Chef Jose Duarte of Taranta - Biography

Boston, MA

August 2012

At his family’s home in Peru, it wasn’t uncommon for guests to be welcomed by a young Jose Duarte, who was clearly destined for hospitality. In 1976, Duarte and his family left Peru for Venezuela, where Duarte eventually began his training in tourism at Universidad Nueva Esparta. Duarte then moved to Boston to improve his English and apply to hospitality programs. He began his studies in the Hotel and Restaurant School at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, balancing academic work with internships under Chef-owner Marco Pindo of Ristorante Sapori.

Duarte honed his skills by exploring a wide range of opportunities. As catering director for the Philadelphia Distance Run, he gained the necessary experience to start his own small catering operation, which in turn gave him the freedom to get his MBA in Food Service Operations. Once again at Lynn University, Duarte co-authored a chapter in an introduction to hospitality textbook, Senior Services Management, and prepared an instructor’s manual for Gourmet Camper, a multicultural food preparation and nutritional summer camp program.

In July 2000, Duarte once again settled in Boston, marrying Italian and Peruvian cuisines with Taranta in Boston’s historic North End, all while evolving into a leader in eco-professionalism, receiving Boston’s “Green Business Award” in 2008, the 2010 MassRecycle Award, and 2011 “Chef of the Year” by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Duarte hosts seminars for the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, is currently working on a new venture to develop culinary adventures around the world, and experiments with the use of QR code technology for restaurants.