Tara Thomas is a chef and consultant based in Brooklyn who is decolonizing food systems with developed constructive tactics to initiate productive community systems. She believes that food catalyzes the greatest change to combat social, environmental, and health issues — she is currently the executive chef and consultant for Che at Sincerely, Tommy Eat & Stay, Premium Blend, and The Break Bar. Recently she launched Breaking Bread: Feed the People Fuel the Movement to provide meals to protestors and those affected by food insecurity through partnerships with BIPoC restaurants.
If I had a giant billboard I’d put this message on it:
Do what you want
My go-to, surefire hit karaoke song (or perhaps for the moment...what we’d hear you singing in the shower)
Beautiful by Pharrel, always
Something other people think is absurd that I love anyway:
I think people are coming to it, but being anti-grocery store as much as possible. There’s so much power in sourcing groceries from local farmers, vendors, and local artisans. We have the power to consume more intentionally.
Something other people love that I cannot get behind:
Papaya... I wish I could enjoy it.
My go-to meal/“recipe” I make in under 15 minutes:
Bread and butter, some nice sourdough from L’imprimrie and vegan butter; bread and butter has been my favorite snack since I was a kid.
What are some things you “swear by” or recommend frequently?
Giving! Whether it’s time, people, gifts, dreams a chance. We have to let go of reservations and allow each other to thrive, then we can be free ourselves.
What movie or book did you watch or read that literally changed your life?
Midnight Diner and Street Food on Netflix — in particular the messages on food sustainability and how we can move as a society away from wealth to balance and equity. These systems have been dangerously violent to many communities...people can’t even sell food on the street without being punished. Not everyone can or should have to be a part of the corporate system. There is justice to be served.
What does being successful mean, honestly?
Being successful means surrendering to your dreams and values...It’s not linear, it’s multidimensional and expansive — it’s bigger than you.
What do you unapologetically indulge in?
Delicious food made by amazing people, why would I ever hold myself back from the labor of love and investing back into it. Lately it’s been vegan cookies and croissants from l’imprimerie!
How do you keep up with friends as you age? How have your needs or desires regarding friendship grown and changed (for better or for worse) as you’ve gotten older?
We just have to accept and appreciate one another's path. I’m still young but have definitely grown apart from people. I left Portland at 20 and moved across the country to pursue this. It’s all about what we put into these relationships — are we putting in time, honesty, and freedom?
What are some organizations whose work you’re supporting right now?
I am supporting Phoenix Community Garden and Break Bread.