Jesse Radford


Without even realizing it, his culinary passion began at a very young age in his Grandfather’s kitchen baking homemade bread and discovering how putting time and love into his food can make all the difference in the flavor. It wasn’t until he was in college for Graphic Design that he was offered a job by his cousin to work in the kitchen of a large restaurant chain.  Thus began his path into the culinary world.  Starting as a dishwasher/prep cook then eventually a line cook and kitchen supervisor.  After graduating college he remained at the restaurant for almost 7 years before moving to a new opportunity at high-end family owned Italian restaurant where local ingredients were sourced and 90% of the products were made in house from scratch. Thriving on new inspiration, Jesse quickly worked his way up to a supervisor role, running the kitchen as well as helping to create feature menu items for the next 5 years.  During the same time he was still pursuing his Graphic Design career by starting a small business working from home for multiple clients as well as building an online store.

Realizing he wanted to focus further on his creative passion for design, he later left the culinary world to work on his business. After 5 years apart, he returned to the kitchen part-time after discovering that food and nutrition needed to be a constant in his life. This time to a different Italian kitchen. During this time he also worked with Dan(Soltara’s co-founder) helping to build his brand and website for his previous retreat center in Peru. Very curious about taking a trip to Puru to experience it first hand, in 2017 he traveled down to work with the plant medicine ayahuasca as well as Kambo.  This opened up new inspiration and flooded him with new creative passion yet again.  When Dan and Melissa began Soltara Healing Center they turned to Jesse to help build the website.  With a strong calling to visit Soltara as soon as he could, he never imagined he would be working there.  So when the opportunity presented itself in August of 2018, Jesse immediately dropped everything and packed his bags, knowing this could be an opportunity he did not want to pass on.

Jesse brings more than 15 years of kitchen experience to Soltara. Collaborating with his kitchen manager to develop ayahuasca-dieta friendly menu options that are healthy, nourishing and have lots of flavor while limiting salts, fats, sugars and particular foods that can be hard on the stomach & mind while working with the medicine.  Luckily his experience with Italian cooking had prepared him with the knowledge of working with many different fruits, vegetables and plant based proteins, creating delicious meals with simple ingredients that are full of flavor and love.

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