Say hello to Tara, a Chef Educator here at VCP who not only teaches in both Vetri Cooking Lab and Culinary Medicine, but also helps with recipe development! To help you get to know her more, we sat down with Tara to ask her a few quick questions as a part of a #VCPeople Q&A. 

Q: So Tara, what’s your background outside of your work with VCP ?

I’ve worked in the food biz for 16 years–restaurants, retail, recipe development and television production for the Food Network, writing for local and national publications. I’ve written three cookbooks. I graduated from Villanova University and I have a culinary degree from The Restaurant School in Philadelphia. My husband and I live in Philadelphia with our daughter and twin sons.

Q: So does that mean your experience with food is mainly what draws you to the work of VCP?

To a degree! I love that our work empowers people to use the power and joy of food and cooking in their own lives. Our food philosophy is relatable and approachable, so people don’t feel intimidated about taking what they’ve learned with us and doing it at home for themselves. I love watching kids realizing their own capability in the kitchen and discovering new foods they like (especially when they swore they’d hate it!).

Q: Given this, what are your goals in your goals as an educator?

I aim to hear a kid say something like, “I didn’t think I liked zucchini, but it turns out I do!” or to have a student tell me they used a skill or made a recipe they learned in class at home. If little by little kids and grown ups experience the joy of nutritious food and cooking–in whatever way makes sense for their family, culture, and lives–then we’ll be on track to be a healthier world.

Q: As always, this last one is a thinker! If you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be and why?
Definitely a tomato. It’s versatile, adaptable to change, gets along with lots of other ingredients. You can make something fancy with tomatoes, but they also shine on their own without a lot of extra.

Thanks for taking a moment to get to know Tara, our fantastic Chef Educator at VCP. If you see her around at your school, be sure to stop and say hello!