Tara Deshpande is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Azalea. For Tara, cooking is a way of life. Classically trained in India and the United States, she has offered her innovative style of American and global cuisine in Boston since 2001. Tara has been featured on WGBH channel 2 and in the pages of numerous publications, including the Boston Herald and Boston Globe, for which she also contributes food and lifestyle pieces. Her first book, ‘Fifty and Done', was published by Harper Collins. In addition to being the creative force behind Azalea, Tara teaches cooking in Boston and nationwide.

Outside of cooking, Tara is a well-known film, television and theater personality in India. She was a VJ for MTV Asia, starring on the program “MTV Get a Voice”. She played leading roles in several Bollywood films, including ‘Encounter', nominated for Screen Best Indian Film Award in 2002, and the indie cult classic ‘Bombay Boys', which opened at the Toronto and London film festivals. On the stage, she has performed in over fifteen theater productions in India and the United Kingdom. Tara has also modeled for well-known brands like Pantene Pro V shampoo and Camay Soap. Her most recent role was as an anchor for Bhoomi (Earth), a television show dedicated to environmental awareness and funded by the Ford Foundation.

In 2013 Tara authored the bestselling cookbook book 'A Sense for Spice: Recipes and Stories from a Konkan Kitchen'.

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