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Chef Jessie Ayala

Chef Jessie Ayala

At the heart of my culinary philosophy lies a simple passion: creating extraordinary dishes from basic ingredients. I believe the magic of cooking isn't in the quantity of ingredients, but in their quality and how they're used. Although trained in French cuisine, my style gravitates towards the vibrant flavors of Italian and Mediterranean cooking, with each dish being a unique expression of these influences.

My culinary adventure began in high school, sparked by a home economics teacher who saw potential in my early experiments with food. This led to my enrollment at South Seattle Community College's Culinary Arts program, a decision that set the course for my career. During this time, I honed my skills at esteemed Seattle establishments like the Columbia Tower Club, Chandlers, and The Crab Pot.

Upon graduating, I ventured into the world of French cuisine at my aunt's Bed and Breakfast in Prosser, WA. This was a pioneering concept, especially in a region with only a handful of wineries at the time (now over 35). My work there earned me the accolade of Lower Valley's Favorite Chef and laid the foundation for my reputation in quality and flavor.

In 2010, my wife and I embarked on a new venture, opening Tuscany Downtown in downtown Prosser. This rustic bistro-style Italian restaurant, renowned for its wine and food pairings, became a beloved local fixture. Although we closed in 2013, the impact of our culinary creations and the bonds formed with the community remained.

The enduring love for Tuscany Downtown's flavors inspired our next chapter: Ciao Wagon, a mobile bistro and catering company. Our journey further expanded with plans to open a casual fine dining restaurant and full bar at the Osprey Point Marketplace in the Port of Pasco which we still remain committed to. 

2020 brought personal challenges, with a diagnosis of COVID Pneumonia leading to a prolonged hospital stay and a critical battle for health. This period of reflection reignited my culinary passion, leading to new ideas and a renewed commitment to the future. This resurgence of creativity birthed Ciao Trattoria in downtown Pasco, a concept blending fast service with the essence of Ciao Wagon's beloved dishes.

Listening to our customers has always been pivotal. As a result, we recognized the shift in customer preferences post-pandemic and Ciao Trattoria evolved from a food truck style service to a more refined dining experience. We then introduced the Pasco Burger Company in early 2023 and are eagerly anticipating the launch of Imbibe, an Italian Caffe, wine bar and lounge, in early 2024.

My journey in the culinary world has been both challenging and rewarding. From humble beginnings to evolving ventures, my wife and I continue to be guided by our passion for food, quality, and the joy of bringing people together through memorable culinary experiences.



My Culinary Journey:

Simplicity Meets Flavor
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