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Note: The following piece is a part of ‘Cuterie by The CaribDiva Company ‘s commitment to highlighting with intention woman and BIPOC women chefs for their accomplishments in the culinary industry. To learn more about ‘Cuterie’s continuing mission, check us out here.

Amplifying the accomplishments of women chefs in the culinary industry is a large part of ‘Cuterie’s mission and purpose, particularly when they are blazing trails at every touch.

Tara Bryan is one of those trailblazers.

Born and raised in Birmingham, the second largest metropolis in England, Tara began her culinary journey working for several restaurants in her teens. Attending the Birmingham College of Food and Tourism, she also worked at the famed Michelin-star restaurant Mirabelle, a Marco Pierre White restaurant. She spent a little over a year and a half there before the next step in her career led her to the iconic Japanese restaurant Nobu.

Though Tara’s career up to this point was filled with fantastic opportunities to advance in world-famous restaurants, it is not the norm in the culinary industry. According to the career website ZIppia, only 25.2% of chefs employed across the country are women. As a key part of this percentage, Tara continued to move the goalposts, taking on the role of Demi chef for a year at the famed restaurant Nobu. Following her time at Nobu, Tara spent the next two years garnering additional experience at two of Jean Georges’ restaurants. Working for the Jean-Georges Management group; a powerhouse in the culinary industry spearheaded by mastermind Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Tara had the opportunity to rise to new heights in various roles, eventually landing her in New York.

From her role as a culinary trainer at Culinary Concepts to her full-time move to the Jean-Georges team; Tara has managed to carve out a beautiful niche in the food-centered world that embraces her purpose. Leaning into her purpose took her from one cosmopolitan city of London to the bright lights of New York City, and has enabled her to build the foundation needed for her current role that she currently holds, training and educating teams around the world.

As the Senior Culinary Director of the Jean-Georges group, Tara is in a unique position to travel the world, working with Jean-Georges for special events and opening restaurants globally. In the last year alone, her work has afforded her the opportunity to train opening teams in Jean-Georges establishments across the country, from the South Street Seaport marketplace Tin Building to organic powerhouse restaurant Drusie & Darr in Nashville, Tennessee, and more. Her role in senior culinary management puts her in an elite circle with glaring inequities - according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, less than 7% of the head chef roles in the restaurant industry are held by women.

In her current role, Tara works directly with the company’s global team infrastructure to ensure the fluidity of seasonal menu changes and ensure that recipes, timelines & communication is in line with Jean-Georges’ high standards. It is a dream for her, she notes, further adding, “Watching their faces when you put the final product forward for them to taste is (as) rewarding as a chef (as it comes).” Tara’s passion outside of the kitchen includes teaching her nieces how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookies - a feat everyone here at ‘Cuterie agrees is key! Currently living out one of her dreams of being a guest chef expert, Tara currently is a part of Chefs4impact, a community centered around food industry experts closing the gap between food producers and consumers. Part of the organization’s purpose is educating children and adults on the environmental and personal impacts on sustainable eating here in New York. Of this work, she notes, “(Having) the students help us cook and pack up all the food, then to deliver the food…Such a rewarding feeling.”

Kudos to blazing a trail, Tara!

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Updated: Sep 18

These ’Cuterie boxes are looking like a whole dang snack — and then some! That’s because there is plenty inside to nibble, munch, and scarf down thanks to celebrity chef and caterer Kimberly Parris, who carefully curates the bright-yellow subscription boxes, all sourced from female business owners of color. “Everybody snacks,” says Parris, who confides that popcorn is her weakness. “We all just snack differently.” That was the lightbulb moment that led to the origin of ’Cuterie. While restaurants folded and shuttered at the pandemic’s height in 2020, Parris was busy quietly building out a list of BIPOC foodie vendors.

Today, she says, she’s amassed 175 in all. And now the newly launched snack and meal box service is about to take your taste buds on a delightful journey, one vibrant flavor at a time. Prepare to indulge in a cornucopia of chef-crafted recipes and mouthwatering delights. From the bustling streets of Brooklyn to the rich culinary heritage of the Caribbean and the global diaspora, Chef Kimberly Parris is on a mission to celebrate diversity and redefine how we snack.

Let's dive into just some of these tantalizing boxes that will leave you craving more.

The Breakfast Box: Morning Bliss, Chef-Style

Rise and shine with The Breakfast Box, a treasure trove of morning delights curated to bring the spirit of a chef’s kitchen to your breakfast table. Imagine a stack of fluffy, vegan, vanilla-cupcake-flavored pancakes, drizzled with maple syrup that tantalizes your taste buds with every drop. Add a generous sprinkle of granola for an enticing crunch and a jar of luscious preserves to elevate the flavors to heavenly heights. To accompany your breakfast feast, you’ll find a carefully selected tea or coffee blend, ensuring your morning ritual is nothing short of extraordinary.

But there’s more to this box than just the incredible flavors. In the spirit of inclusivity, The Breakfast Box features products from Black and Latinx women-owned businesses. It’s a celebration of culture and creativity, wrapped in a delightful yellow package. As you indulge in the culinary wonders of this box, you can connect with the producers through a downloadable booklet that showcases their inspiring stories, complete with mouthwatering recipes that incorporate the box’s ingredients. It's a true celebration of sisterhood and the power of culinary prowess.

The More Than Leaves Box: Beyond Ordinary Vegan Snacking

Vegans, rejoice! The More Than Leaves Box is designed exclusively for you, offering a sensational assortment of vegan snacks and meal options that go beyond the ordinary. Brace yourself for a plant-based pasta experience like no other, with gluten-free pasta that's both healthy and delectable. Top it off with a sumptuous tomato sauce that transports your taste buds straight to Italy.

Enhance your vegan culinary journey with an assortment of spices that add that perfect touch to your dishes. And when it’s time to satisfy your sweet tooth, enjoy a cookie mix that allows you to bake scrumptious treats in the comfort of your home. Craving a fancy mocktail to elevate your evening? This box comes with a speakeasy-style mocktail mix, thoughtfully crafted to perfection for your enjoyment. “You can certainly choose to add alcohol to your mocktail,” shares Parris. Cheers! Upcoming Goodness...

The Lux Box: A Gastronomic Extravaganza

Black girl magic…in a box! The Lux Box is a limited-edition snack roundup that pays homage to the exceptional talents of Black female chefs. This box is set to whisk you away to a world of gourmet delights, where culinary artistry meets premium ingredients. Prepare yourself for a fine dining experience like no other, thoughtfully crafted to honor the rich legacy of Black women in the culinary world.

With every season, ’Cuterie refreshes its offerings, ensuring you’re always in for a delightful surprise. As a quarterly subscription service, the boxes are switched out with new and exciting themes, so you’ll never get tired of the same snacks. Soon, Parris says she will allow customers to customize their boxes for maximum snack happiness.

So, what are you waiting for? Embark on a journey of flavors and cultures with ’Cuterie’s vibrant snack and meal boxes. Each bite is an invitation to connect, savor, and celebrate the diverse culinary tapestry woven by extraordinary women of color. Join Chef Kimberly Parris as she redefines snacking and leaves an indelible mark on your taste buds and your heart.

Shop now and get your hands on these bright yellow boxes of culinary magic. From The Breakfast Box’s morning bliss to The More Than Leaves Box’s vegan wonders and the upcoming Lux Box’s hand crafted goodness, each box is a testament to the power of diversity and inclusion in the culinary world. Experience the joy of ’Cuterie today!

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If there’s one thing that Chef Kimberly Parris knows, it’s that snacks have the power to bring joy in every bite. But for this culinary maven and her subscription snack box startup, ’Cuterie, it’s not just about delicious treats; it’s about giving back, promoting diversity, and empowering Black and brown female foodies to rise and shine in the competitive culinary world. That mission, and lots of deliciousness, is packed into her brand-new subscription snack box, ’Cuterie.

“Everybody snacks,” says Parris, ’Cuterie founder and CEO. “We just all snack differently.”

That’s a good thing, considering she’s ready to bring some new treats into the spotlight of the snack game. It’s a refreshing spin on an industry largely dominated by white men. According to an independent 2020 study by the Restaurant Opportunities Center, men held 74% of management positions, and white people held 81% percent of those coveted front-of-house management slots. But ’Cuterie bucks that male, pale, and stale trend like a renegade. “One hundred percent of our vendors are people of color or women,” says Parris.

“Our five-year vision is to be a part of bridging the equity gap in snack and prepared food businesses,” Parris adds. “The biggest part of achieving this goal is by providing a safe space for BIPOC and women-owned businesses to receive assistance in starting and scaling their businesses.”

And it all starts with a big yellow box.

’Cuterie: A Revolution of Flavor and Inclusivity Two years ago, while scores of restaurants worldwide shuttered due to the stress and strain of the pandemic, Parris was busy cooking up her lightbulb of an idea. After working in the restaurant industry for 12 years, she had just hung up her apron as the chef de cuisine at Eataly, a veritable mecca for Italian foods in New York City, and was in the midst of her second year as a full-time entrepreneur, having launched her bespoke catering business.

"I had this vision of bringing together an assortment of snacks that celebrate the uniqueness of everyone's snacking preferences. When I first started, I had 13 boxes in mind. But as the concept evolved, I realized that my mission was bigger than just curating snacks. I wanted to create a community for those entering the game. I wanted to create a space where Black- or women-owned brands could shine and where customers could savor flavors from across the country, all in one exciting box."

She’s since amassed a list of 175 participating vendors, largely women of color, who share their little-known goodies with Parris who then curates every box. Each banana-yellow box can serve two to three hungry snackers. The nonperishable boxes ship nationwide.

’Cuterie currently offers three snack boxes — The Just Snaks Box, The Wellness Box, and The Catching Flights Box — and two meal boxes —The Breakfast Box and its dinner companion, The More Than Leaves Box. The offerings, all vegan friendly, are carefully curated. There are handcrafted jams, exotic teas, spicy chips, and gourmet pancakes and maple syrup to dig into. Each box comes with a note with QR codes that spill the tea on the vendor’s origin stories. The meal boxes also come with recipes so ’Cuterie fans can get creative in the kitchen. And more exciting snack box drops are on the horizon, promises Parris.

Parris Calls ’Cuterie a Space of Equity

One year in, she says the growing snack company is as satisfying to the mouth as it is to the soul. “I wanted to do something that was sustainable and impactful, even during challenging times. Snacks became the perfect vehicle — everyone loves them, and they transcend time and space,” shares Parris.

“Creating community, closing the equity gap, all by helping bring a new revenue stream to marginalized women, is at the core of ’Cuterie’s mission,” adds Parris.

Already, the kudos have been rolling in. “I am absolutely in love with my box!!!” wrote Monique, a reviewer from Brooklyn, New York. “From the packaging to the item’s OMG. This concept is necessary and amazing.”

“(We) are looking forward to trying all the snacks,” shared Tarrah from Farrell, Pennsylvania. “And we’re so hype to see that there were little recipes inside the brochure!”

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