What got you started in the kitchen? What inspired you to focus on plant-based eating?
#LiveFull is all about finding your groove and getting things done so that you can feel your best. It's about finding what fuels you so that you can accomplish anything. Sometimes food can be a big part of that. We are kicking off a new series to highlight people that continue to inspire us to Live Full!
Chef and creative, Tara Thomas embodies Live Full by focusing on fueling her body, as well as her community. What started as a love for playing in the garden as a child transformed into a passion for nourishing the body through meaningful food choices.
Tara not only inspires us with her delicious plant-based cooking, but also with the incredible work she’s doing to help provide nourishing foods to those in her community. In 2020 she co-founded Breaking Bread NYC, a volunteer-based organization that strives to recognize leaders in food sovereignty, feed the community, and fuel the revolution through nourishment. Read more about what inspires Tara to #LiveFull below.
From the beginning, I’ve been guided by my gut, my mother said I was a happy baby except when it came to food. I was always hungry and quite particular. My curiosity evolved into a deep appreciation for alchemizing, eating, gathering, and sharing food. Literally as a child I would play in our garden using the multitudes of elements and transforming them into masterpieces that mimicked food. Today I still operate in the same conditions by alchemizing seeds into food that can be enjoyed on the plate. I became vegan about 6 years ago because it aligns with my morals around violence, energy is simply transferred and I want to embody peace. Acts of nourishment for me must be projected through peaceful intentions and eating well allows me to share that.
What inspired you to co-found Breaking Bread? What are your long-term goals with Breaking Bread?
was founded at the wake of the protests in the summer of 2020 for justice for George Floyd. Each of us recognizes food at the center of our work, as both can be used as nourishment and medicine. However, it’s been used against Black, Indigenous, and colored communities resulting in marginalized conditions. We are a volunteer based organization that wants to recognize leaders in food sovereignty, feed our community, and fuel the revolution through nourishment.
Since 2020 we’ve evolved with our community from distributing meals at protests, partnering with a number of like-minded chefs and organizations alike, community gardens, and sustaining 100 New Yorkers with a weekly CSA bag. We are inspired by the Black Panther Party’s food distribution initiatives that directly reaffirms the rights to accessible basic necessities for Black people to live a healthy life. They began to feed children in schools, elders, and evolved to widespread free food to the Black community.
Looking into the future is actually something we’ve been exercising, especially as the global pandemic comes to a close. As the pandemic has exacerbated issues, like recognizing food insecurity and community care, we honor it as our core. Along with making space to define the diversity of food sovereignty as we aim to launch microgrants to marginalized folks who need funding in food production, distribution, in which to fuel the policies of food production and distribution for greater change. We want to continue aiding in public health by creating access to healthy foods to those in need.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is building a community around food and interacting with those who have a passion for food and see it as their core.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Everyday is so different for me but what is consistent are my daily rituals around eating and personal care to fuel me in whatever comes my way!
What’s something that helps you #LiveFull?
Living Full is a daily goal and I accomplish that by making space and time for myself through a mindful meal in solitude or shared with those I love and appreciating Earth by taking nature walks to stay curious.