Raya Belna is passionate about creating culinary art using local, organic, whole-food ingredients. Growing up between Hawaii and Southern California, Raya delighted in the deliciously fresh produce available year round. While completing her BA at San Francisco State University, Raya spent over half a decade working for high-profile hotels such as the Sir Francis Drake and Clift. Seeking more spiritual fulfillment and greater health, Raya left the luxury hotel business and began teaching yoga and practicing a vegan diet.
2009 found Raya living in South East Asia, studying the modalities of raw food, juice fasting and classic Thai and Korean cooking. Here Raya began the journey toward developing her signature RAW FUSION cuisine, a passion which would ultimately lead her to train at Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, where she would observe some of the world’s most talented and respected RAW foods chefs.
In Spring 2011, Raya was a contestant on The Food Network’s “THE GREAT FOOD TRUCK RACE 2” with host, Tyler Florence.
Becoming one of the few plant-based chefs ever to compete on a major television show, the first place award-winning “RAW AVOCADO FUDGE CUPCAKE,” catapulted Raya into the mainstream, bringing her unique and fresh style of RAW Fusion Cuisine national praise and recognition.
Raya has traveled the world, catering organic weddings, birthdays, Oscar parties, LA Fashion Week, art openings, charity events and dinner parties. Based in Southern California, she is currently a private chef, teaches classes worldwide and organizes sustainable events and plant-based dinners. You can find her serving organic superfood smoothies, cold pressed juices and gourmet raw foods through her pop-up shop and catering company, WILDCRAFT.
“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” -Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha