About Tara & Contact
At nineteen, I took my first big job working as a sales rep at a bakery in NYC’s Meatpacking District. The business operated high-end coffee and pastry shops in the city, while their wholesale division kept restaurants and hotels stocked with crullers and croissants. If you can believe it, seven-grain and raisin-walnut breads were new to the market, and I watched customers respond with a boundless appetite for new varieties of freshly baked bread. I quickly learned that no detail was too small, and even the simplest of tasks was to be approached with a certain gravity. One day I found myself in an empty dining room sitting with Mario Batali, who was just opening his first restaurant, Po, in the West Village. With complete seriousness, he tore open one of our sourdough rolls, pushed it to his nose and inhaled deeply. After taking a bite, he pushed the soft inside onto the table to gauge how the bread would break down when buttered. The man is intense about his food.
I was soon recommended for a sales position at a respected smokehouse in Westchester that was looking for a Manhattan rep. That began my career in the smoking and distribution of smoked fish and Nova lox. I helped manage private-label smoked salmon to many of New York's delicatessen's. I see it now as a crash course in dealing with some of the world's finest merchants.
On top of my fishmongering duties, I started Tara’s Delicious Gift, a small company that began as a side gig mailing holiday goodies to my uncle’s list of Wall Street clients. After years of financiers receiving personalized paperweights and pens, smoked salmon and red wine was a welcome gift. Following two years of arranging baskets, I was ready to move on and sold the business to the gift company, Manhattan Fruitiere.
Then, about twelve years ago, I looked towards Europe for inspiration, and found myself exposed to the world of olive oils, fine cheeses, pâtés, chocolates, truffles and a delicious category of foods called antipasti.
Italian, Greek, French, Spanish... each culture had its own way of starting a meal. In the South of France it was a bowl of picholine olives. In Athens, a crumble of sheep's milk feta on rustic bread. They were all so different and so delicious.
And thus began my love affair with the Mediterranean—the food, the lifestyle, the people. My trips to Italy and France and Greece solidified my desire to incorporate a Mediterranean flavor into my own stateside life. Plus, my jobs have required me to visit Europe on a regular basis, which made it pretty impossible not to embrace all things Mediterranean.
Over the years I found success in sharing the stories of the people, farmers, culture and towns behind delicious foods. These days, I continue on this path through my work with media + agency - the group I founded to help better tell these stories.
I’ll be sharing stories with you every day—bringing tales of farmers who turn their potatoes into vodka, olive growers who press their fruit into extra virgin oil, and the vintners who turn their grapes into the stuff of celebrations.
PS - I'd love to hear from you. Please contact me through the form below.