We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tara, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
The most difficult decision I’ve ever made was the choice to return to the states after going through 3 months of quarantine living in Madrid, Spain for almost six years.

Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?

I began my professional career in 2015 as an English teacher in Valencia, Spain and studied in Madrid to receive my masters degree in International Education, but I am no stranger to the kitchen. I have been cooking since I was 8 years old. After a 4 year career in bilingual education overseas, I grew tired of the field and sought to pursue my long time passion of being a professional cook. My business was birthed out of survival in October 2018, when I lived in Madrid. I was a victim of robbery when my purse was stolen, while dining with a coworker after work. Everything importantly imaginable from house keys, credit and debit cards, ID’s, cash, phone, and metro card was in my bag. I had to freeze my American and Spanish bank accounts and order replacement debit cards for both countries.

While waiting 5-7 business days for it to arrive and still having to get to work, I thought of selling lunch plates from my house that weekend to make a quick buck. I needed to purchase a new metro card and I had no access to the money in my accounts. The only thing I had in my home freezer was two packets of chicken wings. I resorted to what I instinctively knew how to do, and that was to cook. Unbeknownst to me, that negative experience in a foreign country was the catalyst into my destiny. It awakened in me the potentiality that I had to transform a life long passion of mine into not just supplemental income, but a sustainable business. After months of selling chicken wing plates from my apartment on weekends , I boldly quit my job, sublet my apartment, and moved to Haifa, Israel for a 3 month sabbatical.

While there to clear my head from career woes and the uncertainties of what my future held, I worked as a kitchen apprentice for a non- profit organization working to decrease food waste by creating meals from rescued fruit and vegetables. At the end of my fulfilling time there I relocated back to Spain and started throwing cultural events centered on my chicken wings at a local bar. My first event ever was an all you can eat chicken and waffle brunch party. Due to its widespread success, it gave way to the idea to pursue a long term business plan and branch out into doing events across Europe and the United States of America.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them along the Atlanta Beltline and to Ponce City Market. I love that market so much. There’s such a variety of black owned restaurants you can try in that one building. I would also take them to South City Kitchen Buckhead for brunch. You can’t visit Atlanta and not have an Atlanta brunch experience. There’s no swag surfing over french toast at this place, but the food and drinks are absolutely amazing and that’s big for me to say, because I am extremely particular when it comes to eating out. I don’t like eating out. As a chef, I’m hard to please.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes, I would love to shoutout my family. Namely, my best friend Dr. Jasmaine Ataga and her mother Ms. Anita, my close childhood friend, creative partner, and advisor Chef Wierdo, my sister Jasmin Long who shouted me out for this current feature, and my other sisters Monica, Shana, and Danielle and all of my supporters across Madrid, Spain and Atlanta, who have attended all of my pop up shop events since beginning my business in 2019.

Instagram: mocha_d_cooking

Facebook: At Last Alitas

Image Credits
Joel Potter

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.