Tara House (Khattar) in New York, five star events

The young woman, who was only 25 at the time, and stood out in Top Chef Franceas the first Lebanese and Middle Eastern woman to participate, then in Chopped, three times, with two victories in support, has clearly calmed down. Is it motherhood, New York or her accomplishments over the past ten years? Still, Tara Khattar seems definitely out of adolescence, swapping bandana, whip, knife and impatience for a new logo, a new work outfit signed Karoline Lang and a new project naturally baptized House Tara. His last work “public » in this universe of the good and the beautiful that she loves so much, was done through her cookbook, Lebanon, a story of family cooking, love and sharing (ed. Hachette cuisine) released in France and Lebanon in 2020, in French and Arabic. She imprinted on it her family memories and her gastronomic emotions, this heritage transmitted by her two grandmothers, Gilberte Rizk and Jacqueline Khattar. Since then, time has passed, the events of recent years have left certainties and above all one, her desire to find New York which she discovered “too young” when she began her studies there at the University of New York “It’s where I want to be now,” she confirms.

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Tara Khattar: cooking, a story of love and transmission

Around the world and wedding

From Beirut to Paris, from New York to Dallas then New York, with stops in the Bahamas, Tara Khattar’s appetite and renewable energy have opened up new possibilities, desires for even more, even better, and projects that became clearer as his know-how was refined. From her marriage, her motherhood, confinement, these emotionally charged moments, she took the opportunity to reflect, learn and take up new challenges. Win Chopped twice, preparing and writing his book, cooking for the Beirut Art Fair, becoming a “luxury” private chef for two years for a famous NBA player, Kristpas Porzingis, cooking for Will Smith or Justin Timberlake, and, between the drops from this agitation, feel the need to come back to her. This is how she made the decision to settle in New York and create her Maison Tara project there. ” After Top chef, I got scattered a lot. Between the interviews, the TV, this character that the media has built, the messages of love and hate that I received constantly, it was too much. Moreover, I am not a “customer” of social networks… » Stop on images, stop on noises, Tara Khattar connects with herself and a certain maturity. “We women have this ability to be reborn, like a butterfly that metamorphoses, a tree that flowers. »

From the flowers to the dishes to the general set-up, Maison Tara takes care of the whole event. Photo Marina Elise

Luxury and voluptuousness

After a year of reflection, drowned in hundreds of sticky notes everywhere in the room and so many ideas, she joined her dream as a young girl: to cook, but also to become a consultant, to create a catering company, which offers dreams, dishes, decoration, everything related to an evening, a private or corporate event, a celebration, whether for 10,100 or 1,000 people. “I realized when I got married that no one knew what I wanted as much as I did, from my floral dress to the table decorations. The colors, the details and even the music. She thus decides to become “ultraluxury in the field”, five-star in service, with prices that she assumes “expensive”, offering those who can afford it a “starred experience, a tailor-made restaurant at home. “Everything is organized around the person and their guests,” she says. Maison Tara is a celebration of the art of hospitality, which, in fact, is a very Lebanese quality. We were all brought up in this friendliness, this warmth and this knowing how to receive. We are probably the only country to have a “lounge for guests” and another for the family. »

Dishes that are both beautiful and good. Photo Marina Elise

Perfectionist, to an almost obsessive point, determined, listening to the client, she becomes “a story teller without the need for words”. Its logo, both a fan and a stylized peacock, shows its desire to be a “haute couture” event brand, just like for clothes. “I would like to reinvent this industry, make people happy. I love feasts,” she says. In the same slightly hoarse voice, Tara Khattar, luminous in her floral dress, continues: “For the first time in my life, what I have in mind and what stands out are aligned. I am very grateful to have gone through difficulties which, in the end, brought me back to basics, and to New York, to install this banner which bears my first name: Maison Tara. »

The one that Joël Robuchon’s team, where she worked for two years, nicknamed Kitchen Princess, wants to reign in her domain today, dressed in a black work outfit, “as always”, signed Karoline Lang, and inspired by the Renaissance style. Then, why not, set up a small, also five-star café in the beautiful districts of New York, next to major brands such as Chanel or Hermès. “I want Maison Tara to become a brand associated with a lifestyle. »

The young woman, who was only 25 years old then, and stood out in Top Chef France, as the first Lebanese and Middle Eastern woman to participate, then in Chopped, three times, with two victories at the support, has clearly calmed down. Is it motherhood, New York or her accomplishments over the past ten years? Still, Tara Khattar…

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