Tara Thomas- Chef "Her Garden Kitchen"
Tara and I have mutual friends and when I heard about her endeavors as well her passion for food , I reached out to her . I love seeing someone so passionate as Tara who is also open about those topics which we don't hear so often from a food insider. I am honored that Tara thrives with such an open heart and has an incredible journey ahead of her.
Tara, what inspired you to not just become a personal chef but to focus on simply plant - based cuisine?
I am a vegan, gf, and soy-free chef. I create delicious food that is good for you. Your experience with food should go beyond the table experience and should cascade into your lifestyle. I want to make someone feel good later that day, tomorrow, and on. I currently do private chef work where I work in the home or for an event! I choose vegan because this is my moral code. Energy never dies I don’t think you can carry a happy and healthy life if you’re consuming something that has suffered and was killed. I put a lot of love and positive energy into my work, I don’t think I would be doing this if it wasn’t for this lifestyle.
How did you discover your passion for food and what was the catalyst behind the desire to educate and share your passion with others?
I discovered my passion for food at a young age. My kitchen was my backyard and I would concoct my very own recipes and serve them using roots, sprigs, greenery, stones, soils, and blooms from the garden. I would watch the food network instead of cartoons in the morning but never really tied those passions into each other until last year. I was a civil engineering student who wasn't fulfilled. I decided to take the year off and one thing lead to another. The freedom revealed that cooking and creating an experience was my absolute passion. Liberating myself into this creative front has opened up so many other creative paths!
What are the little life hacks that keep you going after a hectic busy week of so many wonderful events and more?
After a busy week I’m usually exhausted, drained, and a little anxious about the following week. I usually evaluate my energy first. If I have lots of energy I will always exercise, go for a walk, or do yoga. If it’s low I try to meditate, sleep (for more than 6 hours), go onto pinterest or instagram to remain inspired. However every week I try to fit in a few networking meetings I love keeping up with my fellow entrepreneur friends, as well as new interesting people in the area!
What are three taboo or real life topics you'd like to see addressed more and shared on social media?
I’d love to see more of what it means to be a chef, chefs don’t always eat the most lavish food. We are so tired at the end of the day anything tastes good! Eating anything you have on hand regardless of flavor is usually how it goes. Social media lacks community between others. I think this is beginning to start but building your community those who can help grow your business with their skillsets should be announced on social media. This will inspire other business owners to show that they truly love and value every aspect of their business.
How can women support and empower each other even more in business?
Women can support and empower each other even more in business by valuing other women in the industry over other groups. I think it’s okay to ask for help, but empower another women with her skillset/ gifts to bring value to your business. It’s so important to see yourself in others, let them flourish and create community.
What have been the most challenging moments since you started your business and what have been the most rewarding moments?
I think the most challenging moment since I’ve started my business is just having to play all of the roles (social media, emails, purchasing, planning, keeping up with clients, dreaming of new events), it’s honestly exhausting but I trust myself to do it all. However the most rewarding aspect is seeing it all come together, people truly enjoy what I do for them. I pour my love into everything and I can see it nourishing them.
Who are your role models or a daily inspiration?
My role models in terms of cooking is Ina Garten. When I was a child I would watch Barefoot Contessa instead of cartoons on Saturday mornings.
However my biggest role model is my mother because she advocates for me to pursue what I’m passionate about. She has her own business that’s successful that she built from the ground up, I really do see the value in work. If you put work in, trust in yourself, and lead with love you will succeed.
What are your next events and where can we find out more about you?
So by the time this goes live my brand will go from Her Garden Kitchen to Chef Tara Thomas. I will be moving to New York to finish culinary school perhaps some pop-ups there! I have met with a few chef friends who want to put events on internationally so look out for that!
What are your goals for the rest of 2018?
My goals for the rest of 2018:
Embrace the present, understand it’s value, and act on it
& Lead with love, only accept love, I only want to create an empire that radiates something everyone can understand .
Follow Tara on her journey @hergardenkitchen