By the time he was four years old, it was clear that Jose Duarte was destined for the hospitality industry. At his family’s home in Peru, it was not uncommon for guests to e greeted and welcomed by the young Duarte, who ushered them inside and offered refreshments.
In 1976, Duarte and his family left Peru for the town of Acarigua in Venezuela . At the time, Acarigua was heavily populated with Italians families that had left Campania, Sicily, Abruzzi, and Puglia during and after World War II. Duarte took part in cultural culinary activities like preparing and canning “pomodoro sauces” right after the harvest to be used throughout the year.
After high school, Duarte ‘s technical training in tourism began at the Universidad Nueva Esparta in Caracas, Venezuela . Following school, Duarte moved to Boston with a mind to improve his English and apply to hospitality programs within the US . Accepted to Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida he began his studies in the Hotel and Restaurant School, balancing his academic workload with internships under the direction of chef-owner Marco Pindo at Ristorante Sapori.
Duarte honed his skills within the hospitality industry by exploring a wide range of opportunities. He managed the Snack Bar at Lynn University and catered events in South Florida under the direction of executive chef John Mondone. He was food and beverage director for the Royal Caribbean Classic Golf Tournament in Key Biscayne and sous chef at the Adirondack family buffet in New York . He started as beverage manager at Tapas Espana Restaurant, rising up the ranks to general manager after only four months.
As catering director for the Philadelphia Distance Run in ’96, ’97 and ’98, he gained the necessary experience to start his own small catering operation. The catering gave him the freedom ad flexibility to head back to school for his MBA in food service operations. Once again at Lynn University, Duarte co-authored of a chapter in an introduction to Hospitality book, Senior Services Management, and prepared an instructor’s manual for the Gourmet Camper, a multicultural food preparation and nutritional summer camp program. After finishing his Masters Degree in 1998 he accepted a position developing gourmet adventures for families from around the world with ESF Adventures.
In July 2000, Duarte once again settled in Boston, opening Taranta in Boston ‘s historic North End. In 2007 Duarte began his research on sustainability and carbon reduction as a way of reducing costs, offsetting an average of 80 metric tons per year, certifiying Taranta as one of the few Green Restaurants in the world. Jose has received the 2008 City of Boston Green Business Award, the 2011 Massachusetts Recycling Award, Waterford Crystal Chefs of Chefs Award at the Food and Wine Week in Houston Texas, 2011 Massachusetts Chef of the Year and Top 100 “Most Influential” Latinos in MA. He is a part Le Cordon Bleu Boston Programming Advisory Board, Newbury College Advisory Board and Lynn University Advisory Board. His recent work includes the use of innovation and technology to promote the importance of traceability.