Meet your chef.
My name is Russell Taplin and I am a private chef, retreat host and an advocate of a vegan lifestyle and plant medicines.
Originally from the south coast of England I am now based in Santa Teresa, a special little beach town on the tip of Costa Rica's Nicoya peninsula. First lured here in 2006 to surf the perfect tropical waves I fell in love with everything that this special peninsular has to offer and I look forward to sharing the pumping surf, abundant organic food and the magical laid back vibes with you. My journey has led me from being a surf instructor and running a guesthouse to becoming a private chef and believer in the power of a vegan lifestyle to bring about a more conscious, loving and compassionate world.
Food plays an integral part in our lives and, like good music, has the power to touch our hearts, bodies and soul in a meaningful way so why not make it a beautiful experience? I believe food should be natural and organic, nourishing on every level and that we should take a more conscious approach to how we consume and to life in general. I look forward to sharing this vision with you and showing you just how satisfying and delicious vegan cuisine can be. Please check out my offerings to see how I can be of service to you and sign up to my email list to receive a sample of my upcoming recipe book and information on our latest retreats.
i'LL Customize a MENU JUST for youR NEEDS.
Whether you're hosting a detox yoga retreat, jungle themed wedding or a decadent dinner I will craft a menu specifically for you. I cook for many different events from private dinners to yoga teacher trainings and will make any event unique and special.
creative, plant-based food you will love.
I love creating delicious, beautiful food full of fantastic flavor that will fully satisfy both vegan and non vegan alike. If you think you don’t like vegan food you have just never had it done right!
Come and join us and enjoy our jungle home.
Come and join my partner Rima and I in our home and let us host you as we eat amazing food, scope out the wildlife from the porch, surf, do yoga, meditate, connect and play. Check out the retreats page for details.
Food to nourish body and soul.
Whether you are looking for a one off dinner party, relaxed family dining for the duration of your vacation or sunset canapés I will work with you to provide the perfect menu for any occasion. Gourmet, plant based cuisine in the comfort of your own home or vacation rental. Please look at some of the sample menus below, get in contact and I can design your perfect menu.
Having cooked for a variety of retreats, and yoga teacher trainings I understand the importance of the role food plays in people's enjoyment of their overall experience. I will lovingly create a menu, tailored to your requirements, to have your guests feeling nourished, excited for meal times, satisfied and ready to enjoy everything that your retreat has to offer. Costa Rica and Santa Teresa in particular is a spectacular venue and I look forward to working with you to make your retreat an unforgettable experience.
I have also cooked for and hosted plant medicine retreats and worked with plant medicine since 2013. I understand not only the importance of the dietary restrictions but also of the role of the support team in creating a sacred, safe and loving container in which people can do their work.
Join me and my partner Rima in our home in the lush jungle of Mal Pais, Costa Rica for a incredible multi course dining experience to tantilise your taste buds.
The vegan tide is rising and more and more people are evaluating their belief systems and getting into plant based food but it can be daunting and having some delicious recipes under your belt can make the transition easier. I offer cooking classes for all levels and vegan or not you will learn some delicious dishes. Come and join me in my kitchen and we can delve into what makes plant based food so great, look at food combinations and cooking techniques, have fun and get inspired to create your own amazing plant based dishes when you leave.
Private Dining 3 Course Sample Menu
Served in the comfort of your home or vacation rental with nothing to worry about apart from enjoying beautiful food. Here is just a taste of what we have to offer.
Shredded beet and mango marinated with orange and thyme topped with tahini cream and served in a garlic and walnut tart crust with beetroot puree, pickled beets and dressed leaves.
A crispy indian style onion fritter of red onion and cilantro fried in a spiced chickpea flour and beer batter and served with spicy pineapple chutney and onion salad.
A delicate and refreshing ceviche of fresh coconut in lemon juice and mixed with orange, mango, avocado, herbs and coconut milk and served with ‘crispy seaweed’ and plantain chips.
-Cauliflower Satay Skewers-
Cauliflower florets poached in a veggie stock and marinated in soy, lime, and sesame oil before being seared in a honey glaze and served with a peanut dipping sauce, toasted peanuts and dressed leaves.
Decadent white wine risotto stuffed with vegan mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil covered in crispy panko breadcrumbs and served with basil pesto and green salad.
-Smoked Carrot Salmon-
Luxurious lox style carrots on a flax seed flatbread with a cucumber and caper salad crispy kaleseaweed.
-Sage & Apple Sausage and White Beans-
Delicious homemade vegan sausage, served on a bed of garlic and lemon white bean puree, drizzled with chimichurri sauce with roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes and mixed greens.
A golden risotto with wine, garlic, almond parmesan, squash and saffron served with slices of delicious, garlic green beans, cherry tomatoes and a pesto sauce.
Succulent slices of roast squash with an almond crust and tamarind drizzle served with a fragrant jasmine and coconut rice ball with orange and ginger curry sauce, spicy carrots and pickled pink onions.
-Cauliflower and Potato Dauphinoise-
Cauliflower slices poached in cider and finished with a honey and thyme glaze served with garlic and rosemary potato dauphinoise, beetroot puree and wilted greens.
-Vegetable Medley Stack-
A delicious tower of different tastes and textures with roast peppers, portabello mushroom, sweet potato rosti, crispy onion rings and wilted greens served with roast tomato sauce and herby pesto
-Moroccan Style Stuffed Pepper-
A fruity blend of couscous, caramelized onion, roast vegetables, apricots, herbs and spices served in a sweet roast pepper with an olive and lemon tapenade, and spicy carrots.
-Chocolate Orange ‘Trits’-
Luxurious (but dairy free) chocolate orange mousse sandwiched between layers of gooey orangey biscuit.
Layers of coffee soaked vanilla sponge, rich cashew vanilla cream and dark chocolate served with a swipe of salted caramel sauce.
-Cacao and Coffee Cashew Torte-
A rich and creamy chocolate torte with a hint of coffee and a splash of rum, perfect to finish any meal.
Family dining and retreat sample menu
A less formal dining experience for families and groups who want to enjoy delicious food in the comfort of their home or vacation rental. All shopping, cooking and cleaning taken care of.
Gallo pinto, tofu scramble, pico de gallo, avocado and fresh fruits
Smoky refried beans on patacones with roast corn
Coconut and mango chia pudding with a fruity oat bar
Coconut porridge with caramelised pineapple and almonds
Plantain tacos with a chipotle mayo and a side of tahini and orange coleslaw
Crunchy veggie rolls with peanut dipping sauce
Raw zucchini pasta with pesto and sun-dried tomatoes
Falafel and hummus wrap with green salad
Butternut squash soup with fresh bread
Eggplant and balsamic tomato sandwich with green salad
‘Tico’ quinoa salad with beans, avocado, fresh herbs and patacones
Vegan sausage with mashed potatoes, roast cherry tomatoes and green salad
Homemade herby pasta with roast squash and tomato sauce, sauteed garlic mushrooms and pesto
V burger in a fresh bun with pickles, potato wedges and coleslaw
Seared mushroom, noodles and ginger and garlic stir fried veggies
‘Fish and chips’ poached cauliflower in a beer batter with lemon and mint pea puree and potato wedges
Spicy bean casserole on curried sweet potato mash and greens
Vegetable curry with korma style Indian sauce, brown rice and onion salad
Our prices are flexible depending on the menu you choose after consulting with me but this is a rough guide based on 6 or more persons
Breakfast, lunch and dinner $65 per person
Brunch and dinner $55 per person
Dinner $40 per person
This is just a small sample of what I offer and I look forward to creating you the perfect menu for your tastes and budget
come and join us in the jungle
Together with my beautiful partner Rima, a licensed marriage and family therapist, we offer amazing retreat getaways throughout the year in the lush jungle of Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Come and stay with us and experience what ‘pura vida’ or ‘pure life is all about. We offer various retreats throughout the year or just come and stay with us for a few days on your travels. Please click on the links below for the details and don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any questions.
6 day Connect and Play
We all need to take the time sometimes to stop and reconnect with ourselves, to remember that we are here to play with the beautiful gift that is life.
Take that time for yourself and let us host you and give you the tools to do exactly this. Come and surf, dance, do yoga, meditate, cook and eat with us in our magical home.
healing with Plant CONSCIOUSNESS
Plant medicines are powerful and sacred guides used for millennia for the expansion of consciousness and deep spiritual, mental and physical healing.
We provide a sacred, safe and loving container in which you can fully relax, open and go into the process of this transformational work during your week with us.
Rekindle the romance couples retreat
Our relationships our are deepest mirrors and can sometimes be challenging to navigate. Over the course of this week we give you the tools to connect with your partner on a deeper level, build shared meaning, trust and create an environment where you can grow and evolve together hand in hand.