Tara Bryan

Tara Bryan

Senior Culinary Director at Jean-Georges Management

The most important lesson I’ve learned is, “If you want it, go and get it.” When I was a Sous Chef at Spice Market in London, Daniel Del Vecchio asked how my job was going and I said, "Good." I expressed to him that I wanted to become a Culinary Trainer and travel the world. I had only just started as a Sous Chef and this statement could have been seen as overambitious. 8 years later, here I am – Senior Culinary Director traveling the world with Jean-Georges and training the next generation of chefs.

Peter Lloyd, who was the Executive Chef at the W London and Spice Market gave me a piece of advice that evolved me as a chef and a leader. He said, "You can’t talk to everyone the same way because people won’t react to it the same." It made me more thoughtful about the way I communicate with team members and am more mindful about how and what I say.
I put myself first. For the longest time, I was always putting others before me – everything I did was because I thought my peers, mentors and leaders would want me to do things a certain way. When I started to take into consideration my needs, thoughts and priorities, I started to excel. I started to become a leader. I still think about others and am mindful of how and what I do, but in a different way.
I look for enthusiasm and willingness to learn, when hiring. Even in the position that I am in, I am enthusiastic and always looking to learn, every day I go to work. I think it’s important to always be learning and growing and enthusiastic about it.
In culinary school, you learn your foundational methods, setting you up for a career in a restaurant. At Jean-Georges, we have our own set of foundation methods and processes that we teach. When I teach cooks and chefs these, it’s so fulfilling as a leader to see their reactions and to see them perfect certain methods. I love to teach about new prep and cooking methods, new ingredients, farms and more.
People are my inspiration. The bond and relationship amongst chefs and people who work in restaurants are unmatched. I am also so inspired by traveling and training the next generation of cooks.
If you don’t ask, you don’t know what will happen. I am paving the way for other females in the industry. You have to push for yourself and what you deserve. This is a male-dominated industry, or at least has been for a long time. There is a change happening and I am proud to be part of that change and pushing boundaries. Additionally, Jean-Georges Management has so many powerful women in the company and I’m happy to be one of them.
For self-care, I get acupuncture treatments – I’m always on my feet and my mind is always working. I try to go every week, if not every other week. It relaxes my body and mind.

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