In the Kitchen with Tara Khattar

My name is Tara and I am a chef, food consultant and cookbook author. I was born and raised in Lebanon before moving to France to attend culinary school. After graduating I moved to Paris to work at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. I eventually moved to New York in 2015 and enrolled at NYU to pursue a master’s degree in food studies. It is there that my career took off. I started consulting for restaurants and food brands as well as curating menus for high end events and weddings. In 2018 I went back to France to compete in Top Chef, an event that fueled my love for competing and high adrenaline cooking shows. I later went back to NY and competed a few times on Chopped on food network and won twice! 


I met my husband in January 2018 and we got engaged a short 6 months after. We were on a trip to Chicago when I first discovered Takenaka Bento Box and have been in love with the brand ever since. My husband Nagi works in the wine industry which requires him being on the road quite often. When I met him he was living a pretty hectic life, often eating whatever he could get his hands on last minute and none of the meals he was getting were nutritious, that’s until the bento boxes changed the game for us. I got him the boxes as a gift shortly before moving in with him, I would prepare meals for him for the next day that he would take with him and could eat anywhere, anytime. 

What I love about the boxes is their versatility, their ability to hold large amounts of food and yet be so compact and lightweight and the fact that they come with cutlery in them which makes eating on the go and the cleanup that much easier. I also love that they come in many shapes and sizes which allows me to have a box for each meal or snack. 

These bento boxes are a way for me to communicate my love for my husband, I believe that food is my love language, and for me taking the time to prepare nutritious meals for him is my way on telling him that I care about him and want him to be healthy. He has become famous in his office; his coworkers are always checking to see what I’ve sent him for that day. 




I chose an array of different colors for my bento boxes because I love how bright they all are, they make me happy and make the food pop. 

I now live with my husband and travel quite a lot (pre-covid!) usually splitting my year between the US, Paris and the Middle East. This year I published my first cookbook with Hachette France in both French and Arabic and the book in available in all countries where these languages are spoken. It was quite a challenge to complete this project without leaving the US but I’ve adapted and am so happy that the book finally came to life.

I enjoy bringing joy to others through carefully curated meals and am very thankful to work in so many different fields. My work is always very exciting, whether it is cooking for celebrity athletes or creating the menu for a wedding in the South France, it sure never gets boring and I’m loving every second of it.  My husband and I are expecting our first child this June and I can’t wait to create special dishes for the little one! 

I am thrilled to share with you what I send my husband to work with and hope you enjoy these recipes!

You’ll find more on my Instagram :)




Tara’s Recipes

 - Breakfast -

Overnight oats with red fruits 

½ cup old fashioned oats

1 cup milk of choice (I use almond)

1 tbsp. chia seeds 

1 tsp. maple syrup

pinch of salt 

1 tbsp. raisins 

1 tsp. shaved almonds  


Red fruits (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries) 

Shaved coconut  


Mix all the ingredients together and allow to set in the fridge overnight. I like adding the raisins in the mix because it allows them to soak up all the liquid overnight and puff up. 
The next morning, add your cut red fruits and add the shredded coconut. 



Golden milk turmeric almond latte 

1 cup almond milk (or any milk of choice)

1 tbsp. turmeric powder 

1 tsp. honey (optional) 

¼ tsp ginger powder 

sprinkle of cinnamon powder


Heat milk with the ginger and turmeric and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
Poor over the honey and finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.



- Lunch -

Potato scaled crusted salmon with tomato, lemon and caper salsa 
Oven roasted asparagus with dates and almonds

1 piece salmon 

1 small potato 

7 cherry tomatoes 

1 lemon 

1 tbsp. capers 

1 bunch of asparagus

3 dates 

1 tsp. flaked almonds 


olive oil 

salt pepper


Heat the oven to 375F. 
Place the salmon on baking tray lined with parchment paper and season with olive oil salt and pepper. Thinly slice the potato and cut into small rounds.
Place them on the salmon as if to create fish scales and bake for about 10 minutes. 

Place the asparagus on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 min.
Once the asparagus is out of the oven, top with sliced dates and almonds. 

For the salsa, cut the tomatoes into small pieces, and add your lemon segments and capers. Season with olive oil salt and pepper and add to the side of the salmon. 
Garnish with some fresh dill. 

- Snack -

Hummus with crudités and pita bread 

1 ½  cup cooked chickpeas 

1 lemon (juice) 

½ garlic clove 

¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)

2 ice cubes 

2 cucumbers

2 carrots 

2 radishes 

1 tsp cilantro leaves 

7 cherry tomatoes  

1 piece of pita bread 

Sprinkle of black and white sesame seeds 

Olive oil 




In a blender, add the chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic and tahini. Blend with the ice cubes until obtaining a smooth paste. Add some olive oil, salt and pepper and blend some more. 

Transfer the hummus to the bento box and garnish with thinly sliced radish and cilantro leaves. Add some olive oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds to finish. 
Cut the vegetables and the pita bread and serve on the side. 



Instagram: @tarakhattarofficial 
Her cookbook “Liban“ is available on Amazon or her website.