Tara Anderson, creator and owner of Dallas-based Half Pint Palates, wears a bracelet on her left wrist that sums her up perfectly: Made from a hammered spoon, it’s emblazoned with the words “farm girl.”
The charismatic founder of Half Pint Palates, a direct-delivery frozen-baby-food company that began service in 2013, started her culinary education on a livestock farm in western Kentucky. Growing up with a garden that produced most of the veggies her family ate exposed her to quality you can’t get at most grocery stores. “That’s where I learned my passion for food and flavor,” Anderson says.
With dreams of working in the culinary world, the farm girl packed her bags after high school and headed to New York City, where she graduated from The Culinary Institute of America. She went on to work as a chef at a white-tablecloth restaurant in Miami before winding up on the corporate side of dining. After a string of office jobs (and relocating to Dallas to be with her now-husband), Anderson became the executive chef of food services at PepsiCo North America, where she created dishes for chain restaurants like Applebee’s using the soda giant’s snack products. Even though Anderson loved the creativity and flexibility of her job, it got harder and harder to develop recipes that didn’t reflect her own eating philosophy. “I learned the ugly truth about food and what we do to make it taste good,” Anderson says.
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