contagious, and suddenly everyone was trying to help and asking questions about tempeh or tofu. It was incredible. All of us cooked vegan dishes, learned some tricks and creative recipes. And above all, these recipes are so versatile that you can use the ingredients you have at home, so you don’t feel discouraged just because you don’t have the ‘right’ ingredient.

It was a great afternoon we spent together, surrounded by healthy, tasty and sustainable food. When Catarina left, we had food for one whole week… LOL… We’re looking forward to doing it again soon. Highly recommended!

Keep up that good energy and help change the world!”

Sofia Cae, Participant in the workshop

Catarina cooked for our The Mountain Ibiza’s New Years Yoga Retreat and it was all so lovely! Every dish was super tasty, looked beautiful and was above all healthy! She did an amazing job and she is a very nice person to have around. Very social, sweet, skilled, understanding and relaxed. We are definitely going to ask her to cook again on our retreats :-D. Thank you for you beautiful work Catarina!

Truly amazing. In particular, Bulgur with vegan pesto uniquely delicious!

Luca Deantoni, Participant of The Mountain Ibiza's New Years Yoga Retreat

Last retreat we were blessed with the amazing food! Highly recommended!”

The Mountain-Ibiza

This lovely and super friendly Portuguese lady sure knows how to cook! She just made her appearance in Ibiza and she will take it by storm! Why? Because her food is super delicious, healthy, vegetarian, macrobiotic, looks great and she knows how to manage big groups. She works fast and professional and when she goes she doesn’t leave a trace in your kitchen. Highly recommended for your Ibiza retreat or private Ibiza holiday.